Marc Berman
Marc Berman Courtesy

The mostly peaceful protestors who descended upon Kenosha, Wisconsin did more than just incinerate numerous stores in the formerly bucolic city. Mimicking their Black Lives Matter comrades in other places, they participated in BLM’s ongoing synagogue beautification campaign.

The demonstrators sprayed graffiti on the premises of the local Reform temple. Specifically, the slogan “Free Palestine.”

Now, if “Free Palestine” means that PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is serving in the 15th year of a four year term, maybe should conduct a free and fair election soon, that would be a reasonable suggestion. Same goes, by the way, for Hamas in Gaza, where the last balloting took place in 2006.

However, based on BLM’s posted manifesto, it initially appeared to me that the exterior renovator who worked on the synagogue in Kenosha had something different in mind.

Namely, the elimination of the State of Israel. The BLM movement deems Israel an "apartheid” state. BLM also accuses the Jewish state of perpetrating “genocide…against the Palestinian people.”

While both charges are ridiculous, I find the latter accusation particularly galling. I mean, I’m used to the meshuganes of the world accusing “shrewd” Jews of things like controlling the global banking system. At least such canards make us out to be skillful.

But Palestinian genocide? Why, the Palestinian Arab population in the land of Israel has risen steadily for decades. The death rate for Palestinian Arabs continues to plunge. BLM may be the first anti-Semitic movement in history to effectively accuse Jews of rank incompetence. Now that hurts.

Not to worry, though. The spiritual leader of the Kenosha Reform temple has just spoken. She assures Jews that BLM synagogue vandalism “is not about us.”

Rather, the Reform rabbi pontificates, the reason that the BLM folks paint “Free Palestine” on synagogues is because of BLM’s beefs with “police policy, … implicit bias, white privilege and those bigger issues.”

I understand what the rabbi of Kenosha means. Really. Therefore, I retract all the mean things I wrote three paragraphs ago about BLM and their manifesto.

Just think about it. During peaceful BLM protests, many businesses are torched to the ground. Paint stores are no exception. Thus, the Kenosha protesters simply could not obtain enough paint to spritz graffiti on the local synagogue that listed all the social issues now inflaming America.

Accordingly, what the demonstrators needed for their artwork was a slogan that, in two words or less, would make it clear to everyone what they were complaining about. Then, Eureka! Some budding advertising executive among the crowd comes up with the catch phrase “Free Palestine.” Problem solved.

Soon, we Jews will be attending high holiday services. As you listen to your chazzan chant, say, the “Hineni” on Rosh Hashanah, or the “Kol Nidre” on Yom Kippur, think of the remarks of the proud Kenosha rabbi. That way, you’ll be calm, even if you’re not sure when the BLM horde might arrive to redecorate the outside of your shul.

After all, if your synagogue is hit, it "won't be about you."

Marc Berman writes on politics, law and culture. He can be reached at