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Blacks and Jews in the Crosshairs

Blacks and Jews in the Crosshairs

Dylann Roof’s manifesto of hate is unfortunately shared by many.


As the world reels in the aftermath of the horrific massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, from some quarters, there is praise for the crime.

To a frightening number of people, Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white supremacist who murdered nine church-goers in cold blood after first attending a Bible study class with them, is not an object of horror and revulsion, but a role model: possessing courage "to do what most white supremacists only talk about". That quote, from a neo-Nazi website monitored by the Anti-Defamation League, was echoed across the white-supremacist blogosphere, according to the organization. Chillingly, this hatred goes beyond loathing of African Americans, who were the victims of Roof's rampage, and links a visceral abhorrence of black people with an enmity towards Jews.

Roof writes in his online manifesto: "I think that if we could somehow destroy the jewish (sic) identity, then they wouldn't cause much of a problem... Just like (racial epithet), most jews (sic) are always thinking about the fact that they are jewish (sic)... The other issue is that they network... I don't pretend to understand why jews (sic) do what they do. The are enigma (sic)."

Roof's poisonous ramblings are typical of much of neo-Nazi thought. While white supremacists and neo-Nazis hate the racial or ethnic minorities in their midst, often their greatest ire is reserved for Jews, who – in their twisted mindset – are seen as "controlling" those elements of society of which they disapprove. This insidious message is gaining increasing acceptance around the world, as right-wing parties gain ascendance, and the internet facilitates the spread of hate.

In Hungary, Lajos Rig, a candidate of the right-wing Jobbik party, has accused Jews of using Gypsies (who find themselves the object of derision and hatred for Jobbik supporters) as a "biological weapon" against ethnic Hungarians. His message paid off; on April 11, 2015, Rig found himself elected to Hungary's parliament in Jobbik's first national-level victory. (Jobbik's leader has since intensified the party's anti-Jewish message, asking Hungary's leader to draw up a list of Jews in the country who might pose a "national security risk".)

Neo-fascist parties are rising elsewhere in Europe, as well. Greece's Golden Dawn party is open in its Jew-hatred. Supporters march in formation wearing black shirts and blame Jews for many of Greece's problems. Far from alienating the Greek electorate, their intense anti-Semitism has paid off. Golden Dawn is now the third most popular political party in Greece; fully 69% of Greek adults admit to openly anti-Semitic views.

A 2014 parliamentary inquiry on anti-Semitism in Germany yielded some shocking results. After the Jewish community there suffered some high-profile assaults by Islamists, a German parliamentary committee investigated every anti-Jewish incident in 2013. While Jews there suffered dozens of attacks by Islamists, the vast majority of anti-Semitic incidents (1,218 out of 1,275) were carried out by neo-Nazis.

In recent months, some of the most horrific attacks on Jews worldwide have been the work of neo-fascists. A visceral hatred of Jews motivated by white supremacy seemed to be behind the April 13, 2014, murders of three people at the Jewish Community Center and at a nearby Jewish nursing home in Overland Park, Kansas. (The shooting recalled the murder of Stephen Tyrone Johns, a security guard at the US Holocaust Memorial in Washington DC, on June 10, 2009, by another white supremacist who openly denied the Holocaust.) On April 6, 2014, in Sydney, Australia, a school bus full of Jewish students was terrorized by a group of drunken neo-Nazis who menaced and threatened the children. One other recalled that her daughter called her from the bus saying "Hey Mummy, please help us, there are eight strange men...and they are screaming 'Heil Hitler – Kill the Jews!' They want to cut our throats!"

Neo-Nazi Rally in London

Britain has become the latest target. On April 18, 2015, a group of British and Polish neo-Nazis gathered in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Stamford Hill, in London, to protest the "Jewification" of the UK, and in June 2015, neo-Nazis uploaded a triumphant video of themselves defacing Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham with anti-Jewish symbols and graffiti. Neo-Nazi assaults on British Jews are set to intensify on July 4, when fascists are planning to hold an anti-Jewish protest against what they term "Jewish privilege" in Golders Green, in the heart of London's Jewish community. The demonstration will begin with fascists burning the Talmud (which they decry as full of "anti-white teachings"), and shredding Israeli flags.

British officials have yet to respond forcefully. London's police have said they have no power to stop the rally, while London's mayor Boris Johnson has said he has a responsibility to "balance" protection for London's Jews with protection of free speech and that, in this context, he "support(s) peaceful protest". While it's unclear yet how big the July 4 anti-Jewish rally will be, its organizers are seemingly emboldened by the tepid response, and have already announced there will be further anti-Semitic demonstrations in other neighborhoods in the future.

Marching in Skokie

How can we stand up to neo-fascist racism and Jew-hatred?

When I was a child, my grandparents lived in Skokie, Illinois, a Chicago suburb in which one out of six residents was a Holocaust survivor. In 1977, the American neo-Nazi party announced their plans to carry out a march in Skokie, in uniform, carrying flags with swastikas on them. My grandparents and others were horrified. A series of court cases delayed the march, but didn't stop it. On June 25, 1978, the march took place and my grandparents were there along with hundreds of other counter-protesters.

I vividly remember one of my grandmothers triumphantly telling me afterwards that she watched as a Jewish woman walked up to one uniformed Nazi and spat in his face. The march and its counter-rally was a turning point. Skokie's Jews began raising funds for what today is the Illinois Holocaust Museum, a major center for remembrance and education. London's Jews are also planning a counter-demonstration to the July 4 rally, emphasizing their neighborhood's openness and diversity.

The dangers of neo-fascism are very real. In the face of threats from extremists, we have an obligation to stand up and counter lies and slanders about Jews and others, and to send the message that we will never again tolerate anti-Semitism and other hatreds. Let's each rally to counter neo-Nazism's toxic message: whether we do so physically in London on July 4, or online, or in our daily lives. Let's each send the message that racist discourse against Jews and African Americans is always unacceptable.

June 22, 2015

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 30

(24) Don Krausz, November 30, 2015 1:59 AM

The Bnei Israel of India are black, as are the Abysinian Jews.

Song of Solomon:

"I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,

Look not upon me, that I am swarthy, that the sun has tanned me;

In the 1950's this was a popular song in Israel and the Sabras went out with the beautiful Yemenite girls.

(23) Peninah, July 7, 2015 6:22 PM

What is Black Race?

I am African and of dark skin.When I look at the mirror I see beauty but most of the world doesn't seem to appreciate us and for centuries we have been looked down upon as inferior human beings. Why?Yet we were also made in the image of G-d. I do understand our forefathers were idolaters but things are changing and many African nations are embracing G-d and letting go of paganism.
Even before anyone learnt anything about us, they were repulsed by our skin color and judged us on this without getting to know anything about our values and culture.We too are intelligent beings only that it took us time to industrialize and conform to the western ideal of "being civilized".
One thing I thank G-d for is that most of Africa(apart from N.Africa) can confidently say we never persecuted the Jews.Our history may be tainted by many things but not by the evil of hurting G-d's chosen nation. Hashem says,"... I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you...". If you look keenly at history this will reverberate so much clearer and humanity can know G-d means what He says.
I don't think much will change(pertaining man's view of dark skinned people) until G-d comes to reclaim His kingdom.We will remain the underdogs before mankind but at least I know our maker doesn't see us through the narrow scope of humanity.

I love Jews and may G-d increase you and prosper you for bearing the burden of G-d's identity.You as a nation has undergone a lot of atrocities because of standing firm on the truth of who G-d is.Your task is hard( Isaiah 42) but by G-d's grace you will continue to be a light unto the nations.


(22) Anonymous, June 27, 2015 6:08 PM

Dylan Roof has won

Dylan Roof has accomplished what he has set out to do. The controversy that is brewing over whether to allow the Confederate flag to fly over the State Capitol of South Carolina and other State buildings is causing enough controversy for his intentions of racial separation and hatred.

(21) Ray Saperstein, June 26, 2015 4:18 PM

We Jews are SOOO powerful

In an odd way, some of what these white-supremacists/anti-Semites is oddly humorous. If we are so powerful, and control so many things, you might think they would be afraid of us, or they would want us to be their good buddies. A friend had an encounter in a gas station, that somehow lead someone to accuse him of "killing my god". My freind responded "If I could kill your god, imagine what I can do to you".

(20) Anonymous, June 25, 2015 2:47 PM

Seattle and Overland Park, KS

The massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina brought to mind the Overland Park, KS shooting at the JCC on April 13, 2014 and the Seattle shooting at the Jewish Federation on April 13, 2014 on on July 28, 2006. Ideologically, Frazier Glenn Cross and Naveed Afzal Haq are on the same page as Dylan Storm Roof. These earlier tragedies should be bundled in to our understanding of Charleston and not omitted.

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