by Gary Fouse
There is an article running in this month’s issue of JLife (Orange County Jewish Life) by Lisa Armony, who is the director of the Rose Project, a financial arm of the Jewish Federation and Family Services of Orange County (California). It is entitled, Anti-Semitism in Charlottesville. Beginning with the recent incident in Charlottesville, Armony gives us a recitation of the history of anti-semitism in the 20th century. It is not what is in Armony’s article that I take issue with. It is what is not in the article.
I do not dispute the facts of what Armony writes. Furthermore, I have no intention whatsoever of coming to the defense of people like Richard Spencer, David Duke, the KKK or neo-Nazis. They are all despicable and should be rejected by every decent American. However, there is a glaring omission here. Armony fails to write one single word about Islamic anti-semitism and the role it plays in today’s anti-semitism. I happen to know Ms. Armony, and I have personally told her what I write below. In fact, we had a conversation last January at the Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach when that synagogue hosted an interfaith event dedicated to fighting racism, anti-semitism and Islamophobia. The event was dedicated almost as much to bashing President Trump, his supporters, and the alt-right. Here is what I wrote about the event at the time.
As laid out in the above link, Ms Armony refused to present my written question to the panel during Q and A. The question asked who was responsible for anti-semitism at UC Irvine, where I formerly taught part-time. The correct answer would have been Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Student Union and their invited speakers over the past several years. Indeed, it is the pro-Palestinian lobby on college campuses all over the US which has made campus life an unpleasant experience for so many Jewish students. Though not Jewish myself, I have seen it first-hand and have spoken out about it for some ten years. When the above meeting was ended, I made it clear to Ms. Armony that the worst purveyors of anti-semitism today are not neo-Nazis or skin-heads; rather it is Muslims (not all, of course). Armony told me that this was not the time or place to bring that up. Of course not. Present at the event were some prominent Muslim leaders from Orange Country including Imam Muzammil Siddiqi, who, in recent years, has lent out his Islamic Center of Orange County for Muslim students from UC Irvine to assemble their mock “apartheid wall” for display at UCI during the annual anti-Israel week of events every May, a most inconvenient fact, which I brought to his (and everyone else’s) attention during a followup event at UCI featuring many of the same people.
What is missing from Armony’s article is the obvious Jew hatred prevalent throughout the Arab world. It is not just anti-Zionism. Mein Kampf, translated into Arabic, is still a best seller in the Arab world. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is still largely considered factual in the Arab world even though it was exposed as a forgery a century ago. Palestinian children are taught on television and via cartoons that Jews are evil people descended from apes and pigs. After all, that comes straight from Islamic texts.
In Europe, Jews are leaving en masse due to persecution not so much at the hands of native neo-Nazis but by Muslim immigrants. And in the US, the focal point for the resurgence in anti-semitism is on our college campuses, again stoked mostly by pro-Palestinian students. For years, Armony has tried to sweep that under the rug as have her colleagues in Hillel and the Jewish Federation. This article is just the latest example.