Monday, August 03, 2020

(JNS) “Far-right anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States and Europe, but the response from both Jewish communities and law enforcement agencies has been defensive and case by case, rather than proactive and comprehensive,” Yigal Carmon, the president of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), told JNS in a recent interview.

The threat to freedom in the United States is twofold, said Carmon.

On the one hand is the jihadi threat, which manifests in terrorist attacks but is rooted in the ideological incitement of preachers in the mosques. On the other hand are white supremacists, neo-Nazis, fascists and others who frequently pose a mortal threat to Jews and people of color. Like the jihadists, the white supremacists also target the LGBT community, said Carmon.

“This deadly two-pronged attack is engendering a situation where dignified and safe Jewish communal life in America is almost impossible,” said Carmon.

Although ideology and actions are inextricably intertwined, “Americans generally imagine that a wall separates the two,” said Carmon, adding that “Europe, which experienced the Second World War, knows better and criminalizes Nazi, racist, xenophobic speech, as well as Holocaust denial.”

According to a report by The New York Times in November last year, U.S. law enforcement was unprepared for the threat coming from white supremacists. According to Carmon, this is one of the areas where he feels MEMRI has a role to play.

“We see our mission as providing [U.S. law enforcement agencies] with research assistance on both the jihadi and white supremacist fronts,” said Carmon, through “following social media professionally.”

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