Antisemitism has long been intermingled with movements against injustice and elite control. This is because the most widespread image in the mind of antisemites is the existence of a secretive cabal of Jews who control global finance and promote liberal-sounding ideas only because it serves their nefarious goals. Hatred of Jews therefore deflects radical inclinations that might otherwise fuel movements against real domination. This understanding was summed up in the expression that “antisemitism is the socialism of fools”, often voiced in socialist circles in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Now that class is no longer regarded as the ur-oppression from which all others stem, new reservoirs of fools can be tapped to keep antisemitism in business. This is apparent in the ongoing wave of anti-Jewish bigotry that masks itself as anti-racism. Ye and Kyrie Irving are relatively easy examples to point to, since their foolishness is on display. But even a much cleverer Dave Chappelle illustrates the anti-racism of fools trope. Watch his recent SNL monologue closely, and you can see all the elements there—not only the winking references to Jewish collusion and control, but also the way sly attacks on Jews become a substitute for identifying and challenging the control of cultural institutions, and most of the rest of America, by the ultra-rich, who, for historical reasons, are nearly entirely white. Like, why should the livelihood of any artist, which of course includes satirists, depend on patronage by corporate moguls? The fool part is thinking you’ve pinpointed the problem by fantasizing about a conspiracy of Jewish moguls.
Being smart is not a defense against being stupid, and bigotry is always stupid.