New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has suggested that the apparent increase in antisemitic incidents in the United States is not necessarily an actual rise in incidents, but rather a “unmasking” of antisemitism which has been present in the country throughout its history. Christie made the comments during an interview in which he was asked about the reported increase in antisemitic activity in the US in recent years, including bomb threats to Jewish community centers nationwide and the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue in October 2018.
Christie argued that while it appears to be a rise in antisemitic incidents, it is really a matter of them becoming more visible due to technological advancements and greater media coverage. He suggested that antisemitism has been a part of the fabric of the United States since its earliest days, but has been “under the radar” for far too long. “I think it’s been there but it’s been unmasked now and brought out into the light,” the governor said.
Christie’s comments come days after the Anti-Defamation League reported a 37% increase in antisemitic incidents nationwide in 2017 when compared to the previous year. In response to Christie’s remarks, the ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement that while it is “important to remember that antisemitism is nothing new,” it is important to “remain vigilant in calling it out every time it rears its ugly head.”