I visited my 95-year-old uncle, Samuel, in a nursing home in France in 2015. The nursing home was guarded by soldiers full time, as are all Jewish facilities.
Samuel’s family was killed in the Holocaust. During World War II, as a Jewish soldier, he was forced to flee to Morocco, joined the Resistance, was captured and tortured. And so this war hero, some 70 years later, requires armed guards in order to survive once again, and all because ... he is a Jew.
In France, the only visible signs of anyone being Jewish that I saw were the plaques on the corners of buildings telling you how many Jews were rounded up this day and sent to the death camps. I could not wear my Star of David, but I observed those of other faiths proudly sporting their symbols, from crosses to hijabs, strolling with their children, at ease.
Today we have the New York Times telling us Hamas seeks to “present a more moderate public face” while the Chicago Dyke March said, “No Jews allowed.” Black Lives Matter singles out Israel for castigation, while ignoring other nations’ atrocities.
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) signed two letters supporting Linda Sarsour, a supporter of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Even the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently said, “Denial of Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitism.” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and the president of France also recently made statements suggesting that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism.
NCJW says “Jewish values” inform the foundation of its work, yet it actively supports Sarsour, a Palestinian Arab who says there is no room in feminism for women who support Israel, who advocates for Sharia law that oppresses women and gays, who “stands proudly” with Rasmea Odeah who murdered two Israeli students in a bombing in a Jerusalem supermarket in 1969.
I ask you: Since when did these become
Keith Ellison, with his history of Nation of Islam support, is now deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Former President Barack Obama allowed a U.S. abstention in a U.N. Security Council vote that condemned Israeli settlements.
We have Bernie Sanders, with family members murdered in the Holocaust, seeming to stand with former President Jimmy Carter, who branded Israel with the malignant term “apartheid,” which has done more damage to Israel than can be counted.
Sanders also endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for office in London, despite the fact that, as lawyer Alan Dershowitz writes, “One of the biggest criticisms of the ‘Corbynization’ of British politics has been the mainstreaming of traditional anti-Semitism.”
Socially liberal American Jews have fallen through the Alice-in-Wonderland tunnel, are reeling from the Jabberwocky, from those who cannot identify a true victim, Israel, from a true oppressor. The Palestinian Arabs, who do not even recognize Israel’s right to exist, are now the “victim.”
But at least Alice could find her way up the tunnel, back to reality. American Jewish reality is a surreal place where logic is no longer operative.
If American Jews are looking for a bogeyman to blame for the increase in Jew and Israel hate, it is not coming mainly from the far right, or from neo-Nazis who are numerically negligible and marginalized.
In a commentary titled “Anti-Semitism Today Is Primarily a Muslim Problem,” Benjamin Kerstein writes in The Jersusalem Post: “In the Middle East in particular, anti-Semitism of the most vulgar kind enjoys a legitimacy it would never be granted in the West. Anti-Semitic cartoons, television series and debased fantasies — including the blood libel — are so ubiquitous as to merit little comment. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is openly sold and widely read. ... Muslim anti-Semitism, combined with the West’s latent anti-Semitism, has given birth to what many have called the New Anti-Semitism: an anti-Semitism that is equal parts hatred of Israel and its Jewish supporters, a vulgar and genocidal ideology, an encyclopedia of petty stereotypes, and the delusions of those who believe they are standing up for the oppressed and downtrodden by hating the Jews.”
Diane Bederman writes, “This isn’t quiet anti-Semitism. This is loud and proud ‘Kill the Jews, eliminate Israel.’ Anti-Semitism is at an all-time high, on campus, in churches and mosques. The National Review has shown that media bias by omission of pertinent facts paints Israel as the aggressor. Go back and read what happened over time in Germany. It’s happening again.”
Where are our Jewish “Paul Revere” leaders, rabbis and organizations sounding the alarm?
Moral relativism is the new mantra of “progressives” who support anti-Zionist anti-Semites and yet still consider themselves to be morally intact. Dershowitz writes: “All over the world, anti-Semites are becoming mainstreamed. ... This is especially so if the anti-Semite uses the cover of rabid hatred for the nation-state of the Jewish people. ... Increasingly, they are given a pass on their Jew-hatred because those who support them admire or share other aspects of what they represent. This implicit tolerance of anti-Semitism — as long as it comes from someone whose other views are acceptable — represents a dangerous new trend from both the right and left.”
If you are a socially liberal Jew, you need to redefine your allegiances, get in touch with your righteous anger and demand our Jewish leaders begin rallying us to combat the growing Jew and Israel hate that is becoming part of the norm.
As a former Democrat who became a registered Independent, I will always vote with those who support Israel and Jews first. JN
Ginette Weiner is a Scottsdale resident