Police Reaction to Antisemitic Flyers in Arizona

On March, 29th 2017, azcentral.com published an interesting article describing police reactions to antisemitic flyers posted around the Scottsdale area. As we have seen throughout our blog, antisemitic flyers have/are being posted throughout the United States at an alarming rate. These antisemitic actions often result in police investigation. The antisemitic flyers were posted around Scottsdale neighborhoods in Arizona on Wednesday, March 29. What is interesting about these flyers is they deal directly with the recent discovery that many of the bomb threats on Temples throughout the U.S. have came from an Israeli teen. These flyers (pictured below), contain a cartoon depicting a stereotypical jewish looking man spray painting a swastika on a temple with the caption, “…Hey Rabbi…Whatcha doin’?!” Along with this cartoon there is also a news title proclaiming that the Israeli teen has been responsible for the bomb threats and an original message that reads, “why do the Jews feel the need to create fake anti-semitism hoaxes? find out here: www.dailysformer.com.” This flyer is itself antisemitic for many reasons. It stereotypes Jewish people by using someone with an unrealistically big nose to represent them. It also presents a narrative that claims that most antisemitic actions are secretly carried out by Jewish people in order for them to make social gains. What is most unfortunate about this act of antisemitsm is the police response. Police in Socttsdale, Arizona claimed that because the flyers contained no specified threats against Jewish people they did not break any laws. While this may be the case, I believe the police could have gone a step further to condemn these actions and given...

Tim Allen on Jimmy Kimmel

    Last week, the actor Tim Allen made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel and discussed what it is like to be conservative in Hollywood saying, “You gotta be real careful around here, you know. You’ll get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes. It’s like ’30s Germany.” Making these claims of ties between Hollywood today and 1930s Germany has received immediate negative responses from many, and rightfully so. The executive director of the Anne Frank Center has demanded an apology from Tim Allen. The antisemitism in this kind of rhetoric really shows how much father America still has to go in order to rid our country of such hate. Trying to compare your own beliefs and people’s disagreements with them to the fear, danger, and horror of the Holocaust is unbelievable. The privilege held in this situation shows a lack of compassion for the horrors experienced during that time along with a lack of understanding. These words were especially harmful as antisemitism has been very present in the news the past couple weeks with the arrest of the suspected caller in the JCC bomb threats. Tim Allen’s comments are part of the problem of rising antisemitism in America, and are attempting to diminish all the challenges faced by Jewish people around the world and throughout history. His place of privilege makes him feel that facing any form of disagreement is a major hardship, when in reality it would never compare to the true challenges faced.  ...

Macalester College Student Speaks About Campus Antisemitism

In an opinion piece written for The Mac Weekly, Macalester College’s independent student newspaper, Ali Marks speaks about invisible antisemitism on liberal college campuses. While she speaks specifically about acts of antisemitism she’s faced attending a university in St. Paul, Minnesota, what is significant to me is that her experiences with antisemitism appear to reflect the experiences of some Jewish students at Michigan State University. Marks writes that in the Fall she had a professor schedule two of five total quizzes during the High Holidays (Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah) and the professor was reluctant to let Marks complete the quizzes at a different time. At Michigan State, some university students spoke about this same experience during a student forum on campus antisemitism—saying that they had to attend exams scheduled during the High Holidays because professors had been unwilling to change the date. Not only does this violate university policy regarding religious observance, but this also places Jewish students in the unnecessary position of having to choose between their religion and their grades. Similarly, Marks explains that during her time in college, she’s overheard a variety of off-hand antisemitic comments. Marks writes that when joking about the underwhelming dating scene at Macalester, her roommates said that the “lack of ‘dateable’ men was due to ‘too many Jewish boys.’” Marks points out that this stereotype comes from centuries-old propaganda that stereotypes ‘Jewish features’ as being undesirable. However, despite the fact that these stereotypes have led to “the desexualization of and discrimination against Jews,” students do not seem to care, or perhaps are simply ignorant of how their comments mimic the...

Study Conducted on Antisemitic Hate Speech on Social Media

According to a new study conducted by the World Jewish Congress, there is a new antisemitic message on social media every 83 seconds. This study has observed over 382,000 hate-filled messages against Jews posted via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube just in 2016 alone. The majority, 63%, have been linked to tweets on the social media platform Twitter. While there has been a general understand in the rise of antisemitism online, this study gives concrete evidence of its massive increase. CEO, Robert Singer, of the World Jewish Congress reports, “We hope this serves as a wake-up call to all internet forums to maintain moral standards, rid themselves of offensive content, and make the digital world a safer place for all” (Times). The criteria used during the study to determine whether or not a post was anti-Semitic was based on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s May 2016 definition. Their definition states that “anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” Many organization such as the Anti-Defamation League have called for more action on the issue. There has even been talk of plans with centers in Silicon Valley to tackle this rise of online hate speech. This is a new development that has not yet come up, and I believe it’s a much more proactive approach to combating these problem. With the knowledge and resources these institutes in Silicon Valley posses it seems like a much more effective approach that could produce answers...

Jewish Congressional Candidate Battles Antisemitic Trolls

Erin Schrode, a democrat running for office in California, has been the target of antisemtic internet trolls. Schrode received antisemtic emails, pictures, and has even had her website hacked. This extreme harassment is thought to be spurred on by The Daily Stormer,  an antisemtic and alt-right website. Followers of this website, acquired access to Schrode’s contact information as well as her social media accounts through which antisemtic images of her (like the one in the photo above), tweets,  and emails were posted and sent to her. In addition on election day, her website was hacked and her name was changed to “Adolf Hitler.” Unfortunately, this harassment has occurred over months and Schrode is still dealing with it today. Because Schrode is running as a politician, the need for social media and public outreach through the internet is important for a number of reasons. She can’t just delete her twitter, Facebook account, and website, because they are all vital to her gaining support and acknowledgement among her constituents. And considering these internet trolls are nearly impossible to find and press charges against, there’s not much Schrode could do. However, Google, Twitter, and Facebook could possibly filter out all antisemtic images and comments. As far as internet trolling goes, I think it’s sad that people spend their time attacking and harassing other people for amusement. And like other antisemitic acts, this is just another way people can say or do things without being held responsible for their actions. Unfortunately it’s coming to a point where social media may have to be policed, especially if real harm is being done to individuals.  ...