Anti-Semitic attacks appear across America


Jada McGlothin

The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks hate groups in Virginia

Jada McGlothin, Staff Writer

The Holocaust may have ended over 70 years ago, but the hateful rhetoric of Anti-Semitism lives on. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the number of hate groups rose by 55% since 2017. Due to this, attacks against minority groups have become more common and public.

“Recognizing [anti-Semitism] is important because it acknowledges a group of people who have endured a great deal of misinformed hate over the past few centuries,” sophomore Salma Yousufzai said.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Anti-Semitic attacks increased by 12% in 2019, including 2,100 reported acts of vandalism, harassment and assault. According to Reuters, White Supremacist groups have posed the most lethal and persistent threat of violence and extremism in the U.S. in recent years. With the rise of COVID-19 restrictions, police violence, and 2020 election results, domestic terrorism is at an all time high.

“I am concerned that Jewish people may face more rampant racism in 2021 due to the increase of anti-Semitism [over the] years,” Yousufzai said.

A catalyst to this situation is the renewal of past ideas through groups like Neo-Nazis. According to ADL, the display of phrases such as “6 Million Wasn’t Enough” (6MWE), meaning the number of Jewish deaths during the Holocaust wasn’t enough, is used as a way to intimidate Jewish citizens. Additionally, the term “Blut und Ehre” (Blood and Honor), which was a phrase used by the Hitler Youth, is used to ostracise Jewish citizens.

“I personally think it’s disgusting that people still can justify 6 million lives being tortured and ultimately thrown away,” sophomore Jaeden Persaud said. 

According to WAMU, even though anti-Semitic attacks in Virginia have decreased by 26% since 2017, there has been a slew of occurrences. According to WTOP news, in 2019, three cases of vandalism involving swastikas occurred across northern Virginia These sites included Mount Daniel Elementary School in Falls Church, a drainage Tunnel at McLearen Road and Black Willow Drive in Loudon County.

“Response to [anti-Semitism] is important because of the way [Jewish people] are now being targeted at a much [higher rate],” Persaud said.

Though the Jan. 6, attack on the U.S. Capitol building was spurred on by an attempt to retake the election from then-President-elect Biden, it brought a multitude of anti-Semitic displays. According to the Jewish Telegraph Agency, the Neo-Nazi group NSC-31 participated in the insurrection displayed in the nation’s Capital. A rioter also adorned a ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt with a “staff” label.

“The anti-semitism in the terrorist attack at the Capitol is a clear reflection of how little progress America has made since social issues became mainstream,” Yousufzai said.

In response, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have set up special task-forces to combat anti-Semitism. According to the JBI Consultation on USA anti-Semitism, the U.S. federal government has also increased funding for Holocaust education programs and the protection of religious sites. 

“[I believe] the Jewish community will be strong and make their voices loud and clear [against anti-Semitism], and [they] will be echoed by the people who will stand against the ignorant and the violent,” Persaud said.