Antisemitic comments on social media are facing intense scrutiny amid heightened sensitivities about Israel’s war with Hamas, with a growing number of people losing their jobs over their online remarks.
Citigroup and the Illinois State Comptroller’s Office both fired employees on Thursday for posting antisemitic comments on social media. Citigroup initially said it was looking into the matter after a worker’s post was screenshotted and posted on the social media website X by the group Stop Antisemitism.
“We terminated the employment of the person who posted the revolting antisemitic comment on social media. We condemn antisemitism and all hate speech and do not tolerate it in our bank,” a Citi spokesperson stated in an email.
Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser referenced the bank’s presence and workers in Israel in an earnings call last week, saying “we are a significant bank in the country” and that many of its employees were being called for military service.
In Illinois, the state comptroller’s office became aware of the employee’s posts on Thursday afternoon and fired the person after the worker admitted to some of the comments, the agency said in a statement. Comptroller Susana Mendoza has “zero tolerance for antisemitism or hate speech,” it added.
The fired employee was also removed from her post as president of the South Asian Law Association of Chicago, which said in a statement on Facebook that it was “deeply saddened and horrified by her words and their impact on our friends, families and colleagues.”
Elsewhere around the U.S., a California medical diagnostics center, Expert MRI, on Wednesday parted ways with the physician who had been its chief medical officer due to “disturbing, antisemitic comments” posted on social media, the company said on its Facebook page.
In Miami, Florida, the dental group CG Smile said a dentist “has been removed from our staff” after videotapes were posted on Tuesday showing him removing posters of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas from public spaces. “We are very sad to see this situation upon waking up,” CG Smile stated Wednesday on social media. “We do not support terrorist groups, actions or supporters.”
Rise in crimes against Jewish and Muslim communities
Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have died since the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. In the aftermath of the attack, tensions have flared in the U.S., including alleged crimes committed against both the Jewish and Muslim communities.
The Anti-Defamation League tallied 3,697 incidents involving antisemitic harassment, vandalism and assault in the U.S. last year, the highest in number since the ADL began tracking in 1979.
A national poll released Thursday by the ADL and the University of Chicago found about 10 million American adults hold both high levels antisemitism and support for political violence. “This population is also higher than the total number of Jews in the United States,” the ADL said.
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