(((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump

In (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of TrumpNew York Times deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman (No. 4 Imperial Lane) delivers a concise but penetrating analysis of the rise of an anti-Semitic alt-right that has coincided with Trump's political ascendancy. And he offers a constructive prescription for countering what he calls a "new movement of prejudice and hate largely born in the invisible fever swamp of the Internet, now present in the flesh."

Given its brevity, (((Semitism))) doesn't purport to be an exhaustive treatment of the rise of this odious movement. Weisman chooses, instead, to focus much of his attention on the frighteningly effective use of assorted online resources by people he describes as "technologically savvy, self-promotional, and absolutely vicious" to target and harass their opponents. One of the most disturbing such incidents involves the neo-Nazi troll attack on Jewish realtor Tanya Gersh, who had the misfortune to deal with Spencer's mother in Whitefish, Mont., where the movement's headquarters is located.

But Weisman frankly concedes that for all the unease among American Jews about the far right's muscle flexing since Trump's election, "anti-Semitism is not the worst affliction to beset the United States in the Trump era," at least not when compared to such outrages as physical assaults on Muslim Americans or the reversals of gay and transgender rights. That leads him to argue that Jews, rather than hunkering down and hoping this wave of bigotry will pass like a summer thunderstorm, need to make common cause with these oppressed groups to build "alliances against hate." --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

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