The Connection Between Wokeness and Antisemitism

It is not an aberration, but rather a natural outgrowth of the worldview.

Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: The recent sharp increase in far-left antisemitism raises questions about its cause and whether it is a natural outgrowth of “woke” ideology or merely the result of a few hateful individuals.

What is woke: Wokeness refers to a worldview that sees Western society and institutions as inherently corrupt because disparities between groups are created under them. It believes the only proper remedy is to “disrupt” all manifestations of the current system and ultimately replace them with something else.

  • More: Disparities act as indisputable evidence of discrimination under this worldview. As such, those who are successful under the status quo can be assumed to be oppressors and those who are not can be assumed to be oppressed.

Where do Jews fit in? Because Jews are overrepresented in prominent industries, have a significantly higher average income than the average American, and are the third most educated religious group in America, they can simplistically be labeled as “white oppressors” under the woke worldview.

In practice: This is why, under a draft of the California Ethnic Studies curriculum, Jews were singled out as privileged. It is also why numerous synagogues were targeted during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, why antisemitism by non-white people is often ignored or explained away, and why DEI initiatives often have a blind spot when it comes to Jews.

The truth: Issues with antisemitism are likely a natural outgrowth of such a worldview and simply making Jews a greater part/focus of the DEI apparatus cannot fix it. No matter what, successful groups will be suspect under the woke paradigm.

  • The alternative: Consequently, it may serve Jews better to instead embrace a merit-based system that would not automatically label them as suspect based on their identity.