The headline How to Spot a Jew graced Poland's right-wing national weekly newspaper Tylko Polska. Said headline was an angry response to a panel discussion of Poland's complicit citizenry during the Holocaust at a recent Paris conference.
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The anti-Semitic headline ran alongside the front page article complaining that speakers at last month’s Holocaust studies meeting in Paris had been attacking Poland. It was printed with a photo of Jan Gross, a Polish Jew who teaches at Princeton University.
Gross has regularly said that Poles collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, helping Adolf Hitler’s regime murder millions of their Jewish countrymen. He has become a favored target for Polish nationalists, who rail against any suggestion of Polish complicity in the genocide.
Gross was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 1996. However, in 2016, the nationalist Law and Justice government was reportedly considering stripping the scholar of the honor for what it considers his anti-Polish work.
The government has been accused of trying to rewrite history by banning any suggestion of Polish complicity in the Holocaust. Use of the phrase “Polish death camps” to refer to Nazi-run concentration camps like Auschwitz, for example, is now punishable by up to three years in prison.
Last weekend, a video surfaced showing students from Alabama's Spain Park and Hoover high schools making horrible anti-Semitic and racist comments. Yesterday, Spain Park help assemblies and small group discussions about the video so students and staff could openly address the issue. And apparently they, um, did speak openly. According to a student interviewed by Al.com, a Spain Park teacher "told her class that everyone uses the n-word, so she could use it, too." And so she did. From Al.com:
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The teacher was allegedly sent home for the day by administrators. Students confirmed she is not in class today.
"This alleged matter is being investigated," Murphy said in a brief statement to AL.com. Students told AL.com they were stunned to learn of the alleged incident.
On Wednesday, the TV network France 3 was forced to cut off a live Facebook broadcast from a desecrated Jewish cemetery in eastern France when trolls swarmed the feed and filled it with anti-Semitic hate comments. Read the rest
On The View's Monday episode, Women's March co-founder Tamika Mallory refused to condemn anti-semitic comments made by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Read the rest
Amid a growing number of lethal anti-Jewish hate attacks, including a gun massacre at a synagogue that left 13 dead, a man shouts “Heil Trump” in a crowded theater. Audience members told a reporter they believed they were about to die in a mass shooting. Read the rest
We are watching Facebook unravel in real time. I hope. Read the rest
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy and her colleagues have developed a "theory of prejudice" that goes deeper than a simplistic us-versus-them mindset. According to her research, when the world feels volatile or the economy is tanking, groups that are stereotyped as both "cold" ("unfriendly" and "untrustworthy") and "competent" ("ambitious, intelligent and skillful") are more likely to be targeted for, um, extermination. According to Cuddy's op-ed in the the New York Times, "a widespread stereotype of Jewish people, like that of other socioeconomically successful minorities such as Asian-Americans, falls in the competent-but-cold quadrant."
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People assume that socioeconomically successful groups must be competent and that disadvantaged groups must be incompetent. Likewise, groups that are viewed as competitors — for status, for resources — get stereotyped as cold, whereas groups that are viewed as allies get stereotyped as warm...
In-groups and “cultural reference” groups (the middle class and Christians are common examples in the United States) are stereotyped as warm and competent — a wholly positive category. In stark contrast, groups on society’s margins who are blamed for their plight and viewed as a drain on resources (common examples include homeless people and drug addicts) are stereotyped as cold and incompetent — a wholly negative category. Discrimination against groups stereotyped in this way is typically expressed through disregard, stigmatizing and ostracizing...
But when times get tough, envious prejudices can ignite. Societal breakdown, harsh economies or political turmoil can activate resentment toward high-status minorities, who are seen as competitors for limited resources or even dangerous enemies.
Just days before the horrific mass murder at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue, my Institute for the Future colleagues Sam Woolley and Katie Joseff published a deeply upsetting study on how social media bots and computational propaganda are being used to instigate and amplify anti-semitism online and manipulate public opinion. From the paper:
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This report explores the ways in which online propaganda, harassment and political manipulation are affecting Jewish People in the runup to 2018 U.S. midterm elections. In the course of our research, members of this group have described a marked rise in the number of online attacks their community is experiencing. This is proving especially true during electoral contests and major political events. Correspondingly, our analyses suggests that tools like social media bots, and tactics including doxxing, disinformation, and politically-motivated threats, have been used online during the 2018 midterms to target Jewish Americans. According to interviewees, veiled human users—rather than automated accounts—often deliver the most worrisome and harmful anti-Semitic attacks.
As part of the wider paper series focused on “humanizing the effects of computational propaganda” this empirical work details the ways in which the Jewish socio-religious population in the U.S. is being disproportionately targeted with disinformation and abuse during this crucial political moment. We use a mixed methods approach in this research, deploying both qualitative and quantitative analysis in order to generate both a culturally deep and statistically broad understanding of how computational propaganda is being leveraged against this community...
Analysis of 7,512,594 tweets over a period from August 31, 2018 to September 17, 2018 shows the prevalence of political bots in these efforts and highlights groups within the U.S.
The U.S. will deploy an additional 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, said White House officials today. The deployment will more than triple the military presence there, and is presumably a Trump administration response to the so-called “Migrant Caravan,” about which white supremacists in the United States are currently fixated. Read the rest
After this weekend's anti-Semitic mass-shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue, President Donald Trump blamed the victims, implying that if they didn't want to get murdered, they should have paid for armed guards.
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The ADL has sorted, sifted and studied a mass of English-language anti-Semitic tweets from last year. They dropped any that might be just ironic or meant in jest, not actually hating on us Jews, and came up with a mere 4.2 million statements of hate! The study and the collection of angry tweets will be made available to tech companies in hopes of improving automated systems for identifying hate speech online. Read the rest
Republican Patrick Little doesn't stand much of a chance in California's Senate race this fall: he's up against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and his own party denounced him. Nonetheless, as the state's top-polling Republican candidate, his hatred for the Jews says much about the GOP's future.
In an interview with Newsweek on Monday, Little reportedly said he admired Adolf Hitler and said that, if he were more religious, he would view Hitler as “the second coming of Christ.”
Little also denied that millions of Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
Little topped other Republican candidates in a poll released late last month, with 18 percent support of the vote. Feinstein received 39 percent, coming in first in the poll.
Note: this is a different Republican Nazi candidate to the one in Illinois. Read the rest
As a child in 1942, Mireille Knoll escaped the capture of Jews by police in occupied France during The Vélodrome d'Hiver roundup. The majority of those arrested during the roundup were sent to Auschwitz, where they were killed. Her evasion of France's Nazi puppet police force during the second world war allowed her to survive the horrors of the Holocaust, unlike so many of her neighbors and relations. But she couldn't escape racism. Her time on earth came to an end this past week after she was stabbed 11 times and left to die in her burning apartment, in Paris, France. She was 85 years old.
According to the The Washington Post, Knoll's murder has French journalists and Jewish advocacy groups concerned that, given the area and brutality in which her life was ended, there could be reasonable grounds for the murder to be considered a hate crime. As in North America, Anti-Semitic hate crimes have been on the rise in France. In the past year, bigots and fascists who were once too afraid to show their hate in public have made their way into the mainstream, emboldened by the politics of our times.
From the Washington Post:
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Jewish advocacy groups were quick to put the case within the context of rising anti-Semitism in France and to point out the similarities to another high-profile case being investigated as anti-Semitic: the April 2017 killing of Sarah Halimi, a 66-year-old Orthodox Jewish physician and kindergarten teacher who was beaten in her apartment and then thrown out a window.
Anti-Semitic attacks rose faster in 2017 than any time in the past 40 years, The Anti-Defamation League today said. Read the rest
Gary D Cohn is director of Trump's National Economic Council; Steven Mnuchin is Secretary of the Treasury; Jared Kushner is Trump's son-in-law and Ivanka Trump is Trump's daughter, who converted to Judiasm: not one of them has said anything in public about Trump's bizarre rant in which he said that not all the Nazi marchers in Charlottesville were bad and some were "very fine people." Read the rest
The Trump administration continues to bumble nearly every time they mention Judaism or the Holocaust in public. Orange Julius claims to love Jews, but the anti-Semites in his cabinet are here to stay
Salon sheds some light on exactly why Trump can't seem to wash his hands of his white supremacist supporters.
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Let’s put aside the president’s trademark bluster and take him at his word — he loves his daughter, and he has a handful of individual Jews in his life that he cares about. But the issue isn’t what Trump believes in his heart of hearts. What really counts are his actions and the company he keeps — including once fringe figures like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka. In that sense, tragically, he has been a godsend to anti-Semitic movements and ideologies once relegated to the margins of society.
All the while, alt-right trolls, white nationalist activists and conspiracy theorists have cheered on President Trump from the virtual sidelines. They’re cheering because this administration has carried the stain of anti-Semitism from the campaign into the White House and federal government. Sadly, the longstanding taboo in the GOP against overt anti-Semitism has begun to fall, and ties to anti-Semitic figures and thought — once considered to be automatically disqualifying by the Republican mainstream — are no longer an impediment to serving in the executive branch.
But across the GOP and among too many establishment Jewish organizations, no one wants to name the depth and breadth of this pattern.
After a wave of anti-semitic attacks swept America, Donald Trump convened a meeting of state Attorneys General, and repeated a conspiracy theory posted hours before to a neo-Nazi website that suggested that Jews had perpetrated the attacks as a false-flag operation to make the Trump administration look bad. Read the rest