Israeli Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu worries that antisemitism has developed into a more subtle hatred that has allowed people to more easily normalize it.
“I would say that antisemitism today has taken on a pernicious new form, because it’s not fashionable to say you’re an antisemite,” Netanyahu said during an interview with The Blaze. “You say, ‘Well, I’m anti-Zionist’ – You don’t even say, ‘I’m anti-Israel,’ you say, ‘I’m anti-Zionist.’”
“Well, I’m not against the Jews, I just don’t think they should have a state of their own,” he clarified. “It’s like, I’m not anti-American, I just don’t think you should be an American.”
Netanyahu secured a third run as prime minister of Israel after his coalition secured a majority in November’s election. His return to power comes at a time when antisemitism is on the rise across the world: Antisemitic incidents reported in the United States reached an “all-time high” in 2021, with an average of seven incidents per day, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
In 2019, a study found that 25% of Europeans hold antisemitic beliefs, which ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called “deeply concerning.” He warned that “much work remains to be done to educate broad swaths of the populations in many of these countries to reject bigotry.”
Discussion about antisemitism returned to headlines after Ye, aka Kanye West, threatened to go “Death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” then claimed he couldn’t be antisemitic because “black people are actually Jew” and implied Jewish people “have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
Nets’ guard Kyrie Irving then posted a link to a video called “Hebrew to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which is based on a book that contains antisemitic disinformation.
Netanyahu in a previous interview with Fox News Digital said that antisemitism is the “oldest hatred,” going back “thousands of years.”
“Every generation produces its new brand of antisemitism, sometimes coupled with the old,” Netanyahu had explained. “The Jews are accused by the communists of being capitalists, by the capitalists of being communists … It’s as old as time.”
“But what has changed is that antisemitism. It ebbs and flows,” he added. “What has changed is the capacity of the Jewish people to defend themselves against antisemitism, and especially against violent antisemitism.”
In his talk with Beck, Netanyahu went further and said that people “blame the Jews categorically, which is absurd.”
“You wouldn’t do that with any group. Antisemites are just anti-Jews … It just happens to be a definition of the complete negation of the Jewish people, per se,” he clarified. “That’s it.”
ADL stats indicated last year’s antisemitism incident rate increased 34% over the previous year. The group has tracked such incidents since 1979.
Incidents of antisemitic assaults saw the biggest increase – skyrocketing by 167% from 33 in 2020 to 88 in 2021, the audit found.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones and Brie Stimson contributed to this report.