Parody of Itamar Ben Gvir on Eretz Nehederet.

Last weekend, Eretz Nehederet (A Wonderful Country), Israel’s version of Saturday Night Live, broadcast a skit lampooning newly elected Member of Knesset Itamar Ben Gvir. In response to the skit, MK Ben Gvir tweeted, “Until today, Eretz Nehederet caused me to chuckle… Today a red line was crossed: comparing me to Nazis and dressing me up with an armband as if I was a Nazi harms first and foremost the six million Jews who were slaughtered and cremated. For shame.”

In the skit, Eretz Nehederet parodies the Israeli Independence Day celebration with an actor portraying Ben Gvir wearing an armband…


Federal police were powerless to stop supporters of the deposed president from storming the National Assembly. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)

Washington, DC, USA — Encouraged by the vitriol of its strongman autocrat, Donald Trump, the capital city of the United States was besieged by thousands of rioters who attempted to stop the national assembly from counting ballots from the disputed recent election. Scores of Trump loyalists smashed the windows of the legislative palace and stormed parliament, forcing lawmakers to suspend the session and flee to their offices. Gunfire erupted in the halls of the national assembly, killing at least one person, when the mob forced their way into the upper house. …


In the decades after the riots which occurred in June and July of 1969 originating at New York’s Stonewall Inn, a mafia-run bar which catered to an LGBTQ+ clientele, a popular narrative took hold: the rioters were catalyzed to action not only by the police raid on the bar, but also sadness sparked by the funeral of Judy Garland, the acclaimed film star and beloved gay icon, who was laid to rest earlier that day in New York City. There are no contemporaneous accounts of the protestors attributing their action to the death of Judy Garland, but still the narrative…


In 1886, Édouard Drumont, who can only be described as a professional antisemite, wrote in his antisemitic screed, La France juive (Jewish France) “All comes from the Jew; all returns to the Jew.” Monsieur Drumont would find himself in good company today as the smoldering embers of antisemitism endemic across the globe are fanned into a full-scale conflagration by coronavirus conspiracy theorists.

Antisemitism on display by someone protesting Ohio’s stay-at-home order.

This new global pandemic has created some very strange bedfellows: American far-right bigots have joined with radicals in the middle east to either accuse Jews of creating coronavirus, being especially susceptible to it, or being impervious to its…


President George Washington’s 1790 letter emancipating the Jews of the United States.

Throughout 1789 and 1790 George Washington was traveling across the nascent United States “to acquire knowledge of the face of the Country, the growth and Agriculture thereof, and the temper and disposition of the Inhabitants towards the new government.” In 1789 he skipped Rhode Island because they had yet to ratify the new Constitution, but by August of 1790 they had done so, and President Washington came to pay them a special visit. Among the prominent citizens he met with in Newport was Moses Seixas, one of the officials of Yeshuat Israel, the first Jewish congregation in Newport. This meeting…


On June 23, 1944, a delegation of Red Cross inspectors entered the Nazi ghetto/concentration camp of Theresienstadt. As a response to the reports of horrific conditions at Nazi concentration camps throughout Europe, including camps devoted to mass murder, this inspection was carried out to both dispel those “rumors” and appease Scandinavian leaders concerned about the wellbeing of Jewish citizens deported by the Nazis. The Nazis described Theresienstadt, also known as Terezin, as a “spa town” where elderly Jews went to retire under Nazi “protection.” In preparation for the Red Cross inspection, the victims held in Terezin were forced to plant…


Twenty-five years ago, on April 6, 1994, the plane carrying Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana was shot down as it was preparing to land in Kigali, Rwanda. This assassination kicked off 100 days of unimaginable horror in the form of ethnic cleansing perpetrated on minority Tutsis by Hutus. This genocide resulted in an estimated 800,000 dead, roughly 70% of the Tutsi population. While the downing of the presidential plane touched off the violence, the seeds of the genocide were planted much earlier.

Over 5,000 people seeking refuge in Ntarama church were killed by grenade, machete, or rifle, or burnt alive.

Colonialism, a revolution, and a civil war all predated the genocide by decades, but the one constant during these…


Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)

It is said that “an antisemite is someone who hates Jews more than is absolutely necessary.” This chestnut of dark Jewish humor (is there any other kind of authentic Jewish humor?) can perhaps help us better understand the significance of the antisemitic tweets written earlier this week by Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. The comments evoked the age-old antisemitic imagery of Jews as money-grubbing power brokers who use their insidious networks to further their own causes at the expense of others. Simply pointing out that lobbyists like AIPAC use their financial resources to influence governments is not in and of…


Ian McKellen as Max in an early production of Martin Sherman’s Bent.

Earlier this month Theatre Cedar Rapids opened a production of Martin Sherman’s 1979 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play, Bent, which tells the story of Max, a gay man living in Nazi Germany, and his persecution at the hands of the government, and society at large. This production makes a grave mistake which necessitiates a careful analysis of how we remember the Holocaust.

Upon entering the theatre the audience is invited to select from an assortment of fabric swatches representing the badges worn by victims of the Holocaust. Most famously, during the time of the Holocaust, Jews were frequently forced…


As an academic I have become accustomed to a certain predictability accompanying the start of the fall semester; campus flowerbeds are tended, colleagues with grand plans for a fruitful summer lament their lack of productivity, and instances of overt anti-Semitism haunt campus.

At my employer alone, four separate instances of anti-Semitic graffiti have been reported since the school year began. This is to say nothing of the slew of racist incidents at colleges and universities across the nation thi…

Samuel J. Aronson

Holocaust Historian and Georgetown University Assistant Dean

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