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The rise of anti-Semitism

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 4, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Unresolved Problems Segment" tonight, the rise of anti- Semitism. The conflict between Israel and Hamas has galvanized people all over the world to take sides. In Miami Beach worshipers at a synagogue recently found their cars vandalized. Also in a northeast state county a swastika painted on a synagogue. And all over the world there are anti- Jewish demonstrations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON DERMER, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: There was hope that in the wake of the Holocaust, that anti-Semitism would end and that the establishment of Israel would bring it to an end. And really what happened with historic perspective is that the brief period after the Holocaust made it politically incorrect to be anti-Semitic. And now you have anti- Semitism really coming to the surface again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Joining us now from Washington Steve Bucci from the Heritage Foundation. So how bad is this current anti-Semitism? Is it a dangerous situation or just an annoyance?

STEVE BUCCI, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, I have to say, Bill, it's way more than an annoyance. As you mentioned in your examples, we have problems with it here. Europe is far worse. They have had major riots that have not just been anti-Israeli policy, but are blatantly anti-Jewish.

O'REILLY: What is driving those demonstrations? Is it all jihadist sympathizers?

BUCCI: No, I mean they are predominantly the immigrant Muslim populations in Germany and France, for instance. But there are significant numbers of German citizens, native German citizens and native French citizens either from the far right or the far left who blame Israel and are turning it into an anti-Jewish campaign.

O'REILLY: Is there a theme? I mean when you say blame Israel it's fairly rational clear-minded people understand that Hamas is a terror group and it is committed to killing Jews and wiping Israel off the face of the earth. That's not debatable. That's a fact.

And then when Hamas starts to attack and throw rockets into civilian areas in Israel, Israel of course has to defend itself. So there is not a rationality there or a moral equivalency. So then when people take the sides of Hamas, this is my question. Is it just they hate Jews like they would hate Irish or hate blacks? Is that what drives it?

BUCCI: You and I would agree there's no rational defense for what Hamas does. But some of their supporters are not rational and they have translated this into an attack on all Jews. That anti-Semitism has been below the surface but not much below and this conflict has now allowed it to come to the surface.

O'REILLY: Now, historically speaking there was an anti-Semitism in Europe because many of the people who controlled the land and the banks were Jewish and that had resentment among the people who didn't have money and didn't have land. But now it's not that way. Now, it's a pluralistic society. So I'm not understanding why a German or French person non jihadist -- I understand that crazy philosophy -- why they would hate Jews. Jews have a very small minority. They are not around very much. In America is like four million Jews, that's all. Why do they hate these people? For what reason?

BUCCI: It's a very visceral thing. It goes back in some cases the far right an alignment with Nazism. The far left with strong Communism -- both of whom hated Jews and persecuted them. So the connection is still there.

O'REILLY: But why? Why did the Nazis and the Communists select the Jews? Because I think our audience in America needs to know the historical perspective. Why were they singled out?

BUCCI: In the case of the Nazis, it was Hitler's irrational view that Jews were somehow subhuman, were less than the pure Germans of which he wasn't one either. On the left side, the Communists, a lot of them were Jews which started out but they turned it around particularly with Stalin where he saw them as competitor and a group that needed to be crushed and destroyed so he could have full power.

O'REILLY: So isn't it though that the Jewish people are very close knit and that was -- I don't know -- that was a red flag to some people. I never really understood the anti-Semitism. I never really got it. I think it was economically based back in the Middle Ages. But I will give you the last word.

BUCCI: Well, it's -- they have a closeness other groups have a closeness. The Jews mostly were forced to have a closeness just to survive.

O'REILLY: Just to survive, absolutely.

BUCCI: It is irrational.

O'REILLY: Now, do you think it's on a rise in America or you think these are just selected nuts doing this kind of stuff?

BUCCI: I hope to be optimistic and say it's not on a rise across the board. But there are enough people that feel the release to do this because of what's going on in Israel. And hopefully we can keep it down in our country and eliminate it.

O'REILLY: Well, we don't tolerate it. We find it, we'll expose it.

Mr. Bucci, thanks very much. We appreciate it.

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