President Biden's message calling upon America’s political leadership to reject anti-Semitism ‘wherever it hides" were welcomed words. Yet, in essence they were weak sentiments at best; as they lacked the force of law to effectively alter, let alone stop, the progressive hate infection gradually encircling American Jews. This is most apparent within hostile learning environments presently confronting young Jewish students pursuing their education at public and private schools of higher education across the United States.
Lip-service, by itself, didn’t work in Germany in the 1930’s and it won't work in today's environment of popularized discriminative behavior intent on seeking out vulnerable Jews, and those who advocate for Israel, which in actuality represent less than 3% of America’s population.
It’s shameful that bullies never quit being bullies simply because someone asks them politely to cease and desist. That's apparently not their way. Therefore, bigots need tangible consequences to cause them to think twice before damaging/ defacing Jewish property, or violently confronting Jewish students whose only agenda is to learn in a peaceful, non-threatening environment with the intent of bettering themselves and America, as opposed to present day America filled with religious discrimination laced with slander and liable.
Perpetrators have gotten away with the lies that they dish out; while evading consequences simply by hiding under the banner of “Freedom of Speech.” Recently, they have been joined by renowned sports and music performers, who join in the terrorizing of Jewish children. They promote their hostility from safe zones while not putting forth any apparent effort to understand the ramifications of the baseless hatred they are spewing. They then evade responsibility for consequential damages by blaming their victims for bringing it about.
Our American justice system should be prominently involved in addressing such shameful activity. It certainly was when it came to dealing with discriminatory practices targeting our Black brothers and sisters. Yet, when it comes to today’s targeting Jews; the seemingly unrestricted hate and potentially criminal interstate activity, which may further incentivize discrimination appears conveniently absent.
America may be dropping the ball, by not equitably enforcing or enabling applicable laws to protect its Jewish citizens, especially on campuses which receive federal and state funding. The latter aspect assisted in bringing civil rights protections to the forefront in the 1960’s; providing African Americans a leg-up on their journey to be accepted and protected, much of this with the help of Jews from that generation.
Today, on too many levels; misinformation, defamation and outright lies are appearing legitimized against Jews solely via the act of repetition. This maneuver was perfected by the 1930’s Nazi political machine, which eventually succeeded in isolating and delegitimizing Jews, setting them up for the eventual “Final Solution.”
Who are today’s perpetrators of such targeted injustice and who, or what organizations bankroll their destructive and destabilizing thoughts and misdeeds? Do any dollars come from student funds, or from donations from registered or covert foreign agents; corporate, private, religious based or N.G.O.'s? Time to find the extent of the operations to deny Jews their rights.
Thorough investigative follow-up could easily address these and other basic questions and assist in arriving at the best means to slow the egregious, destabilizing and potentially illegal behavior that antisemitism presents.
If not successfully confronted now, it may not end with just Jews being targeted in America.
Reverend Martin Luther King gave us a clue of the pain born by black victims of racism when he pointed out; “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the ‘silence’ of our friends.” This hurtful truth now appears to confront American Jews, as well.
Silence concerning the plight of Jews has historically been the norm. Too many Americans; Black, White and otherwise, as well as some Jews, conveniently look aside from the obvious melding of hate groups towards their Jewish neighbors for a variety of excuses, not the least of which is fear of getting involved. This might then draw unwanted attention to their ethnicity, as potential future targets. Again, and reminiscent of early fear mechanisms employed by the Nazi machine politics, such fear antics gained footholds within Germany, Austria and even to a limited degree tested in 1930's America.
How could so many, so soon forget that Jews served America throughout its history?
They participated in every war fought, and sacrificed their lives to ensure the preservation of our great republic and its venerable constitution.
Instead of being appreciated for their consistent loyalty and invaluable contributions within medicine, economics and family values; Jews instead find themselves a scapegoat with greatest vulnerability on college campuses across our nation. This too similarly reflected the Nazi gambit of gradually converting students to their ways before attempting to influence their family and neighbors to join against Jews while nationalizing various strategic public service interests, including police.
Nazism and their hate machinations against Jews gained admirers within pre-World War II's Arab populations.
In 1947, the United Nations approved a plan to partition “Mandate Palestine” into separate Jewish and Palestinian Arab states. To wit, Arab leadership summarily rejected this early Two-State concept; while Jews took the risk and signed up for their chance to reinvigorate their 2000 year dream of bringing to fruition a modern day safe haven Jewish State, Israel.
The resulting short and long term consequences of the Arab leadership decision bore consequences, none of which proved beneficial for future generations of Palestinian Arabs; except for providing them the basis for a unifying factor to focus their hate and frustration upon to this very day: Israel and Jews.
Today's Jews are being made to appear culpable for in reality nothing more than seeking to practice their Jewish faith, while standing by their 4000 year indigenous homeland in the Middle East.
Bad actors over the years appeared to manipulate truths seemingly to promote dangerous liaisons with other anti-Jewish entities, hoping to give themselves legitimacy.
Some appeared to modify historical narratives, to portray Israel and Jews as "illegal occupiers" in their own historic Middle East homeland and thereby deny them their rights to fully defend their mixed multitude of citizens and homeland against terrorist actions.
After the Biden Presidential election; Palestinian immigrants to America seemed to publicly bring with them hostility towards Jews and Israel. For reasons yet unclear; Middle East special appointees by the Democrats appeared to publicly favor Palestinian positions at the expense of Israeli loyalty.
America’s intrinsic responsibility to provide balanced protection for its Jews seemed to falter and has deteriorated to today's unchecked anti-Semitism and appears to forge its way to becoming a Civil Rights issue reminiscent of the 1960's.
Bruce Portnoy is author of the Geo-political thriller, First, the ‘Saturday People’, and then the…; as well as Opinion Piece contributor to the Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva/Israel National News, Miami Herald, Washington Examiner and other print media sources.