U.S. anti-semitism at worst level since 1930s, ADL leader says

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At the open­ing to the Anti-defama­tion League’s (ADL) con­fer­ence on anti-semitism, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s na­tional direc­tor said anti-jewish ha­tred in Amer­ica is worse than at any point since the 1930s.

Jonathan Green­blatt, speak­ing Nov. 17 at the open­ing of the ADL’S “Never Is Now” sum­mit in New York, said cur­rents on both the far right and far left have led to anti-semitism’s resur­gence. He men­tioned the plat­form of the Move­ment for Black Lives pub­lished this year that ac­cused Is­rael of geno­cide.

Green­blatt also de­tailed the anti-semitic at­tacks that rose dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, men­tion­ing the ap­point­ment of Stephen Ban­non as the chief strate­gist to pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump. Ban­non was the chair­man of Bre­it­bart News, a web­site Ban­non called the “plat­form for the alt-right,” a loose move­ment of the far right whose fol­low­ers traf­fic var­i­ously in white na­tion­al­ism, anti-im­mi­gra­tion sen­ti­ment, anti-semitism and a dis­dain for “po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.”

“The Amer­i­can Jewish com­mu­nity, our com­mu­nity, has not seen this level of anti-semitism in main­stream po­lit­i­cal and pub­lic dis­course since the 1930s,” Green­blatt said. “Sadly, it is only be­ing matched with es­ca­lat­ing lev­els of hate to­ward other mi­nori­ties to­day.”

Ad­dress­ing re­ports that Trump’s tran­si­tion team is con­sid­er­ing cre­at­ing a registry of Mus­lims in the United States, Green­blatt pledged that he would sign up as a Mus­lim. He re­ferred to the apoc­ryphal story about the king of Den­mark promis­ing to wear a yel­low star if it would be re­quired of the Scan­di­na­vian coun­try’s Jews.

“As Jews, we know what it means to be reg­is­tered, or tar­geted, held out as dif­fer­ent from our fel­low cit­i­zens,” Green­blatt said. “We as Jews know the right and just re­sponse. I pledge to you right here and now, be­cause I’m com­mit­ted to the fight against anti-semitism, if one day Amer­i­can Mus­lims will be forced to regis­ter their iden­tity, that is the day this proud Jew will regis­ter as a Mus­lim.”

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