The absence of Jewish outrage
The absence of Jewish outrage

The shiva is over and the politicians have stopped visiting. Another innocent Jewish soul, this one of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher, has ascended even as her story continues to descend down the online news feeds.

It’s been less than two weeks since another daughter of Israel was defiled and murdered by a Palestinian Arab. Less than two weeks since a teenage Jewish girl was found lying on the ground, her body left naked and punctured with stab wounds.

She was found in a forest on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the heart of a Jewish state that was established after 2,000 years to end such atrocities once and for all. The Arab who brutalized and murdered Ori had already been detained by Israeli authorities over a year ago.

In 2017 on the Temple Mount he was also carrying a knife and even then openly expressed his wish to become a “martyr” in the cause of Palestine. That is, to become a murderer of Jews. He was somehow released by those authorities and thus allowed to try again. This time he achieved his heinous goal.

We Jews seldom believe our enemies when they tell us exactly what they plan to do to us. Worse still, we often don’t believe them when they actually do it.
What else can one say about this failure but that the Israeli authorities simply didn’t believe him? We Jews seldom believe our enemies when they tell us exactly what they plan to do to us. Worse still, we often don’t believe them when they actually do it.

Days after murdering Ori, the murderer sat in an Israeli courtroom smirking with pride in his own barbarism and at what he did to a Jewish girl. The truth of what happened to her was at first obscured by the authorities and the mainstream media. In relying on a gag order and a purported hesitance to rush to judgment, they initially refrained from admitting the terrorist nature of the crime as well the full degree of its brutality.

The truth about what happened to her is apparent for all who want to know, but do we actually want to know it? Judging by the near total lack of natural, normal and holy Jewish outrage, the answer seems to be a resounding no. Jewish demonstrations of outrage and demands for action were far too few. Initial calls for the death penalty have already begun to fade as they have in the past.

Events unfold. Time marches on and so do politicians with their agendas, and we forget, we the people who pride ourselves on remembrance. We must therefore reflect on what happened, and as importantly, on what did not happen.

The sad fact is that Ori’s murder did not shock the collective conscience of the Jewish people. A similar lack of response to events that took place in the week following Ori’s murder demonstrates that this failure was not an isolated event. It is endemic to our current mindset on a host of issues affecting our people.

It was a week in which newly-minted Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar once again traded in classic anti-Semitic tropes and issued an insincere apology. While it is true that some degree of outrage was expressed over Omar, much of it was led by non-Jews.

Admittedly, there were some strong reactions online and articles in the media by Jewish individuals, but there was not one significant Jewish public demonstration to signify that a line had been crossed. As usual, Jewish organizations were largely behind the curve or missing in action even if a few of them mustered public statements of condemnation.

The proof that we failed in our response is that Omar was allowed to keep her seat on the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Democratic leadership certainly appears to have decided that the issue has been adequately dealt with. Judging by a Jewish response that signaled a willingness to accept the status quo, why shouldn’t they?

It was also a week in which the ongoing anti-Semitic siege against Jewish students on college campuses was on display, this time at Tufts University, where they were greeted to signs placed on the Hillel building of marching pigs and a call to “DESTROY ISRAELI APARTHEID FORCES AND AMERIKKKAN PIGS WHICH FUND IT. FREE PALESTINE.”

Tufts President Anthony Monaco’s statement refused to describe what took place as anti-Semitic. Instead, he spouted the usual verbal mush that all but invites such incidents to be repeated. Again, in the absence of a real Jewish response, why should he have done anything else?

It was a week in which violent attacks on the Jews of Brooklyn by their black neighbors continued apace with no sign of letting up. The refusal of those who claim to speak on behalf of Jews to sufficiently acknowledge, let alone deal with, that problem and the broader phenomenon of black anti-Semitism was also on display. The issue therefore remained grossly underreported and unacted upon.

The week after Ori was murdered was one in which the cowardly murderer of eleven Jews in Pittsburgh appeared in federal court, his lawyer indicating her hope that the case could be resolved without the need to go to trial. What she likely meant was that she hoped her murderous Nazi client could strike a deal to avoid the death penalty. Her apparent hope to save the less than worthless life of one who took Jewish lives was also met with Jewish silence.

In Europe, a 60% rise in violent attacks on Jews was reported in Germany even as it was learned that an official of Merkel’s Foreign Ministry attended a 40th anniversary celebration of an Iranian revolution that brought a regime to power in Tehran reminiscent of the Third Reich. The Jewish reaction? Nothing.

At the same time, the French reported that there had been a 74% surge in anti-Semitic acts in the home of “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.” Amidst swastikas and graffiti of Juden! scrawled on Jewish businesses in Macron’s France, there was something else. A tree was uprooted. Not any tree, but a memorial tree planted on behalf of Ilan Halimi, the 23-year-old Jew who in 2006 was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by a gang of Muslim immigrants in Paris.

Like Ori, Ilan’s murderers left him lying naked with stab wounds. He had also been burned. Two Jewish youths with lives of endless possibility, who were subjected to the most barbarous torture before being cut down and disposed of like garbage.

Looking back on the last couple of weeks, Ori’s murder should have sparked such a feeling of outrage in our people that what followed, of which the above is only a partial list, would have been met by renewed Jewish resolve and concrete action.

But this assumes that we actually cared enough to respond as we should have. Have we already forgotten Ori? Perhaps the real question is whether we truly remembered her in the first place.