Barry Setnor

A meaningful reduction in antisemitism is doable – a pathway forward

Efforts to meaningfully confront and reduce antisemitism have failed, in the sense that antisemitic sentiment is increasing everywhere. Reporting-on, pushing back against, and calls for action have succeeded only to the point of lowering the rate of antisemitism increases. Increased public education, new exhibits, strong condemnations, protest marches, calling out individuals, and lists of annual occurrences do not adequately address antisemitism causes or accountability.

Today, antisemitic sentiment appears to be moving to a time that existed in the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, Jews were not welcomed in the workplace or in academia, and suppression of personal identities were common. The conditions leading to this upward move in antisemitic sentiment can be found in many activities engaged in and supported by a large segment of the Democrat Party, along with their media, social media, technology, and top financial supporters.

Included in this group are Jewish individuals and organizations that stood with and stood by those engaged in far-reaching antisemitism ripples in spacetime.

The increase in antisemitism sentiment is not by accident.

  1. Obama’s speech in Cairo in 2009 is a case in point. He knowingly lied to the worldwide audience, when he said in his Cairo speech “It is easy to point fingers — for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel’s founding.”

The decision to let this stand by leading Jewish organizations and individuals was most damaging. Obama’s delegitimizing of Israel was amplified socially across the global; it lent authority, and legitimacy to antisemitism.

The fact is that Jews were present in Israel: in Roman times, in Muslim Dynasties times, in Crusaders times, in Mamluks times, in Ottoman Turk times, in British Mandate rule times.

  1. Obama’s decision in December 2016 to not veto UN Resolution 2334 is another case in point. The UN Resolution gave international legal stature to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement. The delegitimizing of Israel continued up to Obama’s last days in office.
  2. Biden’s decision in April 2021 to refund the Pay for Slay program sent a global message killing Jews is acceptable. The lack of outrage among many Jewish organizations was anticipated. The Democrats correctly expected that there would be no negative political, social, or financial consequences to refunding Pay for Slay.

North American barriers to combating antisemitism.

A change in direction to combating antisemitism, requires an understanding of the barriers to be faced. In North America these barriers are most significant, and unfortunately include large segments of the Jewish population and Jewish organizations. Although barriers exist across all segments of the Jewish population, most concerning is the many that identify themselves as liberal or progressive Jews.

For many in this group, the security, safety, and well-being of Jewish peoplehood appears to have been relegated to causes mainly associated with the Democrat Party. For many in this group, there appears to be a strong psychological desire to fit in – to hide and suppress the antisemitism originating among many of those that they associate with.

An even greater barrier is the activities carried out by the liberal media, social media, technology, academia, and book-sellers. Collectively, they have ingrained into an ever-increasing segment of the public the ideas and world view found in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: through articles, caricatures, images, symbols, broadcasts, lectures, and speeches. The NYT, BBC, Facebook, Twitter, WaPo, Politico, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS; they have normalized antisemitism.

Antisemitism Pushback – A Pathway Forward

Antisemitism goes back centuries in time. It is ‘cumulative’ in nature. To-date a concerted and sustained effort has not been made to expose those entities and individuals most responsible. Apologies, repudiations, exhibits, protests, public education, calls to action, laws and regulations, strong condemnations, and lists of antisemitic occurrences will not stop, or reduce antisemitism.

A meaningful reduction in antisemitism is doable. It requires taking away the credibility and trust of those entities and institutions most associated with “fueling antisemitism sentiment. It requires a war like mentality, and effort.

The objective is a “permanent loss of credibility and trust”, one target at a time.    

First target – New York Times

Among the worst purveyors of antisemitism globally is the New York Times. The NYT has significant influence over public attitudes and agenda setting policies: in governments, in media, in industries, in academia. The NYT is a force multiplier.

The NYT has ingrained into an ever-increasing segment of the public, the ideas and world view found in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. These attitudes, stereotypes, and conspiracy theories have been knowingly and deliberately mainstreamed. A large segment of the public accepts as news, and as facts the content, images, and racist tropes found regularly in the New York Times.

Although at times, the NYT professes their content and caricatures to be anti-Israel, and not anti-Jew, the facts show otherwise:

NYT February 24, 2020 – similar in character and effect to that of the Nazi caricature in Der Stürmer.

NYT May 26, 2021 – unbalanced, Palestinian officials sourced, and intended to evoke blood libel accusations. “They were just children”.   

NYT September 23, 2021 – influential lobbyists and rabbis – powerful Jews.

The New York Times uses tropes, coded words, and dog whistles, so as not to be called out for hate speech, or be called out for antisemitism.

Second target – Palestinians

Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem from 1921, was a hard-core antisemite and an infamous Nazi collaborator. He along with other Palestinian nationalist pressured the British to keep the gates of Mandatory Palestine closed to Jews fleeing the Nazis. Husseini was Hitler’s most outspoken Arab advocate, and enthusiastically supported the Holocaust.

The Palestinians rejected a two-state solution in 1936, and a one-state solution with a large Arab majority in 1939. They rejected the UN passed 1947 Palestine Partition plan, that divided the territory into two-states. In 1948 as President of the All-Palestinian Government, he chose war, so as to complete Hitler’ efforts.

Today, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and leaders of Hamas actively spread antisemitic attitudes, stereotypes, and conspiracy theories, both locally and internationally. They openly blame the Jews for the Holocaust; encourage the killing of Jews; contribute to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction movement; embed in their school curriculum inciteful occurrences against the Jews; and present the map of Palestine that covers all of the territory of Israel.


Today, there are two main sources fueling the increase in antisemitism sentiment both domestically, and also globally:

1st government policies and funded programs, and

2nd mainstream media entities that knowingly are embedding antisemitic attitudes, stereotypes, and conspiracy theories into the public mind.

We cannot rely on “luck” to produce the desirable long-term outcome regarding antisemitism. Liberal democracies have shown themselves to be more like “open borders” rather than a “walled” defense against antisemitism. Allowing the NYT to remain unchallenged, equates to our joining them in the conditioning of minds: Jews are evil, control global outcomes, and born with undesirable traits.

A sample of notable antisemitism ripples overtime

Events that continue to generate antisemitism sentiment through time: Obama 2016 UN Resolution 2334; Obama 2009 Cairo speech; Wannsee Conference 1942; Henry Ford 1920 “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem”; Russian secret police 1903 “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”; Martin Luther 1543 “On the Jews and Their Lies”; In 1348 the Black Death blamed on Jews; In 1171 the Great Blood Libel, blaming Jews of killing a Christian child.

About the Author
Barry Setnor is 81 years old - secular - and politically Conservative. He held many senior management positions in major Canadian retail oriented entities.