My first blog was going to be on an entirely different subject–then I heard another news story from New York about Orthodox Jews being physically attacked for no reason other than they were identifiably Jewish. As this story keeps repeating itself, some Jews are asking themselves, “Is it starting here?” We can no longer say, “it can’t happen here”, because we know that Charlottesville has already happened. Perhaps the attack on the Capitol is the wake-up call necessary to put us on “notice”; perhaps the amount of antisemitic propaganda found in the debris at the Capitol Building will provide us with some insight; perhaps knowing that German Jews thought Nazi thugs would disappear if they were ignored, might also prove useful.
United States Senator Tammy Duckworth has been making TV appearances all week condemning the attacks against the Asian community. Kudos to her. When will a Jewish senator come out to support the Jewish victims of this virus of bigotry that has infected our country?
Jakob Lestchinsky warned us in his book, Erev Khurbn [On the Eve of the Holocaust], presciently written in November 1937, about the antisemitism then blanketing Poland. He wrote: “Perhaps in these depressing times, when Jews are lowering their heads, bending their spines, and waiting patiently for this angry storm to pass, we should stop waiting passively and actively oppose it.”
The stench of antisemitic poison is permeating the air in our own country as well as in countries throughout the world. We hold our breath at our own peril. We Jews know what happens when hatred and bigotry is not opposed.
The Black Lives Matter movement has presented an example of opposition and courage, refusing to accept the casual slaying of its people. I wish that I could support BLM as I have supported other civil rights movements in the past. I respect what BLM is doing and why they are doing it–but how can I support a group that doesn’t respect me or mine? I’m not calling for Jews to step away from BLM; I want BLM to step away from the racists within their own ranks.
BLM pays homage to Louis Farrakhan, a blatant antisemite. After reading 100 of his antisemitic comments on the Anti-Defamation League website I stopped counting because I didn’t want to spend the day reading his vitriolic garbage. Does the BLM movement support him because black people are antisemitic, or is it because they lack awareness of Farrakhan’s bigotry and hatred? If the latter, whose fault is that? Whose fault is it if Jews don’t know their own history? Whose fault is it if Jewish kids don’t know enough to counter the falsehoods being disseminated on college campuses and in the media by those who are also unaware, or worse, by those who are aware, but are still willing to spread lies?
While Black Lives Matter marched throughout the country demanding their rights, respect, and security, to which they are absolutely entitled, the New York Jewish community suffered one assault after the next. Today there was another knife attack on an Orthodox Jewish couple strolling with their child in New York City. All three were slashed by a knife-wielding assailant–fortunately, no one died.
I scoured the Internet and the media for more information on this story. There was something in all the Jewish media, but almost no mention in the popular press. So where is the media that we Jews allegedly control, and why isn’t this story of sufficient importance to garner attention?
A toddler was intentionally cut with a knife—what more is necessary? At what point do we Jews say: “Enough! We will no longer allow ourselves to be defamed! We will no longer tolerate the babbling of ignorant, intolerant fools who do not know their own history, let alone Jewish history! We will no longer accept these attacks in silence!”
I want Jews to step up when our own people are being attacked and defamed. We can’t support others unless and until we support ourselves. As Hillel the Elder asked, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And being only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”
And I would love to read your comments. There must be a solution.