Anti-Semitism’s Role in the ‘22 Midterm Elections

November 14, 2022
Lauren Frank

Olney, Maryland, United States

Class of 2023

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Recently, anti-Semitic messages have been expressed more publically by prominent figures and conservative political candidates, on social media and in real life. No day seems to go by without another anti-Semetic incident flooding the news. In this unfortunate and ongoing reality, Jewish people grow increasingly worried for their safety. The combination of an already deeply divided country, public figures’ influential platforms, and hard-fought midterm campaigns has contributed to this concern among American Jews. While similar themes of anti-Semitism have occurred in the past, people are growing increasingly worried about what the country could look like moving forward, especially after the midterm elections.

Some have started to question whether it’s safe to live in America, considering the weight extremist voices and bigotry have in the stability of the country. In the opinion piece American Jews Start To Think The Unthinkable, Dana Milbank describes this unfathomable but possible situation. Referring to recent incidents that have sparked anti-Semitism like Kanye West’s Twitter rampage and Elon Musk’s Twitter ownership, Milbank emphasizes the danger Jews are put in if the liberal democracy in this country crumbles. Alluding to pre-World War II times, Milbank states “Without these [protections in the government], Jews, start packing suitcases.”

When political tensions over any issue surface, the continuing trend seems to be a rise anti-Semitism. At the root, anti-Semitism is an attack on some of America’s core values, like, the First Amendment’s freedom of religion. While the protection of the law is significant, urgent action isn’t  always immediate.

Vital midterm election results will soon determine just how important anti-Semitism affects the public. In Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race, Jewish-democrat Josh Shapiro faces Republican Doug Mastriano in a key race. Shapiro has faced comments from Mastriano and his supporters that are backed by resentment, distrust, and conspiracy. Candidates like Mastraino are yet another source of extremism and anti-Semitism that voters can echo messages from.

The rise in anti-Semitic hate speech in politics greatly contributes to the alarming rate at which these bigoted messages spread, so politicians and government officials must advocate for their Jewish constituents. Instead of standing back  as usual, allowing the hate to continue by failing to act, then it would ease the uncertainty Jews face . Will these political candidates, right-wing or not, stand up for Jewish people and condemn the hate?

Lauren Frank is a BBG from NRE: DC Council who loves music and spending time with friends.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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