As I write this, it’s Election Day, with Atlanta and other cities around the metro area choosing their municipal governments. It should be a big day for the Jewish people.
After all, we’re supposed to be the ones pulling the strings with our cabals and our Israel Lobby to ensure our ever-tightening grip on the levers of political, financial and, yes, media power worldwide. (Insert your favorite evil laugh here.)
Just ask Nigel Farage, the driving force behind Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union when he led the U.K. Independence Party. Speaking on his own London-based radio show Monday, Oct. 30, he suggested that instead of fretting about the Russians, Americans should worry about the influence of the “Jewish lobby” on elections and government policies.
Or maybe try Joe Briggs, an engineer who announced on the eve of the election that he was withdrawing as a candidate for the Suwanee City Council because of the uproar over his unabashedly anti-Semitic tweets.
Briggs sent tweets during the campaign in which he compared Jews to Nazis, said Zionists are cockroaches and worse than anything in “Mein Kampf,” and urged the removal of “the Jews” from the White House to get them out of President Donald Trump’s ear. One of his prize tweets (all of whose authenticity he confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) reads, “The problem is that Jews don’t care about racism – because they are racists. They only care about racism directed towards them.”
Briggs insisted he’s not anti-Semitic, just anti-Israel. His tweets make a great argument for the fiber-optic thinness of the line between intense anti-Israel sentiments and simple anti-Semitism.
But even if he doesn’t win a seat on the City Council, Briggs should find some pleasure in the latest Anti-Defamation League report on anti-Semitism. The “highlights”:
- Incidents are up two-thirds nationally and have doubled in the ADL’s Southeast Region, including Georgia, in the first nine months of 2017 compared with 2016.
- The incidents peaked in the first three months of the year, then spiked again after the violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., in August.
- The hatemongers are starting early, with a surge of harassment and vandalism in schools and continuing problems at colleges and universities.
ADL Southeast Regional Director Allison Padilla-Goodman said school incidents are a particular problem in the Atlanta area, and she thinks the problem is underreported — in part because Jewish students are too quick to shrug off nasty comments as jokes or benign stupidity.
Still, the Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism continually receives new complaints about incidents.
Recent examples we’ve heard about range from a swastika made of brownies in the lunchroom at private school in Buckhead to the message “Hitler is God” scrawled on a sign during a free-speech demonstration at Kennesaw State University.
So, contrary to the myth of Jewish control, we’re increasingly under attack in a way that is far scarier than a bunch of Klansmen and neo-Nazis rallying under their banners of hate. We’re now at risk of normalizing and mainstreaming the same attitudes and opinions, but without the bedsheets and swastika flags to identify the enemies of American values.
Of course, like any conspiracy theory, the myth of Jewish global dominance doesn’t die for lack of evidence. Instead, that very absence is taken as proof of the conspiracy, which is so powerful it can even erase all signs of its existence.
No doubt somewhere in Suwanee a disgraced former City Council candidate is convinced he’s just the latest man victimized for speaking the truth.