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Assault, Harassment, Vandalism Against Jews At Near-Historic Levels In The U.S.

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Visitors photograph each other while standing on concrete slabs at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin in 2016.
NPR
Visitors photograph each other while standing on concrete slabs at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin in 2016.

Antisemitism and far-right nationalism are on the rise around the world, including in the United States. Some of those who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 openly conveyed antisemitic images and sentiments.

Conspiracy theories about the Jewish people run rampant online, going so far as to assign blame for the spread of coronavirus.

According to a 2020 report from the American Jewish Committee, 88% of Jews considered antisemitism a problem today in the U.S., 37% had been personally victimized by antisemitism within the past five years.

The FBI's latest Hate Crimes Statistics report found that 60.2% of religious bias hate crimes targeted Jews in 2019. As many as six antisemitic incidents occurred every day in that year, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

What's being done to combat hate-based rhetoric online and religiously biased crime? What's to blame for the perpetuation of harmful Jewish stereotypes and misinformation?

Jan. 25-29 is Texas Holocaust Remembrance Week. How do we contextualize the modern-day relevance of this crucial history? How can individuals and communities help curb the spread of antisemitism?

Guests:

  • Alex Newhouse, digital research lead for the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies
  • Holly Huffnagle, U.S. Director for Combating Antisemitism with the American Jewish Committee
  • Nammie Ichilov, interim CEO of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio and director of the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, January 27.