How Anti-Semitism Happens Programmatically, And In Real Time

Apologies if today’s RTBlog isn’t technically about technology, but it is about something happening in real time and, I believe, programmatic at some level.

It’s about a slow-rolling, creeping anti-Semitism that has been fueled over the past few years, which is manifesting beyond simple hate speech into murderous attacks on Jewish Americans.

The real-time nature is what we watch play out on TV news and social media when the attacks manifest -- whether it is the one yesterday in Monsey, NY, or the one a couple of weeks ago in Jersey City, NJ, or the one a little more than a year ago at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Ironically, these attacks have been waged against Orthodox Jews, the ones that the very same Administration fueling much of the anti-Semitism professes is part of its base.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the President tweeted a poll conducted by Ami Magazine finding that 89% of Orthodox Jews approve of the President. It also found that 92.5% trust the President and “the Republicans” when it comes to fighting anti-Semitism.

The President tweeted the poll the same day he signed an executive order reclassifying Jewish Americans as a distinct nationality. The White House said the order was made to protect Jewish Americans, but the move reinforces the notion that Jews are “the other,” which is the underlying root of anti-Semitism.

The day after the order, two gunmen attacked a Kosher supermarket in an Orthodox Jewish community in Jersey City.

I understand why Orthodox Jews support the President and Republicans. They are, by definition, conservative. They also align with the Administration’s pro-Israel stance and policies.

Only about 10% of American Jews identify themselves as Orthodox, but they are the ones experiencing the front line of a wave of American anti-Semitism, because they are the most visible and community-based American Jews.

Whatever their identity, American Jews are experiencing more anti-Semitism. According to the New York City Police Department, reports of anti-Semitic crimes are up 63% this year vs. last year, and they have been rising in recent years.

The fans fueling anti-Semitism aren’t just coming from Washington, but also from -- of all places -- The New York Times. On Friday, the paper published a column by Bret Stephens about “The Secrets of Jewish Genius,” which included tropes many believe to be anti-Semitic.

On Sunday, the Times revised the original version of the column, removing a citation to a 2005 paper that “advanced a genetic hypothesis for the basis of intelligence among Ashkenazi Jews,” explaining: “After publication Mr. Stephens and his editors learned that one of the paper’s authors, who died in 2016, promoted racist views.”

This slow-rolling, creeping anti-Semitism is happening in real-time, and it’s happening in a way that seems almost programmatic: marginalizing Jews by classifying them as “the other,” and now, literally reclassifying them as a different race. That’s how race wars begin.

4 comments about "How Anti-Semitism Happens Programmatically, And In Real Time".
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  1. Jeff Bander from , December 30, 2019 at 11:11 a.m.

    Joe a few points. The Torah clearly and repeatedly tells Abraham, Isaac,Jacob, Moses and all Jews that He will make us into a great nation. Secondly, if you see the hostile environment many Jewish college students are subjected too you might understand the thinking behind following what G-D already made clear, the Jewish people are a nation. Don't worry, the best is yet to come. Evil will be gone very soon. Happy new year  

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, December 30, 2019 at 1:36 p.m.

    Legends. All religions are based on legends. Yes, we have a cultural alliance, we are not a nation. That is how hitler, mussolini and so many others throughout history were able to kill us. Muslims are not a nation either. 

  3. Eric Nelson from Dicom Inc., December 30, 2019 at 2:51 p.m.

    Joe, while Im a fan of your work, I think this is a bit out of place and a misguided attempt to simply pile onto the current President.  a veiled attempt it feel to be ploitical in a space that is not typically political outside specific policy around advertising and media.  I would love the opportunity to discuss where you are misguided one on one and dont think that this is the correct forum for such a discussion.  Primarily calling Jews "the Other" when you would not lable any other minority in the same way.  Based on the inference that I take from your article, you seem to be making the point that Jews are "asking for it" because we are now classified the same way as African Americans, Latino's, or LGBTQ groups.  As I said, I wlemon any opportunity to discuss personally with you or anyone interested in the topic at

  4. Joe Mandese from MediaPost Inc., December 30, 2019 at 4:17 p.m.

    @Eric Nelson: Interesting that you read it that way. I was actually making a case that anti-Semitism is on the rise, and that it correlates to some actions taken by the current Administration, and I explicitly stated that the President's executive order designating Jews as a separate nationality fuels it by perpetuating the trope that Jews are "the other" (ie. not one of us).

    As an American Jew, I question why the President would do that. I consider my nationality to be an American of Jewish heritage, just as my Italian side is an American of Italian heritage.

    There was no need for an executive order classifying American Jews that way, because they were already protected under the same civil rights laws as all other Americans.

    We don't classify African Americans, Latinos, etc. as separate nationalities.

    It's a weird move at a time when anti-Semitism is already on the rise.

    Re. your question about it outside specific policy related to advertising and media, that's fair, which is why I prefaced the column by addressing that. Normally, I would tackle this subject in "Red, White & Blog" in Marketing Politics Weekly, but that won't publish until the end of the week due to New Year's Day holiday.

    I do think the column is relevant to people in the media and marketing industry, especially the point about Bret Stephens' column and the New York Times' decision to revise it.

    Thank you for taking the time to address your views one-on-one with me, or as a comment on this post.


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