There’s no question that antisemitism continues to rise on social media, a trend that began to spike with the election of former president Donald Trump. Nevertheless, since the Oct 7 Hamas attacks on Israel and the continued bombardment of Palestinian civilians, Islamophobia has seen a major increase over the last two months as well.
Much of it can be attributed to the war against civilians in Palestine. However, a lot of it can and should be blamed on the overall Islamophobia that has been inherent in the United States since the Sep 11, 2001 attacks. Evidence of this isn’t hard to find, especially when we look at statements from the Department of State (State) and the White House and the actions of a former official who worked under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
All of this has culminated in not just attacks on pro-human rights protesters by pro-Israel counter-protesters globally but has also manifested in violent threats against Muslims across the US – including threats against Rashida Tlaib during a live event on X Spaces, a recent shooting of three Palestinian students in Burlington, Vermont for speaking Arabic, and the murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian boy in Chicago in mid-October.
While hate crimes against Black people are still the most common in the US, hate groups have seen an uptick in recruitment over the last decade. Many groups like the Proud Boys and Active Club (formerly the Rise Above Movement) continue to succeed in promoting hate thanks in large part to revenue from wealthy donors and merchandise sales.
But because of political promotion via White House spokespersons and special interest groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the rise in Islamophobia is growing at near-unprecedented levels. Even some of the antisemitism can be attributed to them and people like Michael Rappaport who promotes antisemitic tropes in his own social media posts while claiming to stand up for Jewish people.
In a similar fashion, the ADL has allowed Elon Musk’s antisemitism to get by with light criticism because – despite him playing on the same racist tropes as Rappaport – he has taken sides with Israel’s colonization of Palestinian territory. The ADL even removed Chaya Raichik (Libs of TikTok) from its list of extremists after she began promoting Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments in favor of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
If you were wondering how the ADL, AIPAC, and other similar groups are doing harm to Jewish people all over the world, this is how. In an article for Unicorn Riot, in which I cited a recent report from Rutgers University Law School Center for Security, Race, and Rights, I covered this and the damage it is doing to people in real-world situations.
As someone who has tackled hate groups for decades and debunked countless antisemitic tropes, I also warned the White House, State, and society at large about their rhetoric and the harm they are doing to both Jewish people and Muslims to what seems like no avail. Now, in an alarming trend, extremists are attacking Muslims and Arabs in the US with the intent to kill and there is little outrage from the public as celebrities and politicians continue to promote hate.
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