Anti-Semitism rears it head in U.S. lockdown protests

As a handful of Americans demand that Trump reopen workplaces, several of their demonstrations have very clear anti-Semitic messaging, with the Jewish governor of Illinois even being confronted with a poster bearing the infamous slogan written above the Auschwitz death camp

Tzipi Shmilovich|
The U.S. death toll from coronavirus passed 65,000 on Saturday, a number the country was not supposed to reach until August according to the models used by the White House.
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  • As the days pass and the rate of infections and fatalities keeps growing, the patience of American citizens lessens, as at least half of them have been quarantined for no less than two months.
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    Anti lockdown protesters holding antisemitic signs in Illinois
    Anti lockdown protesters holding antisemitic signs in Illinois
    Anti lockdown protesters holding antisemitic signs in Illinois
    (Photo: Twitter)
    This unrest resulted in supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protesting in the streets, demanding the government open businesses and other workplaces.
    And while the number of protesters isn’t more than a few thousand, some of these protests are drenched in anti-Semitism, which seems to feel safe rearing its ugly head in today's America.
    In Ohio, Idaho and Illinois, protesters brandished horrifyingly anti-Semetic signs: In Ohio for example, two protesters carried a blue and white sign reminiscent of the Israeli flag, with a rat in the middle, and the caption “the real plague”.
    In a protest in front of the office of Jay Robert "J. B." Pritzker, the Jewish Governor of Illinois - a woman waved a sign reading “arbeit macht frei” (the phrase written over the gates of the Auschwitz death camp, meaning ‘work brings freedom’). Just for good measure, the protester added the initials J.B. at the bottom of her sign.
    When asked about the clearly anti-Semitic sign she was carrying, the woman simply replied: “I have Jewish friends.”
    Another sign held by another protester bore a swastika and the caption “Heil Pritzker.”
    The grassroots Jewish Community Relations Council vehemently condemned the anti-Semitic displays.
    "Comparing a democratically appointed governor and a proud Jew to Hitler and fascist Germany is pure hatred which serves to fan the flames of anti-Semitism further,” it said.
    Historically speaking, times of plague are when anti-Semitism grows stronger, and in the U.S. this period of coronavirus has resulted in blatant anti-Semitism spilling over from the streets and into politics. In Idaho, for example, a congresswoman named Heather Scott called the state’s governor, Brad Little, ‘Little Hitler” over the regulations aimed at halting the spread of the pathogen.
    “I mean, that’s no different than Nazi Germany, where you had government telling people, ‘You are an essential worker or a nonessential worker, and the nonessential workers got put on a train,” said Scott unapologetically.
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