Anti-Jewish hate is one of humanity’s oldest problems. Since the earliest existence of the Jewish people, majority groups have blamed Jews for the problems of society and the world.
This has frequently turned violent, as can be seen during the Middle Ages with frequent anti-Jewish massacres and up to Nazi Germany’s horrific Holocaust and the expulsion of Jews from Arabic countries after the war.
Now Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi) is warning about a new source of the “oldest hatred.”
His comments come as outrage spirals over President Trump’s dinner with anti-Jewish rapper Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
Bibi Blasts New Source of Anti-Semitic Hate
Speaking to the American news channel NBC, Netanyahu said he sees a worrisome new source of anti-Semitic bile: the internet.
According to Netanyahu, the internet and social media are amplifying and increasing polarization and racist hate against Jews.
As the leader of a Jewish country and a Jewish individual, this obviously concerns him.
Calling discrimination against Jews “wrong,” Netanyahu said that the internet concerns him in particular because it gives “extra life” to conspiracies and anti-Semitic ideas so they can spread and multiply.
As some experts have pointed out, although many may find the Holocaust denial of Ye and Fuentes to be bizarre and unconvincing, not everyone will.
What’s more is that social media and sites like TikTok allow people to chop up comments by these individuals and make what they’re saying sound more reasonable or convincing than it actually is.
Alex Jones desperately tries to get Kanye West to clarify that he doesn't actually love Hitler … but nope.
Ye: "There's a lot of things that I love about Hitler. A lot of things." pic.twitter.com/QI87RNcx8A
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) December 1, 2022
Is Bibi Right?
In this case, Netanyahu was talking about Trump having Ye and Fuentes over for dinner at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. Trump says he was just checking up on Ye’s mental health as an old friend and claimed not to know who Fuentes was.
Other sources claim Trump said that Fuentes “gets him” and that he really liked him.
Saying that the internet has “many blessings,” Netanyahu nonetheless said one of the downsides is “polarization” and the spread of hate.
Saying the “extreme right” and “extreme left” both hate Jews, Netanyahu said it particularly concerns him when these two ideologies overlap in blaming Jews for the world’s problems.
While Bibi has a point about the internet spreading disinformation and hate, it also has just as much capacity to spread true information and bring people together.
So his comments and this kind of worry should not serve as a pretext for a more controlled internet: we’ve seen how that turned out in China and it’s not good.
So Ye now has Nick Fuentes in his entourage and he is a fan of actual Nazi's.
He has gone off the deep end and I truly hope this doesn't gain momentum
— AmyBee (@AmyBeePhoenix) December 2, 2022
The Bottom Line
The internet has the capacity to bring us together and drive us apart. There’s no way we can escape its power and influence in our day and age, but we can take Netanyahu’s warning seriously while still ensuring that the internet remains as free and open as possible.This article appeared in StatesmanPost and has been published here with permission.