Monday, May 24, 2021

Antisemitism in America

A Jew being beaten by a mob in Times Square (ABC7)
I’m sorry. I’m just not buying it.  The American people are not antisemitic. Not even slightly. Not even in the face of a significant rise of antisemitic attacks taking place in the country recently. I say that with complete confidence. 

The plain truth  is that a number of Shuls have been vandalized recently having been defaced with Nazi symbolism or worse. And there have been some pretty vicious attacks recently against individual Jews. in some cases being beaten by mobs to the point of putting them in the hospital. It  is happening not only here but all over the world and should be taken seriously. That it happens in Europe should not shock anyone. But that it happens here might shock a few people. But while the current rise is in and of itself shocking, it does not reflect the views of the vast majority of the American people. 

One of the reasons there has been a spike in antisemitic incidents is because of what happened in Gaza over the last couple of weeks. Arab Americans have been protesting in the streets all over the country about they see happening to their co-religionist in Gaza. Fueled by the media focus Israel’s  devastating response to their rocket attacks. Whether their protests are jusitified or not is besides the point. Those protesters believe they are. They see the carnage every day on the nightly news and react. That brings out the worst element among attacking us.  

But this is not America. These are American Arabs and other Muslims who have become a substantial part of the population. They naturally empathize with their own people. And express support for them in numbers reflecting their current size. They generally buy into the propaganda that Israel's founders are European colonists that have no right to the land  and have created an Apartheid state that oppresses indigenous Palestinians. And now they have people in congress saying it too. 

It doesn't help matters that he Dempoctratc Party has taken a leftward shift with a sizable number of them expressing a more pro Palestinian attitude with more sympathy for Gaza’s Palestinians and less support for Israel… Which is also the message sent by the images seen every day on the nightly news. 

Interestingly, I recently saw a poll that indicated that more Americans than ever supported Israel this time than ever before, despite the best efforts of the media. Most Americans know that Hamas is a terrorist organization, and no amount of media whitewashing that has convinced the American people otherwise. 

An example of strong mainstream American support for the Jewish people can be found on the website of the Miami Heat basketball team. An industry dominated by black athletes. Who are sometimes  accused of being antisemitic themselves. 

This is not the first time such sentiments have been expressed. One does not have to go too far back in history to see similar American support. The same kind of response was made by mainstream America when 11 people were massacred by a right wing fanatic at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. 

This support is not from a particular political party or philosophy. It is not conservative or liberal; left or right. It is universal - crossing all political and social lines. Just as do  the antisemites of the world. Hate exists in all segments of society. But so too does tolerance and respect. 

I remain convinced that the vast majority of Americans fall into he latter category by orders of magnitude. I have do reason to believe that has changed. If anything that support is stronger now than it ever was despite the way it is played in the media.