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Joe Lieberman: Jew-hatred at ‘fevered pitch’

Antisemitism has surged due to "the emergence of hate-filled dark places on the internet and the general loss of civility in speech and behavior in our country," the former senator wrote.

Joe Lieberman, a former U.S. senator and former vice presidential nominee, at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on May 21, 2015. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.
Joe Lieberman, a former U.S. senator and former vice presidential nominee, at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on May 21, 2015. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.

Antisemitism has soared due to “erosion of our previous national consensus against such hatred” amid “hate-filled dark places” online and a “general loss of civility,” former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman wrote in a Fox News op-ed.

“In my public and personal life, I have faced no antisemitism.  That is why the recent outbursts of hatred of Jews have shocked me and made me wonder whether the dreams of freedom that drew my grandparents to America will be real for my descendants here,” Lieberman wrote.

The former vice presidential nominee, whose public service spanned four decades, wrote that there “was never even a hint of antisemitism being used against me in any of my campaigns.” But something has changed since the times when Lieberman observed a “strong national ethic” that rejected Jew-hatred, pressuring such haters to stay quiet.

“Since the war in Gaza began, public expressions of hatred of Jews has reached a fevered pitch,” Lieberman wrote. He thinks that it is more likely that the problem is “the erosion of our previous national consensus against such hatred,” due to “the emergence of hate-filled dark places on the internet and the general loss of civility in speech and behavior in our country,” rather than an overall increase in antisemites.

Lieberman advises social media companies—perhaps with congressional pressure if necessary—to clamp down on Jew-hatred, and returning to a kind of unity and consensus that he saw growing up, based on “the Judeo-Christian ethic,” specifically “the Golden Rule against doing anything to, or saying anything about, someone else that we would not want to be done to or said about ourselves.”

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