To Stop Hateful Attacks on Jews, Oppose the Ideology Behind Them

Participants holding a sign at the rally. Thousands of New Yorkers of all backgrounds joined community leaders and city and statewide elected officials in Foley Square at the No Hate. No Fear. solidarity march in unity against the rise of anti-Semitism. (Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The lauded NY march was not merely useless but counterproductive; it provided cover for those spreading bigotry to proclaim, “look, we love Jews!”

By: Yaakov Menkin

25,000 people marched in New York last Sunday under the banner “No Hate, No Fear,” ostensibly targeting antisemitic violence directed at recognizably Orthodox Jews.

Only two things were missing: printed signs with the words “antisemitism” or “Jews,” and more than a smattering of recognizably Orthodox Jews. The two phenomena are related.

Hateful violence emerges from a hateful ideology. The march was not merely useless but counterproductive; it provided cover for those spreading bigotry to proclaim, “look, we love Jews!”

In reality, it is not difficult to understand why attacks are happening at an alarming rate. Classic antisemitism is not merely spreading on college campuses across the nation, but is even welcomed in the halls of Congress.

The classic beliefs of the anti-Semite are simple: that the Jews constitute a supremacist cult who believe themselves entitled to take advantage of others, and most commonly do so by theft, fraud and deceit. In 3300 years of Jew-hatred, there hasn’t been an anti-Jewish trope that didn’t trace its roots to this basic idea.

That is why hatred of Jews is so dissimilar from other forms of xenophobia. Racists say Blacks are shiftless but Jews are industrious, that Puerto Ricans steal your hubcaps but Jews control the banks, and that Arabs might be terrorists, but Jews control the media that exaggerates our fears.

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) noted, while reporting on Austro-Hungarian battles in the Nineteenth Century, that the Jews were opposed by all sides – though they largely tried to avoid the conflict and keep their heads down. It is no different today.

To white supremacists, the Jews are “International Enemy Number One.” The Neo-Nazi website has a discussion thread entitled “Jews are dangerous,” which since March of 2016 has garnered over 715 pages of hate.

Yet anti-white racists tar Jews with “white privilege;” the fact that Jews obviously suffered at the hands of European whites more than any other people escapes them. They include even Jews expelled from Syria, Iraq, Iran and elsewhere; they are claimed to have “white privilege,” while those who drove them out, who have identical skin tones, are “people of color.” It is pure racism.

And by far the most popular current form of this bigotry is the invention of a Palestinian people, from whom the Jews have ostensibly stolen their land.

The proofs are legion, so let me address this briefly. Until 1964, the “Palestinians” were Jews; Arabs specifically rejected the term. In 1922, the British divided modern-day Jordan from the rest of British Mandatory Palestinian, and even Mahmoud Abbas says that Jordanians and Palestinians are “one people living in two states” – putting the lie to the notion of a homeless Palestinian.

Every indigenous people has its own name, such as the Apache, Pueblo and Iroquois. They do not call themselves by the foreign term “Native Americans,” nor, of course, do borders of particular US states delineate their homelands. Yet the “Palestinians” appropriated a name from Roman imperialists which is unpronounceable in Arabic (which has no phoneme for P), and claim a homeland which, just coincidentally of course, precisely traces the borders of modern Israel.

And in case you still don’t get it, a “Palestinian” is anyone – Druze, Bedouin, Muslim or Christian – whose family ever lived in the Jewish homeland – unless they are Jewish. The Palestinian Arabs, like most racist constructs, are defined by what they are not: the Jews who constituted the majority of Jerusalem’s populace prior to the advent of modern Zionism, and who never left the so-called “occupied” territories except due to deliberate ethnic cleansing – such as that conducted by Arab mobs in 1929 and 1948.

Notice, then, that these hateful tropes precisely correspond to what reporters heard on the streets of Jersey City and Brooklyn when they interviewed other residents after hateful attacks. Residents spoke about Jews unfairly buying them out, not renting to them and driving them away. These lies are all derived from the “Palestinian” narrative, which, in reality, is far older than even Roman Palestine.

It is not happenstance that the machete-wielding thug who attacked people at a Hannukah celebration searched online not only for “Hitler” but for “Zionist Temples” before attacking non-Zionist Hasidic Jews in suburban New York. Again, hateful violence emerges from a hateful ideology.

This hate will not be resolved by marching alongside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, by her own admission, knows nothing about the Middle East except that the Jews are (surprise, surprise) stealing land (in Palestine) and being unfair to others. It will not be fixed by the bigots of IfNotNow who claim that Jewish refugees of Arab ethnic cleansing are “occupying” Arab land in the eternal homeland of the Jews.

It will be helped if universities finally acknowledge that Students for Justice in Palestine is a hate group that honors almost exclusively those who have committed murderous, barbaric acts against Jews in and outside Israel. Today, the same universities which would deny funding to a KKK chapter sickeningly honor SJP as a “human rights” cause.

And it will be helped when Nancy Pelosi recognizes that an outstanding antisemitic bigot like Ilhan Omar does not belong on the Foreign Affairs Committee addressing the relationship between the United States and Israel, or, indeed, anywhere else in Congress.

Until this hatred is repudiated, these attacks will not stop – yet on the progressive left this hateful ideology is supported, while it is the opposition that is censored. Those infected with this mindset cannot be part of the solution, as they are themselves part of the problem.

            (Israel National News)

Rabbi Yaakov Menken is the managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, and co-editor of the Orthodox Jewish journal Opinions are his own.


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