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Dealing With Hatred: Mixed Signals

Dealing With Hatred: Mixed Signals


Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

Hatred continues to spike just like COVID-19. Racial tension, police violence, and the political inspired response have spread throughout the country and the world. In the face of all the protests, it is appalling that the Congress is unable to agree on a constrictive legislative path to address this tragedy. Faced with a critical moment in race relations in the United States, the House and the Senate cannot even agree how to address the outrage of lynching but prefers to continue just posturing and pontificating.

Hatred, however, is not the exclusive province of bigots and racists in the United States against Black people. In fact, there are a number of recent examples of hatred which have manifested themselves outside of America. There was even a small positive sign of a political leader trying to address a manifestation of anti-Semitism in his country.

As the Netanyahu Government contemplates proceeding with the annexation of approximately 30% of the West Bank, the leading Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported that young Jewish settlers from some of the existing West Bank settlements were attacking random Palestinians who were picnicking on their own land. Largely unreported by the Palestinians for fear of retribution, these attacks were orchestrated against families enjoying a day off. Such ugly beatings rang true to similar analogies of the treatment received by Native Americans from many white settlers as they moved West in 19th Century America.

Meanwhile, the “hottest” popular video-sharing system, TikTok, being used largely by teenagers, has become a prominent means for the transmission of global anti-Semitism, Holocaust denying, and far-right social media attacks. TikTok, which emanates from China, is a new mechanism with a young audience, now engaging in traditional, far-right attacks against Jews and Israel. Over the past four months, 25% of its far-right-wing postings related to Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism. These included Hitler’s speeches, Nazi videos, as well as old German propaganda.

On a somewhat more positive note, the British Labour Party is slowly trying to reform itself and police the anti-Semitism voiced by many of its members. When Sir Keir Starmer became the new leader of the Labour Party, among the very first things he did was to pledge to attack anti-Semitism within the Labour Party rebuild trust for Labour within the Jewish community.

Recognizing the damage that the former leader of the Party Jeremy Corbyn had done to Labour’s relationship to the British Jewish community, Jews, Israel, and hatemongering, the new Labour Party leader acted very swiftly yesterday. He demonstrated he was more than just talking about re-building trust.

After the shadow education secretary Rebecca Long Bailey shared an article that contained anti-Semitic conspiracy theory linking the killing of George Floyd to Israel, Starmer instructed Long Bailey to stand down immediately as shadow Education Secretary. He refused to accept Rebecca Long Bailey support of this anti-Semitic theory. The Labour Party has a way to go to repair the damage done by Corbyn and his cronies, but this is demonstrative action by the leader of the Labour Party, not mere words.

Hatred continues to take numerous forms and is rampant in the world. Only vigilance by all can succeed in stopping it.

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