Betsy L. Ames: Anti-Semitism can’t stay invisible

Published: 1/11/2021 3:34:13 PM
Modified: 1/11/2021 3:33:52 PM

The invisibility of anti-Semitism is what strikes me about the media coverage of the events of Wednesday, Jan. 6. I was pleased that President-elect Joe Biden denounced the insurgents as “anti-Semites.”

Yet, there’s a narrative being widely circulated on the right about something called “The Great Reset.” The left doesn’t seem to realize what we’re looking at. The narrative of “The Great Reset” is not new. It’s a reincarnation of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which began the myth that there’s a secret “conspiracy” about Jews trying to rule the world. “The Protocols” was widely circulated as Hitler rose to power and was used to justify the Holocaust. He used the economic hardship resulting from the collapse of their currency to consolidate power by blaming the Jews.

The right wingers who stormed the Capitol building believe that Biden/Harris are part of this global “conspiracy.” “Build Back Better” was Biden’s campaign slogan and is also the slogan of “The Great Reset.” Those who stormed the Capitol see themselves as the “liberators” of this country, fighting against the tyranny of the globalist/socialists/communists represented by Biden/Harris.

This very same “conspiracy” was used by white supremacists to explain their defeat in the civil rights movement. Those who could not accept that a supposedly “inferior” race could have defeated the “superior” white race, adopted the narrative that the civil rights movement was actually the work of a global conspiracy of Jews as an attempt to make the white race impure.

Today, the good work of the Black Lives Matter movement is still being undermined by it. So are Biden’s chances of actually being able to contain the pandemic — the more he clamps down and imposes restrictions, the more he will be seen as part of the “conspiracy.” Our awareness of this, or lack thereof, will inform what kind of response we are able to coordinate.

Yet I don’t hear the left nearly enough discussing the role of anti-Semitism in derailing things. Again. Any response to the serious situation in front of us must include a direct response to the anti-Semitism. We cannot allow it to remain invisible any longer.

Betsy Ames

Northampton




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