North Carolina’s Research Triangle region is earning the distinction of being an all-inclusive destination for those who hail from anti-Semitism cliques that run the gamut from religious to cosmopolitan to political to ethnoracial. Their tactics of intimidation against the area’s Jewish community are equally varied.
This year’s highlights include: Nazi propaganda flyers posted in Durham and in Cary, swastikas painted on walls in high school bathrooms, downtown street-art exhibitions celebrating terrorists who murder Jews, and a local imam taking to YouTube to exhort his followers to “fight the Jews.” On the campus of Duke University, acts of intimidation against Jewish students have become so brazen, so habitual, that its president just issued an all-hands-on-deck plea to local officials for help to “confront the scourge of anti-Semitism.”
Those on the political left are quick to blame President Trump’s supposed racial incitement for the national rise of anti-Semitism. In reality, anti-Semitism was on the rise years before President Trump announced his candidacy and can be attributed to progressive groups and intersectionality. The recent case of a “Democrat judge’s son-turned-neo-Nazi terrorist” illustrates that bigotry has no special home in either party.
Twenty-year-old William J. Warden of Cary, North Carolina recently admitted to going on an anti-Semitic spree—first by burning a cross at a public park, then by blanketing neighborhoods with pro-Nazi flyers that read, “Are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneracy? Join us in the struggle for global white supremacy at the Daily Stormer.”
The coup de grâce that landed Warden in jail, facing counts of ethnic intimidation, came when he terrorized a Cary synagogue just hours after its services mourning the death of fellow Jews in the recent Pittsburg attack. According to a Soundcloud account bearing Warden’s name, picture, and location, he is part of a “3-piece evil, racist, hypocritical Nazi Skinhead Punk band” whose songs boast, “You can almost hear screams and gunfire echoing from a certain Pittsburgh Synagogue.”
Warden comes from the home of prominent Democrats. His mother is Lucy Inman, a North Carolina appeals court judge backed by a political group that supports boycotting the Jewish state (BDS). His parents pal around with Durham’s Democratic Mayor Steve Schewel and city Councilman Charlie Reece, both objects of international rebuke, a lawsuit, and complaints from rabbis and the Anti-Defamation League, for demonizing Jews.
In April of this year, Durham’s mayor and city council co-opted the BDS policing policy of the anti-Semitic, deceitfully named organization “Jewish Voice for Peace.” Their far-left political agenda includes scapegoating the Jewish community for supposed misdeeds of local law enforcement.
The new policy was based on a city-wide petition that blamed Jews in Israel for a perceived overreach, and even supposedly wrongful killings, perpetrated by Durham’s police force. The fact that the police department did not train with Israeli law enforcement wasn’t going to impede their political agenda.
All the Durham city council members signed the petition, which accused Israel of teaching American police officers how to discriminate against, then kill, innocent “black and brown people.” The city government then adopted a measure to boycott Israel, noting it was a necessary step to protect the community.
Once the public reacted to the actual details of the anti-Israel petition, Durham’s politicians clung to the old chestnut that one can oppose Israel without being anti-Semitic, but the damage was done. Casual followers of local news will remember only that “Jews kill people of color” and that “Jews are responsible for the problems of our city.”
The Durham politicians’ approach of scapegoating of the Jewish community is identical to that used by the Daily Stormer. The neo-Nazi website’s recently revealed method for spreading anti-Semitism to the masses is “Always blame the Jews” and then “keep these points fresh by applying them to current events.” That is precisely what was done in Durham with respect to its policing debate.
Warden also used the “Always blame the Jews” fallback in explaining his hatred for Jews to the FBI. “He believes Jews are running the country on the backs of the working class white male,” according to agents. Warden’s parents told the media that their son has “long-standing mental health issues.” Maybe that’s true. But the 20-year-old has no anti-Semitic history and began activating his newfound hatred recently.
Anti-Israel rhetoric absorbed from his parents’ political circle could have contributed to Warden’s hate. The true agenda of the BDS movement—to end Israel’s very existence—is anti-Semitic at its core. But there is a sad reality that few want to admit: The theory that you can be anti-Israel without being anti-Jewish is nothing but a myth. In truth, they are inseparable. Wherever anti-Israel activity takes place, anti-Semitism is pushing the agenda.
What has happened here in the Triangle should serve as a cautionary tale for the rest of the country in an era of anti-Israel and pro-BDS politicians who embrace anti-Semites. The nation should think long and hard about whether their approaches and their language veer into anti-Semitism that, like the Daily Stormer, help incubate violent anti-Semites.