Netanyahu’s embrace of far-right leaders leaves Jews vulnerable to anti-Semitism

By aligning himself with nationalist leaders who foster white supremacy, Netanyahu has abandoned world Jewry in a bid to bolster his own nationalist machinations.

US President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Rachel Shenhav-Goldberg writes in +972:

For some years now, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been forming close diplomatic relations with far-right nationalist world leaders. This alignment might promote Netanyahu’s plan to strengthen Jewish nationalism in Israel, but it concomitantly weakens diaspora Jews and makes them more vulnerable to anti-Semitism and hate crimes in their own countries.

Over the last five decades, anti-Semitism was in decline, particularly in the United States. Jews in the United States occupy powerful political positions, are key figures in the worlds of business and entertainment, are well integrated into American society. They are American in every sense of the word. However, as the horrific act of terror in a San Diego synagogue painfully reminded us last week, white nationalists and white supremacists have never accepted Jews as equals — or even as white.

White supremacy definitely still exists. Destroying 500 years of institutional structures and the internalization of privileged status is not that easy. Even the election of President Obama was in many ways merely a facade of progressiveness — a false hope. Research has shown that racism against black Americans actually increased during President Obama’s time in office. Furthermore, President Trump’s promise to “make America great again” gave white nationalists and white supremacists a nod to raise their heads and act.

The Anti-Defamation League reported that in the past year, a total of 1,879 incidents of harassment, vandalism, and physical assault were committed against Jews in the United States. This represents the third-highest number of reported incidents since the 1970s.

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