Bari Weiss, the New York Times columnist and author of the new book “How to Fight Anti-Semitism,” joined HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday to discuss the global wave of rising anti-Semitism.
Weiss, who as a youngster attended the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that was the scene of a deadly mass shooting last October, explained how rising anti-Semitism acts as kind of canary in the coal mine for the health of a modern society.
“When a society begins to become unhealthy and tearing itself apart as we see here and throughout Europe, anti-Semitism begins to show its face,” Weiss argued. “But, why the Jews?” pushed Maher. “Why do they have the 'kick me sign' on their back?”
Weiss explained the long history of anti-Semitism around the world and noted that it's the “ultimate conspiracy theory.”
The conversation then turned to contemporary politics. Maher said that in modern politics, it appears that being anti-Semitic or stoking anti-Semitism is something a politician can survive. Weiss immediately agreed, suggesting we at the U.K. Labour Party, which “is run by an anti-Semite — Jeremy Corbyn.”
Weiss criticized the American left for conflating what she called “Bibism" with classic Zionism — arguing that just because you dislike Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, you should not call for “dismantling” the entire State of Israel.