Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer
Rabbi Prof. Dov FischerCourtesy
Say what you will about other vaccines, but I have come to realize that I have been successfully vaccinated against anti-Semitism.

Who administered it? It was MSNBC, the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post. It was the BBC and the Muslim Arab immigrants who have overrun France, England, and all of Western Europe.

It is Prof. Mark LeVine at University of California at Irvine and Prof. Joseph Massad at Columbia and so many other paid haters in academia. There are Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ocasio, Cori Bush, and Jamaal Bowman. There are Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, and Kanye West.

They have vaccinated me against their hate. They can’t impact me. I do not recoil but eagerly embrace the opportunity to take them on. Their present weapons are words so I use words. No apologies or hemming and hawing.

When they allege Israel is bombing too many targets in Gaza, I respond: “Not enough.”

When they ask “What about humanitarian concerns?” I respond: “Yeah, free the hostages. That’s my humanitarian concern. And until then, as far as I am concerned, Israel can Dresden Gaza.”

Dresden is not only a noun in my lexicon; it is a verb. America did it and Britain did it to German Nazis. Now it is Israel’s time to make “Never Again” more than a souvenir button after visiting Auschwitz or one of the too-many Holocaust museums in America. In the past, Jews could not fight back; now they can. That is “Never Again” in action: this time, if it happens as it did on “Black Shabbat” Shmini Atzeret, never again will you see us impotent. This time, you will experience “Never Again” — again and again — in Gaza.

Never ever again.

I react to anti-Semitism differently from the whiners and complainers.

Before my lung transplant, in my younger days, I faced three such unexpected and unwanted personal experiences.

One time, I was traveling home to Brooklyn for Shabbat as I did every Friday during my four years as an undergrad at Columbia University in Upper Manhattan. It was a 90-minute ride: the No. 1 IRT local subway train to 96th Street, then the No. 3 express to Brooklyn, then the No. 6 “Avenue J” bus to home. I was on the last leg of the journey, sitting in the back, as I saw a middle-aged gentleman with a briefcase alight the bus. I recognized him; he went to the same shul as I. As he walked down the aisle, a jerk stuck out his foot and tripped him. I got up and demanded that the jerk apologize to the man. The jerk got up and said something about my religion, and soon we were fist-fighting. I managed to land a blow that set his nose bleeding profusely, and soon his entire face was bloody as was his sweater. The driver threw him off the bus.

The second time, I was riding back home after Shabbat on Saturday night. I always came home for Shabbat because my presence for Shabbat was very important for my Mom after my Dad of blessed memory passed away, and it was meaningful to my three younger sisters to have me at home to recite the kiddush prayer over sacramental wine, thanking G-d for having bestowed the Holy Shabbat on us as His gift reminding us of Creation. I used the 90-minute rides each way to do my assigned readings, which were rather massive.

On this occasion, it was Saturday around midnight, and a group of three older teens entered the subway car. I remained focused on reading “The Pursuit of the Millennium” by Norman Cohn. Suddenly, one of the three grabbed at me and swiped my yarmulka just as the train doors were opening. That kipah had special meaning; my sister Debbie had knitted it for me. He stared at me, laughing in my face. I stood, smiled, showing no emotion, and then kicked him in his crotch so hard that he hit the floor, grabbing at what might otherwise have produced more of him. He dropped the kipah. His two friends ran out of the train, and he needed only one more kick in his spine to inch him out. As he gagged, I would like to think he was trying to say “My bad.”

The third incident entailed slamming a Jew hater on the head with a briefcase holding 3-5 pounds (two kilos) of Talmud volumes, leaving him dazed or unconscious or dead. Not sure which.

I am older now and have had a lung transplant. I use the pen now more than the sword, boot, or briefcase. And I no longer ride New York City subways. But after changes upon changes, I am more or less the same. I cannot abide Jews whining when they can fight back. “Holocaust education” has melted an entire generation of American Jews into whiners about anti-Semitism. Jews need to fight the way Italians, Irish, Polish, and German people always did when I was growing up in Brooklyn.

The magnificent singer Ed Ames, who had a voice clear as sweet water mellowed with honey, grew up in the Greater Boston area. He was a deeply devoted Zionist, and I once had the honor of meeting him when I spoke for the Zionist Organization of America in Los Angeles. He sat with my beloved Ellen of blessed memory and me, and he described how he and two of his four brothers would have to walk through a tough non-Jewish ethnic neighborhood on the way to school. Because the Ames (originally Eurich) boys were the only Jews, the ethnics knew them and occasionally beat them up as they walked by.

So the Jewish brothers learned to fight and started to beat up the ethnics. Ed told us that his experience in beating up anti-Semites stood him well as he was selected to play the Big Indian Chief in the Broadway production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” That role helped him land the spot that made him famous as “Mingo” in Fess Parker’s TV “Daniel Boone.” (Ames next learned to throw a tomahawk, which led to his most famous moment, the “bris” on the Johnny Carson show.) Not surprisingly, he was a MAGA Republican.

When you have been pummeled with anti-Semitism — whether on the subways, the ethnic streets, or in the mass media by celebrities and nations of the world who feel Arab pressure — you come out one of two ways: either as a “wuss” and wimp who begs others for protection or, if you punch back a few times, as someone vaccinated against anti-Semitism.

When Emmanuel Macron of France, Antony Blinken of Biden, and Obama come out with statements saying they are concerned about civilians in Gaza, other Jews react by wringing their hands. “Oh no,” they whine, “Obama is against us. France is against us. What can we do?”

I am vaccinated. My reaction is: “Israel: keep bombing. Keep crushing Hamas. Do not agree to a ‘humanitarian pause’ until Hamas agrees to a humanitarian release of the 240 hostages, and then keep it brief. Do not agree to a ‘ceasefire’ until Hamas surrenders unconditionally, and its remaining living leaders — now that so many have been rubbed out — submit themselves to be tried in Israel for Crimes Against Humanity.”

Every day the Western media run one after another story moaning about the “innocent Palestinians.” I am immunized. First, there is no such thing as “Palestine” or “Palestinians.” Rather, they are “Arabs of Gaza” and “Arabs of Judea and Samaria.” Second, they are not “innocent.” They danced and celebrated when 9/11 happened. They danced and celebrated over the Shabbat Shmini Atzeret Massacre of October 7 when Hamas slaughtered and raped young peace activists at a Trance Dance Rave festival, then went on an orgy of murder, slaughtering families, chopping off heads, beheading babies, placing them in ovens and burning them alive, cutting fetuses out of pregnant women and stabbing the fetuses and the mothers.

The “innocents” civilians of Gaza were among those who broke into Israel and engaged in that very orgy of slaughter and were among those celebrating and dancing and spitting when Jewish corpses later were trucked into Gaza for display and added humiliation.

Those “innocents” elected and reelected Hamas. They knew Hamas was building tunnels under their homes and storing rockets and drones in their residential apartment buildings, outside their schools and inside and under their hospitals. People know when their neighbors remodel their kitchen. They all knew Hamas was building those tunnels. Hamas dispatches hospital personnel to pick up “humanitarian” fuel, food, and water — and all of that gets transferred from the hospitals to Hamas to power their tunnel ventilation and feed and quench them.

So I am vaccinated. I read the papers, see the TV scenes of Gaza rubble and destruction, and my reaction is: “It’s weekday havdalah time! Borei m’orei ha-eish.” (“[Blessed is G-d] Who created fire,” a blessing recited when viewing the kindled havdalah candle after Shabbat ends). All hostages not freed yet? Keep bombing their tunnels and wherever they may be hiding. Destroy them.

No surrender? Dresden them.

And, meanwhile, back on the campuses, fight back. If Ron DeSantis could ban the pro-Hamas “Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP) in Florida’s state universities, then Jews should demand that every other governor follow suit. Sit-in. Demand it. And if two billionaires convinced Columbia to ban SJP, then Jews at every other Ivy League college should be demanding that their campuses ban SJP, too. Sit-in, just as everyone else but nice Jews do. Stop being Nice Jews. Be mean, nasty Jews until everyone else stops being mean and nasty. Don’t whine, but instead demand.

Martin Luther King sat-in and got arrested; America honors him with a national holiday. Jews need to sit-in at their university presidents’ offices if that is what it takes to gain equal rights. Sit-in like Martin Luther King in the offices of the racist anti-White and anti-Semitic DEI directors and demand the DEI departments be closed.

As I have written before, Columbia University’s “College Walk” is not Dachau, and Harvard Yard is not Auschwitz. Jews need to fight back, and Israel this time is modeling the lead.

Lambs to the slaughter? Been there, done that. This time Dresden them.

Adapted by the writer for Arutz Sheva from a version of this article that first appeared here in The American Spectator.

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Rav Fischer’s memorable two televised debates with a national leader of CAIR, the leading anti-Semitic Arab Muslim body in the United States, can be found here and here.

Ed Ames sings "TRY TO REMEMBER"