CHARLOTTESVILLE – Alongside the racism, nativism, and xenophobia on display at Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the event was also an expression of the animating power of anti-Semitism.
Marchers threw Nazi salutes as they waved swastika flags, proudly wore swastika pins and shirts, and shouted “sieg heil!” A sign carried by rally-goers warned that the “Jewish media is going down;” another declared that “Jews are Satan’s children.” A white supremacist told a reporter that “the fucking Jew-lovers are gassing us,” and another one called a Jewish counter-protestor a kike. “Blood and soil,” which the white supremacists chanted several times, is the translation of the Nazi slogan, “Blut und Boden.” And at least once, white supremacists changed their refrain, “You will not replace us” to “Jews will not replace us.”
The Anti-Defamation League notes that these were only the external trappings of anti-Semitism. The entire Unite the Right rally was built on racial and conspiratorial anti-Semitism.
ADL reported that a large number of rally-goers (including James Alex Fields, who has been charged in the crash that killed one person and injured nineteen) are adherents of Vanguard America, a group that blames Jews for, among other things, Communism, “the modern pornography industry and the corruption of the mass media” and the deaths of millions of Ukrainians during the 1930s.
Vanguard America’s manifesto calls for eliminating the purported dominance of “a rootless group of international Jews” over the U.S. economy.
In July 2017, VA tweeted, “Those behind the subversive elements eroding our culture often have something in common. Jewish influence is prevalent, invasive, dangerous.” The group also disseminates graphic anti-Jewish fliers, which have appeared in recent months at synagogues and on campuses in Texas, Louisiana, and New Jersey.