Two weeks ago, during morning prayers at my synagogue, a young black man burst into the sanctuary, gave a “Heil Hitler” salute, and made a machine-gun motion with his hands. Worshippers chased him out, and we called police, but they did not come in time.
The incident was incredibly strange, but also a reminder that there is a real threat of antisemitism and neo-Nazism. Ironically, I was spending much of my week fighting false, defamatory “Nazi” accusations about Breitbart by the likes of Howard Dean.
Calling someone a “Nazi” is absurd hyperbole, and it often discredits the person making the claim. But in the current climate, the term “Nazi” is highly inflammatory, because people are upset about the recent election and looking for someone to blame.
Some individuals and organizations are deliberately hyping the paranoia. The Anti-Defamation League — which should drop the “Anti,” since it has been responsible for so much defamation these past few weeks — actually compared Trump’s proposal to track immigrants from terror-prone countries to the way that Nazis registered Jews during the Holocaust, to kill them later.