ADL Reports Rising Incidents of Anti-Semitism by the Extreme Left

ADL Reports Rising Incidents of Anti-Semitism by the Extreme Left

For the last 104 years, the Anti-Defamation League has fought to advance its mission: to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment for all. In the last 18 months, there have been many significant changes to the political atmosphere in the United States, including a rise in anti-Semitism.

In April, ADL’s Center on Extremism released an audit of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States showing the increase. Only a few weeks later, the Center on Extremism published a comprehensive glossary of white supremacist terms, movements and philosophies. In June, ADL published a comprehensive report titled “A Dark and Constant Rage:  25 Years of Right-Wing Terrorism in the United States.”  

While anti-Semitism from right-wing white supremacist groups has been a pervasive problem for decades, the last few years have revealed increasing anti-Semitic sentiment from groups on the left. At ADL’s Never is Now conference, a day committed to the subject of modern anti-Semitism this past November in New York, Jonathan Greenblatt alluded to the problem on both sides.

“We need to wrap our heads around the threats from the radical left that seek to de-legitimize Jewish peoplehood and an extreme right that is embracing white nationalism and other racialist ideas that are anti-Semitic to their core. We need to understand how technology is spreading these hatreds and becoming a weapon that threatens our Jewish community.”

Although previous incidents have been reported, the topic of leftist extremism gained traction in the media after the attack at a congressional baseball team practice near a YMCA in Alexandria, Virginia, in June. Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives, a congressional aide, a government lobbyist and two United States Capitol Police officers were shot by James Hodgkinson, an anti-Trump radical whose behavior had been escalating online and offline for weeks before the shooting occurred.

More recently, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wrote an article for Time magazine exploring the increasing anti-Israel sentiment spouted by the extreme left. The article referenced many incidents that, while not violent, showed an alarming trend of blurring anti-Zionist beliefs with anti-Semitism.

Greenblatt wrote, “For an organization like the Anti-Defamation League, which was founded both to combat anti-Semitism and protect the Jewish people but also to secure justice and fair treatment to all Americans, these manifestations [of anti-Semitism] are upsetting. Frustration with particular Israeli policies does not excuse an irrational hatred of Jewish people who support its existence. But this occurs all too frequently, which provides an opportunity to make clear certain moral and practical distinctions.”

Greenblatt described how ADL works toward many causes supported by the left, including police discrimination against people of color, combating Islamophobia and ending the school-to-prison pipeline through education initiatives.

As a civil rights organization, ADL believes these issues are not up for partisan debate. They are essential to promote equity in our communities, regardless of politics.

Extremism on both sides is causing an increased polarization between the political left and right, and the consequences for communities is more incidents of anti-Semitism. ADL is continuing to record and react to these incidents, locally and nationally.

“That’s the core of our work; we fight anti-Semitism all day, every day. What we are seeing now is a growth in anti-Semitism from the left,” said ADL Austin Regional Director Renee Lafair.

Although the source is different, the problem is the same, and ADL continues to vigilantly fight and expose anti-Semitism from both right and left wing extremists. ■

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