As candidates campaign for Congressional seats across the United States this summer, anti-Israel and in some cases overtly anti-Semitic views have manifested themselves among outliers in both parties.
These candidacies showcase familiar tropes on the left and right, respectively. Though right-wing groups are generally anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim as well, their opposition to integration and their ongoing embrace of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are intensely threatening to Jews. On the left, the demonization of Israel and the double standards applied to it have increased the stigmatization and marginalization of the Jewish state. This trend has fueled momentum for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and for harassment of Jewish students on university campuses.
Not all of these candidates, or others who share their views, will prevail in November. But the lesson for now is that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic exponents continue to find a voice in the public discourse and landing spaces in our political system. How mainstream officials and institutions in both parties react to these outliers and their ideas will shape the future of U.S. policy with respect to pluralism and Middle East policy.
Eric Fusfield, Esq. has been B’nai B’rith International’s director of legislative affairs since 2003 and deputy director of the B’nai B’rith International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy since 2007. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University in history; an M.St. in modern Jewish studies from Oxford University; and a J.D./M.A. from American University in law and international affairs. Click here to read more from Eric Fusfield.
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