Home Israel Left recent Swastikas Are Progressive Now
Home Israel Left recent Swastikas Are Progressive Now

Swastikas Are Progressive Now

After Hamas supporters vandalized a synagogue with a swastika, leftist cheered this prototypical Nazi act as a progressive commitment to human rights.

“A swastika clearly has a deep and painful history for the people in our community, it’s a symbol of hatred and death,” Rabbi Ethan Witkovsky of Temple Beth El said.

However Malcolm Harris, a former Occupy Wall Street activist and author of ‘Palo Alto’ and other books published through Hachette, explained that swastikas were progressive now.

“Israel’s genocide has literally reversed the meaning of a swastika on a synagogue from a Nazi threat to a condemnation of genocide,” Harris, who also writes for The Nation and Wired, argued.

Harris claims that he viewed vandalizing a synagogue with a swastika as “an anti-zionist condemnation of Israeli genocide.” And if vandalizing synagogues with swastikas, the ultimate symbol of Nazi behavior is only “anti-Zionist”, not antisemitic, then there really is no difference between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, and between leftist anti-Zionists and Nazi antisemites.

David Austin Walsh, a postdoc at the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism, who has a book on the “far-right” coming out from Yale University Press, chimed in, “I’ll stipulate for the sake of argument that tagging a synagogue with a swastika has an ambiguous or multivariate meaning. How are we to determine which is the intended meaning?”

Marshall Steinbaum, an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah and a Senior Fellow at the Jain Family Institute, whined that, “I wish we lived in a world where spray-painting a swastika on a synagogue still meant Nazis”.

In the UK, where the London Met Police had previously arrested and threatened anti-Jihad protesters for flying the St. George’s flag, an officer explained to a Jewish woman complaining about swastikas at a pro-Hamas hate rally that the swastikas needed to be viewed in context.

In certain contexts, such as Neo-Nazi rallies, swastikas might be bad, but when leftists and their Islamist allies aim swastikas at Jews, these Neo-Neo-Nazis were actually progressive.

While the debate about whether vandalizing synagogues with swastikas and waving swastikas at Jews was antisemitic, the progressive swastika was making its way around the world.

A swastika, along with “Free Gaza” was painted over the home of Holocaust survivors in Belgium while outside Temple Beth Israel in Philly, two women scrawled a swastika and the “from the river to the sea” call for destroying Israel and exterminating the Jews. A Swastika alongside a Star of David was drawn on the University of Michigan Hillel building where Jewish students attend events. Instagram comments on the student paper from many students defended the vandalism as a statement against Israel and in support of the terrorists.

Islamist and leftist movements who defend Hamas and its mass murder of Jews on Oct 7 could hardly object to the swastika which is a mere symbol. What’s worse, burning entire families alive, raping women and holding them hostage, or drawing a few lines on a wall?

Once the Left had accepted the legitimacy of Hamas atrocities as “resistance”, all that was left was redefining the swastika as a righteous repudiation of Jews and Israel.

The “reversal” of the National Socialist swastika from a symbol of the worst kind of evil to a progressive symbol is itself a symbol of the mainstreaming of antisemitism on the Left.

This was not something that happened overnight or in the aftermath of Oct 7.

Anyone who has been paying attention to the state of the American Left had seen it coming.

After the Hamas kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli teens in 2014 that foreshadowed Oct 7, Steven Salaita, a Muslim professor whose “academic work” tried to connect American Indians to the ‘Palestinians’, tweeted support for the murder of the teens and other Jews.

“If it’s ‘antisemitic’ to deplore colonisation, land theft, and child murder, then what choice does any person of conscience have?” Salaita tweeted. “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.”

When the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign withdrew its job offer to him, academic associations and the media rallied to Salaita’s defense. The American Association of University Professors, the Modern Language Association and the Middle East Studies Association celebrated a man who had tweeted that antisemitism was becoming “something honorable”.

The Chicago Tribune provided Salaita with a platform to claim that he wasn’t really defending antisemitism. Salaita received a six figure settlement, the chancellor who fired him was ousted and the violent bigot’s latest book about the incident is due from Fordham University Press.

Flying a progressive swastika is the climax of making antisemitism into “something honorable”.

The path to the progressive swastika and the “honorable antisemitism” had plenty of stops that all involved mainstreaming antisemitism while swearing up and down that it was only anti-Zionism. The media mainstreamed hate sites like Mondoweiss where editors and contributors admitted that, “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, but I can understand why some are” and “Liberals like to deceive themselves about Jewish power.”

The DSA, which has led the campaign for Hamas, had invited a representative of Melenchon’s Communist allied party from France, who claimed that when a “man of the left” is “called an anti-Semite, it means he’s not far from power.” That same party became the only one to refuse to condemn Oct 7 and political figures from the party accused Israel of killing its own children.

In 2014, academia and the media were justifying antisemitism. By 2024, they’re rehabilitating the swastika as a progressive symbol. And this change is about more than the Jews.

Jews tend to be the canaries in the coal mine. Fanatics and totalitarian movements may start with the Jews, but they never end there. The Jews are just a convenient inciting incident.

Both the Nazis and Communists understood that the persecution of Jews would legitimize the worse crimes they intended to commit. When the Nazis began rounding up and killing Jews with no protest, it became easier to justify the killing of the German disabled and mentally ill, and later the larger eugenics program that would have wiped out the Slavs and many other peoples. And when the Communists began shutting down synagogues and executing rabbis, it became easier to justify the takeover of the church and to build a cult of personality around Stalin.

While there are single-issue antisemites out there, major movements that start waving fascist or progressive swastikas don’t intend to limit their plans to just killing Jews. The Jews are a symbol of the power they want, as Melenchon put it, and the justification for it, as Islamists contend.

Hamas, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, originally financed by the Nazis, claims that it just wants to destroy Israel. But other arms of the Brotherhood tried to seize control of the entire Middle East during the Arab Spring, have been integrated into Al Qaeda, and operate in America and Europe to aid Islamic terrorists around the world. When they brandish the swastika, it’s not cautionary, it’s aspirational. And the same is true of their leftist allies.

By defining the Jews as the new Nazis, leftist movements like the DSA justify the mass murder of the Jews, and the violent tactics they use to seize power to fight the Jews. But the DSA’s vision of totalitarian socialism, National Socialism one might say, will not end with the Jews.

The swastika, whether used as a banner or a symbol of reversal, mainstreams antisemitism, not just to call for the murder of Jews, but for the killing of all those who stand in their way.

The progressive swastika is a symbol of death for Jews and for everyone else.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.


  1. Swastika was a "progressive" Jew-hating symbol then, as it is now.

  2. I'm an old woman now and have closed my blog, which I started in 2005. I even had to bow out from my Blog Talk Radio show "The Gathering Storm."

    The above said, I still try to keep up with current events -- as my health permits.

    I must say that I never imagined that I would live long enough to see what is transpiring since Biden took office! Things are really on a fast track! Depressing! But I will vote even if I have to be taken to the polling place by wheelchair!

    1. It is good to hear from you. Things are bad, but I'm glad you are still out there.

  3. Anonymous15/4/24

    The Germans Implemented eugenics policies long before Jews were ever rounded up and murdered.
    If what Israel is doing in Gaza is 'genocide' it's doing the worst job of it that has ever been seen. This is just a flimsy pretext for them to vomit their bigotry.


  4. Anonymous16/4/24

    "Israeli genocide" is just the latest piece of bombastic fake jargon in support of Fakestine - a Potemkin Nation; a false flag for the unsavory to once again slither out from under the rocks.


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