Is Our Jewish Leadership Failing Us in the War on Anti-Semitism?


When I was thirteen, my friends and I took our first NYC subway ride by ourselves. Giddy with my new taste of independence, I playfully put one shoe on the subway seat opposite me. Out of nowhere, a burly, red haired conductor appeared. Our laughter stopped. He leaned in towards us, and in his unmistakable Irish brogue, with icy calmness said, “If you put your shoe on a Jew’s pants, he will make you pay for it to be cleaned.” I could hardly breathe. His image is seared into my memory to this day. This was an isolated incident at the time, but now, fifty years later, I am once again frightened. And I want you to be frightened too.

The deterioration of our moral compass is in full view when someone like Bill Clinton was observed shaking hands with boastful Jew hater, Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam, at Aretha Franklin’s funeral, instead of refusing to attend. NY Democrats, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Bill De Blasio, Mayor, campaigned with Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, Women’s March organizers, who repeatedly praise Farrakhan, who has rightfully been dubbed, “The Black Hitler.” U.S. Senate candidate Chele Farley, protests, “Gillibrand’s actions are part of a dangerous and emerging pattern where the far left of the Democratic Party is becoming highly critical of Israel almost as a default position.”

Anti-Semitism is so bad in Britain that many Jews are planning to leave yet Bernie Sanders enthusiastically supports Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party. Rabbi Lord Sacks said, “Mr Corbyn is an anti-Semite who defiles our politics. Corbyn has given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map.” Islamic Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad just visited the UK, and in spite of his malignant hate speech, was welcomed and invited by the heads of academic institutions such as the Imperial College and Oxford. Mohamad said “Jews are “hook-nosed…in the Holocaust it was not six million.”

The BDS, boycott movement, targets Jewish students just because they are Jewish and foments genocidal hatred of Jews who support Israel. The far left’s “Intersectionality” is at the core of this new antisemitism on college campuses which links many “causes” together, except of course, for Jews and Israel who are excluded as “colonialist oppressors.” One example is Black Lives Matter which singles out only Israel for blame in its platform. This more subtle form of antisemitism is harder to detect and has more mass appeal because it hides under the guise of reform and progressivism.

In France, Jewish institutions are under 24/7 guard. Nowhere can Jews travel wearing any sign of their Jewishness. In Greece, a recent survey found that 69 percent of adults hold anti-Semitic views. The fascists of this country’s Golden Dawn party are open in their Jew hatred. ADL’s Global Survey: “Muslims are more likely to hold anti-Semitic views than members of any other religion.”

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor, “There has been an increase in open, unashamed and explicit hatred directed against Jews. The Jew as exploiter, the Jew as killer, the Jew as banker. It is like we have regressed 100 years.”

  1. Goldberg, The Atlantic, “But what makes this new era of anti-Semitic violence in Europe different from previous ones is that traditional Western patterns of anti-Semitic thought have now merged with a potent strain of Muslim Judeophobia. Violence against Jews in Western Europe today…appears to come mainly from Muslims…Jews in Europe were murdered, raped, beaten, stalked, chased, harassed, spat on, and insulted for being Jewish.”

Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said acidly of Europe, “It looks more like 1933 than 2015…Jewish children afraid to wear a kippah on the streets of Paris, Budapest, and London; attacks on synagogues. He suggested that a slow-motion exodus from Europe was already under way.”

Canada has not escaped either: “Another Record-Setting Year for Antisemitism in Canada, B’nai Brith Audit Finds Antisemitic vandalism up a whopping 107 per cent in 2017.”

US and worldwide mainstream media deliberately ignore Gaza/Hamas’ openly stated intent of storming Israel’s border and killing every Jew in sight, in favor of labeling these genocidal jihadists as “peaceful protesters.” Western media continually castigate Israel for defending itself, but never report the so called “Palestinian” Arabs’ repeated refusals of peace offers. Palestinian Media Watch documents their daily Nazi characterization of Jews. If these same words were issued against any other ethnic group, the world would be up in arms and Jews would be the first to protest. The world’s myopic obsessive singling out of only the Jewish state for false blame, while largely ignoring the atrocities in Arab territories, speaks for itself.

Our Jewish leadership is failing us. I keep waiting for the outraged cries, organized protests and rallies, from our rabbis, Jewish leaders and institutions, who are relatively silent as we witness the drip drip drip of mainstreaming, normalizing and acceptance of anti-Jew, anti-Israel bigotry. While Jewish communities do work hard to support Israel, if they do not begin forming pro-active groups to combat this normalization of Jew hate, we will have won the battle (Israel will survive) but lost the war (this mob who is laying the groundwork will come for our great great grandchildren). We need to be organizing, writing, marching, picketing, and phoning bigoted media, and political figures on a regular basis. Now.

Elie Wiesel, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” And for those who foolishly believe it can’t happen again and keep ignoring these same brushstrokes which occurred in 1930’s Germany… I have a Brooklyn Bridge for sale.

Ginette Weiner is a published commentator in Jewish and mainstream newspapers, and a lecturer on strategies for combating media bias, antisemitism, and BDS.

By: Ginette Weiner