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In the category of: It’s always smelled really bad.
In the category of: The trend no one wants to see.
A dangerous breed of anti-Semitism, at once very old and very modern, is on the rise.
Exactly six months apart, two different shooters went into American synagogues during services with an intent to kill Jews. The Pittsburgh shooting on October 27 claimed 11 lives, the worst act of anti-Semitic violence in American history. The Poway shooting on April 27 — the last day of Passover — claimed one, a woman named Lori Gilbert Kaye, who threw herself in front of the synagogue’s rabbi and saved his life.
The attackers in both cases had something in common beyond a hatred for Jews: They were motivated by a very specific kind of anti-Semitic ideology, one focused on a fictional Jewish plot to destroy America by encouraging mass nonwhite immigration. Like the marchers in Charlottesville, Virginia, who chanted “Jews will not replace us,” they believe that Jews are masterminding a plot to undermine white supremacy in America by bringing in literal boatloads of nonwhite migrants.
This particular brand of anti-Semitism is both old and new. It’s old in the sense that anti-Semites, including Adolf Hitler, have long cast nonwhite migration to Western countries as a Jewish plot against the white race. It’s new in the sense that it flourishes and spreads on the internet, encouraging violence in a terrifyingly unpredictable fashion.
In the category of: It’s complicated.
However events play out in Venezuela over the coming hours, days, weeks, and months, the United States will be to a significant extent responsible for the outcome. This is our baby. We’ve come out in strong opposition to the government of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro. We just as strongly backed Juan Guaidó’s bid to name himself acting president of the country and rallied other countries to recognize the legitimacy of his claim to power. And it is wildly implausible that Guaidó would have launched his attempted coup without our knowledge and close involvement.
Of course, propagandists for the Pentagon would prefer that we not even call it a coup. In their sophistical view, Guaidó’s already the leader of the country, Maduro is a lawless usurper, and all Guaidó is attempting to do is bring the facts on the ground into alignment with this reality. But this is an ideologically motivated fantasy. Up until the events of Tuesday morning, Maduro was in control of the Venezuelan government, including its military. Guaidó then attempted to demonstrate that he had some members of the military on his side in order to convince the rest to join him. That’s the textbook definition of an attempted coup. As of Tuesday evening, it hadn’t worked. If events continue along these lines for much longer, it will be accurate to describe Guaidó’s actions as a failed coup.
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