Daniel Rosen
Daniel RosenCourtesy

When President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 he instituted a temporary ban on immigration from certain Muslim countries from which terrorism emanated. He sought to improve the vetting system, yet this was mislabeled a “Muslim ban”. It was not. it was a temporary suspension of immigration to control suspected terrorists entering the United States from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The rest of the Muslim world was not affected.

I remember reading articles about a group of Reform clergy who had blocked traffic together to protest this “ban.” Because they felt the ban was not right, it was their duty to protest it. They were very proud of themselves for doing that.

The headline read “About 20 Rabbis Arrested During Protest over Trump Travel Ban”

I thought to myself, surely these rabbis were a fringe group. Surely this didn’t represent organized Jewish thought. Surely they recognized the dangers that could potentially result from the immigration of people from terrorist supporting countries. One need not look further than Europe and specifically, French Jewry, to understand this as per this linked article whose title reads: ‘I’m afraid every day for my children’: As antisemitism soars, French Jews flee to Israel.

Through my contacts at AIPAC I was able to secure a meeting with one of the thought leaders of the Conservative movement, Conservative Rabbi Gerald Skolnick of the Forest Hills Jewish Center. I met with him and expressed my concern with what I had read. I expected him to reassure me that this was a fringe group that represented only themselves.

That is not what occurred. To my utter shock, I was rebuffed, He told me he agrees with this action. He said that not letting Muslims come from these countries was morally repugnant. He explained that we had a duty not only allow these people to enter the US, but advocate their entrance. He explained that President Trump was a villain and what he was trying to do was tantamount to condemning these people to death. He drew upon the specific example of the S.S..St. Louis containing Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution that was turned away from off the shores of the United States in 1939. He stated that not advocating for the current Muslim immigrants was the equivalent thing.

Shortly after that exchange he tersely asked me “are we done? “And I said “yes thank you for your time”. It was at that moment that I realized that the Jewish people were in serious trouble. I understood that this way of thinking is systemic and pervasive in much of the Jewish Diaspora community.

Today, state sponsored forces such as Qatar are funneling massive amounts of resources into fighting Israel and by extension the Jewish people. Masses and masses of people are actively working to delegitimize Israel and dehumanize the Jewish people. South Africa is accusing Israel of genocide, The head of the EU wants to impose a two state solution without Israel’s consent, Iran is trying to get a nuke, China is manipulating tik tok against Israel. Russia and North Korea are supporting Hamas and Iran.

We, the Jewish people, have worldwide Diaspora Jewry and Israel to fight against these forces, but, we must understand who our friends are and who are not. When we say the “Jewish People,” we are unfortunately not talking about all Jews. We are only referring to the percentage of Jewish people who understand the true threats before us. Which include, I imagine, about 60% of world Jewry and almost all Jews in Israel.

To overcome our enemies, we must community organize and unite our power in multitudes of manifestations. We must borrow from common culture, fighting the Flying -V and the Mighty Ducks, against our enemies. To overcome our challenges, we must recognize our reality, adjust our priorities and activate ourselves.

I have been calling for our community to organize and activate for the last three months. There are many people who have answered my call. They are working diligently to make this a reality. The movement to achieve these goals will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

We are now in “the ten years war”. What we do in the next ten years will determine the position of worldwide Jewry for generations to come. This is the moment we must choose not to be on the sidelines. We must have courage and we must activate!

Daniel Rosen is the former leader of the TorchPAC pro-Israel group at New York University whose activism against campus antisemitism was reported on in the New York Post, the New York Sun, and multiple Jewish newspapers as well as the Village Voice. He worked for the Jewish Agency and now serves as co-CEO of a local family business.