The Atlantic

Why the Charlottesville Marchers Were Obsessed With Jews

Anti-Semitic logic fueled the violence over the weekend, no matter what the president says.
Source: Joshua Roberts / Reuters

The “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville was ostensibly about protecting a statue of Robert E. Lee. It was about asserting the legitimacy of “white culture” and white supremacy, and defending the legacy of the Confederacy.

So why did the demonstrators chant anti-Semitic lines like “Jews will not replace us”?

The demonstration was suffused with anti-black racism, but also with anti-Semitism. Marchers displayed swastikas on banners and shouted slogans like “blood and soil,” a phrase drawn from Nazi ideology. “This city is run by Jewish communists and criminal niggers,” one demonstrator Vice News’ Elspeth Reeve during their march. As Jews prayed at a local synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, men dressed in fatigues carrying semi-automatic rifles stood across the street, . Nazi websites posted a call to burn their building. As a precautionary measure, congregants had removed their Torah scrolls and exited through the back of the building when they were done

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