Kumbaya With Accountability
This is a Chanukah to remember, not because of its joy and light, but because of Jews being targeted, stabbed and killed, reminiscent of 1930’s Germany. “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the stabbing was “the latest in a string of attacks against members of the Jewish community in New York this week.” “A Jewish Mom walking with child beaten in SIXTH ATTACK ANTISEMITIC IN NYC THIS CHANUKAH, “We are coming after all you Jews.”
So what should our Jewish leaders, our interfaith councils do or say? How do we make this stop without being accused of bias ourselves? David Marcus, “We Can No Longer Ignore the Attacks on Jews in New York”,(excerpts): ”many if not most of the assailants are black or Hispanic men…if these assaults were being committed by white men in hoods…it would not be “hard to talk about.” It would be a clear-cut case of bigotry… Instead, journalists are wringing their hands about intersectionality, careful not to indulge the narrative that these physical attacks are coming from blacks and Hispanics…even though that narrative is absolutely true.
A conscientious journalist should have worries about painting groups with too broad a brush or promoting stereotypes, but this must be balanced with telling the truth and giving a story the attention it deserves. At a time when we hear anti-Semitic remarks from a U.S. congresswoman and blatant anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan still holds sway among black Americans, we need to focus on and address the roots of anti-Jewish bias in New York City. Every week that goes by without doing so, more Jews will be hunted and attacked on the streets of Brooklyn.
This is not a complicated and nuanced story, it’s a crisis nobody seems to want to deal with. That has to change, and it has to change now. This will take real effort, and a commitment from leaders in the black community to educate and eradicate anti-Jewish bias. Nobody wants to talk about this, but that’s just too bad. It has to be talked about before more Jews are killed. The war on Jews has to be ended. But before it can end, it must first be acknowledged.”
Context counts, as I wrote in my op-ed “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.” Nancy Pelosi embraces Al Sharpton and the Congressional Black Caucus who stand with and refuse to renounce open, unabashed, Jew hater. Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan.”
I am all in favor of kumbaya with our neighbors. But kumbaya without accountability is dangerous. Our Jewish leaders, our Jewish community, our Interfaith Councils must begin meeting with the leadership of the Black community and all other groups, Muslims included, to not just foster relationships, but to demand they loudly reject teaching or preaching or tolerance of antisemitism. As the Jewish community stood tall for Blacks during the Civil Rights era, we must demand renouncement of Farrakahan’s genocidal Jew hate by Black leadership.
Farrakahan has infiltrated the Black community by do-gooder activities, thus he is accepted for the “help” he offers. Yet if a KKK, a klansman, was offering “help” to the Black community, they would be rejected and rightfully so. So how and why is it that Farrakhan, an open, unabashed Jew hater is an accepted part of way too many in the Black community? Hate and bias against Jews, no matter where it is coming from, must be unequivocally loudly condemned by the Jewish community and the larger community.
For 2020, the Jewish community’s New Year’s resolution must be to practice Kumbaya-With-Accountability before more Jews are killed. Hasn’t the world witnessed enough Jew killing? It has to stop. Now.
Not Happy with Chuck Schumer
If it is Sunday, it must be another press conference hosted by Senator Schumer in his attempt to grab some free media coverage on Monday. Now Schumer wants Congress to provide several hundred million for security upgrades to synagogues. Yet he has nothing to say about the abolishment of bail by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, for many, including those who mug or rob citizens. Most congregations could raise their own funds for reinforced doors, cameras and other safety improvements. Our own charities raise several hundred million yearly. He proudly boasts of billions in financial assistance “treats” from Washington brought back to NY but never tells voters where the money to pay for this comes from.
Since 1981, under Schumer’s watch as both a Congress member and Senator, the national debt went up by $19 trillion. It increased from $1 trillion in 1981 to $23 trillion today. Schumer never talks about this at his standard Sunday news conferences or campaign reelection commercials. It is nothing to be proud of.
What is really scary is the trillions more in national debt that he continues to support as Democratic Senate Minority leader. Imagine how much worse it would grow if he were to become Democratic Senate Majority leader.
Schumer is the personification of the government nanny state. Maybe he should be more concerned with real issues of the day instead of grandstanding every Sunday.
Context Counts in Hate Crimes
When hate crimes against Jews happen, they happen within historical and present day context. The deterioration of our moral compass is in full view when someone like Bill Clinton shook hands with boastful Jew hater, Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam, at Aretha Franklin’s funeral. NYC Mayor De Blasio campaigned with Sarsour and Mallory, Women’s March organizers, who are vicious boycott against Israel supporters, who repeatedly praise Farrakhan, whom the Algemenier has rightfully dubbed “The Black Hitler.” Nancy Pelosi embraces Al Sharpton and the Congressional Black Caucus who refuse to renounce Farrakhan. The NY Times is obsessed with smearing Israel. Black Lives Matters ignores the atrocities in our world, in favor of singling out only the tiny Jewish state for demonization.
Thus the normalization, the acceptance, the drip drip of Jew hate begins and ends where it always ends: with Jews being targeted, stabbed and killed on our streets, in their homes and houses of worship in the USA and throughout Europe.
Farrakahan has infiltrated a small but insidious part of the Black community by do-gooder activities. Yet if a Klansman, offered “help” to the Black community, they would be rejected. This is a dangerous, tiresome, centuries old example of how those who are feeling victimized blame the Jews for their woes. The Anti Defamation League’s polls show a much greater percentage of Muslims in America and the Middle East hold antisemitic beliefs, compared to other groups.
Our Jewish leaders, our Interfaith Councils, must begin meeting with Black and Muslim communities, to not just foster relationships and educate others about Jews, but to demand they denounce teaching or preaching or tolerance of antisemitism. We must call for the identification of Farrakhan as a hate speech monger and demand his ouster. Imams who continue to preach Jew hate in mosques need to be identified, monitored and condemned.
Our Jewish leadership has failed to harness and organize the average Jews’ righteous anger and desire to be doing more to stop this storm coming at them. Synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, need to form pro-active groups to write letters,call, march and picket, anti Zionist campus groups, academics, mainstream media, politicians, Congresswomen, church groups, Neo Nazis-all who spew genocidal hatred of Israel and Jews.
Unless and until each and every one of us begin naming, condemning and educating those who preach Jew hate, we will look back upon these latest massacres of Jews as just the beginning.