In recent days as we witness one murderous anti-Semitic attack after another in the tri-state area, we all seem to be asking the same questions. Why now? Why has the savagery of recent attacks against Jews become suddenly so barbaric and undeniably brazen? Even though these questions are a natural response to a situation seemingly beyond our control, they are based on incorrect assumptions and ignore the writing on the wall that many observers including myself have been warning about over the past few years.
In the decades following the end of World War II, American Jews have prospered as never before, experiencing unlimited levels of inclusion and equality. In a complete rejection of the days of “Gentleman’s Agreement”, American Jews can be found in every sphere of American society. Jews have never felt more secure and freer of persecution than they have felt in America since the period of the Holocaust. So in the words of Joseph Heller, “Something Happened”.
The steep increase in anti-Semitic attacks throughout the United States is being portrayed by the majority of the mainstream media outlets as well as social media, as coinciding with the election of President Trump, leading the public to believe that the alt-right anti-Semitic forces are on the march with impunity. Little if any media attention has been given to the fact that for the past 18 years, since the Durban Conference in 2001, when the BDS and the delegitimization movements against Israel were established, ultra-liberal sanctimonious Jews and leftist progressive Jewish organizations have been at the forefront of political activity demonizing Israel, working to portray it as an apartheid state committing genocide against the Palestinian Arabs.
When Jews falsely attack Jews, and when Jews deny the State of Israel the basic right of self-defense afforded to all nations of the world, thereby making it acceptable to express hatred of Israel, they are inciting hatred toward themselves and hatred towards the Jews of America and not only Israel. When we hear Jews vigorously condemning Israel and then condemning President Trump, dismissing the legitimacy of the election results while at the same time inflaming the public discourse with vulgar language, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the anti-Semites feel empowered. In such an environment, with the social media platforms filled with unlimited and round the clock expressions of Jew hatred, the consequence of taking the short leap to single out Jews as responsible for the uncertainty and confusion felt by the American public is inevitable. What began as a Jewish anti-Israel, anti-settler campaign has mushroomed into widespread anti-Semitism that does not differentiate between Orthodox and Reform, between Israel or the “settlers,” between the “start-up nation” and “a light unto nations”, and between American Jews and Israeli Jews. American Jews have become sitting ducks wondering when the next murderous attack will occur.
The Afro-American man who hacked 5 Jews with a machete the size of a broomstick during a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey New York this past week, Grafton Thomas, didn't care much about "white supremacists" He is an Afro-American man from Greenwood Lake, a town about 20 miles away from Monsey. When he fled from the scene, he drove to Harlem -- hardly a bastion of white supremacy. This doesn’t mean that he represents the black community and it certainly doesn’t diminish the threat of white supremacists for American Jews. It does mean that he has been radicalized either on his own initiative or by others to act and murder Jews.
Let me be clear, the political and racial rhetoric of Jew hatred that has radicalized and emanated from all platforms of the media, either printed, broadcasted or thru the internet has created an environment that empowers those that chose to turn to acts of violence. The political discourse in America has also contributed to the current level of violence against Jews but let’s be clear, it is not coming from both sides of the political spectrum. The Republican Party does not express or support statements by elected representatives that are anti-Semitic or encourage Jew hatred.
The Democratic Party however, has condoned either through indifference or out of fear of losing the support of their base, expressions of anti-Semitism and Jew hatred by their own political Congressional representatives. When liberal Jewish leaders in America, and major Jewish organizations that support the Democratic Party ignore this undeniable fact, then they are empowering those on the threshold of Jew hatred to act and attempt to violently attack Jews. When Jew hatred and anti-Semitic expressions by Congressional Women Ilhan Abdullahi Omar and Rashida Harbi Tlaib, both Democratic Congresswomen and of Muslim faith, are condoned with zero political accountability, then the Democratic Party is contributing to the discourse of Jew hatred. When former Democratic President Bill Clinton shares the stage with the head of the “Nation of Islam” Louis Farrakhan, a known anti-Semite and states publicly and with immunity that Jews are like “termites” , then the Democratic Party is contributing the culture of Jew hatred that is sweeping America
“I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.” –Oct. 16, 2018, tweet from Louis Farrakhan (@LouisFarrakhan).
“Pedophilia and sexual perversion institutionalized in Hollywood and the entertainment industries can be traced to Talmudic principles and Jewish influence. Not Jewish influence, Satanic influence under the name of Jew.”
–Louis Farrakhan, Saviours’ Day speech, Chicago, Feb. 17, 2019
Sadly, the response of liberal progressive Jews to the political immunity the Democratic Party has given their own politicians espousing Jew hatred, has been to maintain the “big lie” and repeat their mantra; that the fountainhead of all this "hate" is the one and only target of their real rage; President Donald Trump. As if taking his cue from his like-minded Jewish supporters Mayor De Blasio stated “A lot of folks were told it was unacceptable to be anti-Semitic,” he continues: “It was unacceptable to be racist, and now they’re getting more permission.” The message was in line with his Jewish supporters: De Blasio was trying to explain who is responsible for epidemic of Jew hatred in New York, President Trump. The inability of the Democratic Mayor and his Jewish supporters to truly understand how their misguided attempt to place the blame on the other side of the political isle has encouraged the street-level violent anti-Semitism to spread like wildfire.
Will more Jews have to die before our liberal and Democratic Jewish leaders reexamine many of their false assumptions of why anti-Semitism and Jew hatred has become rampant on the streets of New York and the tri-state area? Will the Jewish community begin to demand without being reticent of the Democratic Party to purge their ranks of anti-Semites and Jew haters? Will they demand of their Democratic Mayor to take real action and not just pay lip service to his gullible and misguided supporters within the Jewish Community? Passing the burden on to others, is no way to make the streets safe. Failure to act will cause anti-Semitism to spread on a scale yet seen in New York or anywhere else, empowering America’s willing executioners.