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Mon Mar 27, 2017, 03:29 PM

(The Jewish Group) The JCC Arrest and Antisemitism in the USA

THIS IS THE JEWISH GROUP!

When news broke that the prime suspect for the JCC bomb threats was a young Israeli Jew, I was thrown for a bit of a loop. For months, the assumption had been that the person or people responsible were White Nationalists. In the immediate wake of learning the identity of the suspect, I found myself asking the following two questions:

1.Does this mean that the situation in the United States isnít really as bad for Jews as we had feared?
2.Does it mean that we have misjudged the effects of the presidential election on our place in this country?


And while I am all in favor of taking a breath and stepping outside of the collective fear response to have a more rational, empirically-informed discussion, this latest plot twist has done very little to reassure me. A synagogue in Indiana had a bullet fired through its window. Another synagogue in Chicago was vandalized with swastikas and had its windows smashed. Jewish cemeteries across the country have been desecrated. Friends of mine are being sent antisemitic messages with depressing regularity both online and through the US postal service. In short, no matter who is behind the JCC threats, something has changed here over the past year.

It is important to acknowledge that the winds of bigotry-tainted nationalism always hit the most disadvantaged the hardest and that is still not American Jews. The effects of Trumpís political machinations on the Muslim, immigrant, and undocumented communities make the apparent rise in antisemitism turn a whiter shade of pale and our priority should be allying with and protecting those communities. Nevertheless, the bubbling up of antisemitism over the past year in this country is not a figment of the mediaís imagination as some would have you believe. Nor is it absurd to lay a significant portion of the blame at the presidentís doorstep. Having Jewish relatives ought not inoculate one from charges of antisemitism. Furthermore, as with other forms of prejudice, antisemitism doesnít require personal animus for it to function in the world.

---snip---

....An atmosphere that the negligent narcissist currently occupying the White House bears a great deal of responsibility for.

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