Where there’s Antifa There is Antisemitism
Arutz Sheva, June 10, 2020Several demonstrations in Germany against restrictions of freedom due to the Corona pandemic included antisemitic incidents. The infiltration of Jew-hatred not related to anything Jewish or Israeli has been a frequent occurrence in Western mass protests in past decades. Now, an even worse illustration of this phenomenon has emerged: the violent expression of antisemitism during the anti-racist protests in the United States after the murder of George Floyd by a policeman in Minneapolis.Many of these were not demonstrations but sprees of lawless burning and looting. Some of the worst violence took place in Los Angeles. Various Jewish shops were destroyed in the Fairfax district. A variety of Jewish institutions were damaged including synagogues and a school. A statue of Raoul Wallenberg was smeared with anti-Semitic slogans. In Richmond, Virginia a Reform congregation, Beit Ahaba, had its windows smashed by rioters. Attacking synagogues is an act of antisemitism.Commentators highlighted aspects of antisemitism in the demonstrations. In the British daily, Telegraph, Zoe Strimpel wrote: “Yet alongside those peacefully protesting are those criminally marauding in the name of social justice. Some of these do it in the name of anti-racism – as seen above – and some in the name of anti-fascism. The ring-leaders of the anti-fascists are the loathsome group, Antifa.“While Antifa goes beyond Jews it seems that people purporting to be ‘antifascist or antiracist’ will sooner or later begin to behave like the lowest of criminals and bullies using a cause as an excuse for vandalism and destruction.…It is a notable irony that where there’s Antifa there is antisemitism.”Melanie Phillips pointed out the strange attitude of many Jewish organizations. She wrote that in a statement by the Jewish Council of Public Affairs, 130 organizations said that they were “outraged by the killing of Floyd, declared ‘solidarity’ with the Black community and called for ‘an end’ to ‘systemic racism.'” Phillips remarked: “They make no protest against the specifically targeted attacks on synagogues and Jewish businesses.” Phillips called Black Lives Matter, an “anti-white, anti-capitalist and anti-Jewish hate group.”The American Black Lives Matter movement aims to rectify the wrongs perpetrated against African American citizens in the past and present. Its 40,000 word manifesto accuses Israel of perpetrating genocide against Palestinians, labels Israel as an ‘apartheid state’ and joined with the BDS movement in calling for the total academic, cultural and economic boycott of the country. No such demands are made for any other state. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Antifa’s Complex Origins: ‘Terrorism’ or Anti-Fascism?
Seth J. Frantzman
Jerusalem Post, June 3, 2020
US President Donald Trump and many on the American Right have put “Antifa” front and center in the recent riots and protests that swept the country. Yet, despite the claims that an organized Antifa movement is somehow behind the “domestic terrorism” of the looting that has broken out in US cities, there is little knowledge about the group, its origins or even if it has an organized membership.
In many ways the US concentration on Antifa has amplified the group’s presence or the awareness of it, such that it may gain a following without having actually had much of one. As that takes place, there is a debate about whether Antifa is primarily a group of violent anarchist youth, mostly from privileged white backgrounds, or if it is an organized “anti-fascist” movement.
Those sympathetic to it would like to emphasize that its origins are “anti-fascist” and thus opposition to it is naturally “fascist.” That feeds a narrative that portrays Trump moving towards increased authoritarianism and “fascist” impulses.
Of course, for many on the radical or even normative Left in the US, the Republican Party is often characterized as “fascist.” Long forgotten now are the insults hurled at George W. Bush when he was in office and portrayed as heralding “fascism.”
Many explainers have sought to shed light on the origins of Antifa and its symbolism. They note that its members in the US and abroad are sometimes called the “black bloc” because of their tendency to wear black and cover their faces and engage in direct action against their perceived enemies during protests.
This youth protest movement arrived in the 1980s in Western Europe, preying on the lost generation of that era where the radical Left turned to “black bloc” anarchism and others turned to sport hooliganism. Ostensibly these groups were involved in various campaigns, whether environmental, opposing the US, or fighting “capitalism” – but their manifestation was generally in violence and looting.
On the other hand, they also claimed to be fighting against the rise of the far-right in Europe, particularly Germany, during the 1980s and ’90s. Some of them emerged in the US in 1999 during the “battle in Seattle” protests against the World Trade Organization. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
A Brief History of Antifa: Part I
Gatestone, June 12, 2020
U.S. Attorney General William Barr has blamed Antifa — a militant “anti-fascist” movement — for the violence that has erupted at George Floyd protests across the United States. “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” he said.
Barr also said that the federal government has evidence that Antifa “hijacked” legitimate protests around the country to “engage in lawlessness, violent rioting, arson, looting of businesses, and public property assaults on law enforcement officers and innocent people, and even the murder of a federal agent.” Earlier, U.S. President Donald J. Trump had instructed the U.S. Justice Department to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization.
Academics and media outlets sympathetic to Antifa have argued that the group cannot be classified as a terrorist organization because, they claim, it is a vaguely-defined protest movement that lacks a centralized structure. Mark Bray, a vocal apologist for Antifa in America and author of the book “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” asserts that Antifa “is not an overarching organization with a chain of command.”
Empirical and anecdotal evidence shows that Antifa is, in fact, highly networked, well-funded and has a global presence. It has a flat organizational structure with dozens and possibly hundreds of local groups. Not surprisingly, the U.S. Department of Justice is currently investigating individuals linked to Antifa as a step to unmasking the broader organization.
In the United States, Antifa’s ideology, tactics and goals, far from being novel, are borrowed almost entirely from Antifa groups in Europe, where so-called anti-fascist groups, in one form or another, have been active, almost without interruption, for a century.
What is Antifa?
Antifa can be described as a transnational insurgency movement that endeavors, often with extreme violence, to subvert liberal democracy, with the aim of replacing global capitalism with communism. Antifa’s stated long-term objective, both in America and abroad, is to establish a communist world order. In the United States, Antifa’s immediate aim is to bring about the demise of the Trump administration. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
The Preachers of the Great Awokening
Bo Winegard and Ben Winegard
Quillette, Sept. 21, 2018
From the sun-blanched beaches of California to the snow-covered cities of New England, a religious fervor is sweeping the United States. PhD-toting preachers spread the faith with righteous zeal, denouncing those who violate its sacred principles. Sinners are threatened not by an angry god, but by a righteous mob. The impenitent among them are condemned to be outcasts, while the contrite, if they properly mortify themselves and pledge everlasting fealty to the faith, can secure enough lost status to rejoin society, perhaps forever marked by a scarlet epithet. Racist. Sexist. Ableist. This is the religion of Wokeness, and this is the era of the Great Awokening.
In the following article, we will explore this quasi-religion, Wokeness, as a status system that functions predominantly to distinguish white elites from the white masses (whom we will call hoi polloi). It does this by offering a rich signalling vocabulary for traits and possessions such as education, intelligence, openness, leisure, wealth, and cosmopolitanism, all of which educated elites value (for a similar analysis, see Rehain Salam’s August essay in the Atlantic, discussed by David French in the National Review article linked above). From this perspective, the preachers of the Great Awokening—those who most ardently and eloquently articulate the principles of Wokeness—obtain status because they (a) signal the possession of desired traits and (b) promulgate a powerful narrative that legitimizes the status disparity between white elites and hoi polloi. The elites, according to these preachers, are morally righteous and therefore deserve status, whereas hoi polloi are morally backward and deserve obloquy and derision.
It’s important to note before we begin that this perspective does not contend that all the actors in this status system are cynical charlatans. In fact, it insists that many legitimately believe their assertions about pervasive racism, sexism, transphobia, et cetera, and feel compelled to preach their doctrine so as to make society more just. Sincere belief and status motives often conspire. For example, the famous preachers of the Great Awakening (from whom we derived our title) almost certainly believed the urgency of their message and the elaborate metaphysics of their faith, but also obtained status from their books and sermons.
Before analyzing Wokeness as a status system, we must understand it as a quasi-religious doctrine. Unlike scientific theories or other empirical claims, the basic tenets of Wokeness are held with sacred fervor. Those who challenge them are not debated; rather, their motives are denounced, and they are cast out of polite society like heretics. To take just one example, when someone objects to the Woke principle that “diversity is a strength,” committed believers rarely greet the objection as an opportunity for argument. Instead, they attack the apostate for his sacrilege, and accuse him of unspeakable moral treachery (see table below for other examples).
The chief dogmas of Wokeness are that:
All demographic groups are roughly biologically the same (which we have termed cosmic egalitarianism elsewhere).
Bigotry is pervasive.
Almost all disparities among demographic groups are caused by bigotry.
If we all work really hard, we can create a more just, multicultural society.
Diversity is almost always a good thing. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
For Further Reference:
Journalist Andy Ngo Sues Antifa for ‘Campaign of Terror’ after Alleged Assault: Yaron Steinbuch, National Post, June 5, 2020 — A conservative journalist filed a lawsuit against the far-left militant groups known as Antifa for waging a “campaign of terror and harassment” against him — days after President Trump blamed them for inciting violence during anti-police protests, according to reports.
The Cult Dynamics of Wokeness: James Lindsay, New Discourses, June 6, 2020 — Before I got involved in studying Critical Social Justice like I do now, I mostly studied the psychology of religion. I took particular interest in the more authoritarian and cultish elements that can spring up within otherwise more reasonable faith traditions. Cult indoctrinations, in particular, tend to follow very predictable stages. First, there is initiation; then there is indoctrination; and then there is reprogramming. These three phases are distinct and must be understood on their own terms.
WATCH; RefuseFa uses ANTIFA-like Tactics, Organizer Claims they Secured Money from Soros, Met with Steyer: Project Veritas, YouTube, June 11, 2020
Antifa Activist: ‘Riots, Uprisings Keep the System in Check’: NewsChannel5, June 8, 2020 — A local activist with the anti-racist movement Antifa talks with NewsChannel 5 Investigates
Antifa: Activist Facts: Center for Organizational Research and Education (CORE) — Antifa is a militant, loosely organized movement of far-left vandals, rioters, and other criminals who advocate for Marxism.