by Gary Fouse
The latest multiple stabbing at a rabbi's home in New York City during Hanukkah celebrations is just the latest in spate of anti-Semitic attacks that have hit the city in the past couple of weeks (not to mention the deadly attack in nearby Jersey City). Police have a man in custody in this attack and like virtually all of the previous incidents in the past couple of weeks, the suspect is African-American. Yet, New York's feckless mayor, Bill De Blasio, still blames it all on white racism. But what can we expect from an anti-police mayor like De Blasio, who is morally and intellectually bankrupt?
I don't say this to attack black people as all being anti-Semites, which they are not. I say it to make a couple of points: First, there is a strain of anti-Semitism that runs through our black communities just as it runs through our white communities. Jews are being attacked from all sides now. Just as always, Jew hatred cuts across all racial and religious boundaries.
My second point is that now that Jew hatred has exploded even in America, there is a tendency even among many Jews themselves, depending on their philosophical and political leanings, to point the finger of blame solely at the right, that is, white racists, white nationalists, and especially unfairly-President Trump and his supporters. In fact, if anything, it is President Trump who is leading the way and setting the example when it comes to fighting back against anti-Semitism. I concede that white nationalism is growing, and that includes a increase in anti-Semitism. But to deny or ignore the fact that blacks have carried out virtually all of the recent hate crimes against Jews in New York City is to turn truth on its head and delay the necessary response. That response must come from the police and leaders of the City and State as well as the leaders within the black community itself.
To what extent these attacks are linked to the decades-long campaign of hate and toxic speech directed at Jews by the Nation of Islam and its odious leader, Louis Farrakhan, I don't know, but I have my suspicions. In addition, I ask myself what role the decades- long campaign against Israel on our college campuses plays a role-now that the campus problem has metastasized into the community as a whole. Again, I have my suspicions. After all, New York's Columbia University has been a prime offender for years. I will not mince words: The pro-Palestinian forces on our campuses, as well as certain parts of the Islamic community, share much of the blame. The point is that if we are going to discuss white anti-Semitism from the right, which we should, we must also discuss anti-Semitism from the left, the black community, and the Islamic community.
It is time that our leaders, be they political, religious, or otherwise, stand up and condemn anti-Semitism. But words are not enough. They will not help the next Jewish man or woman who gets beaten up on the streets of New York or some other city or campus. I strongly urge Jews to take advantage of their 2nd Amendment right to defend themselves in a lawful manner. I also urge them to teach their children to fight back. Meet each insult with a counter-insult (aimed at the offender's person, not ethnic group). Meet each shove with a shove back. Meet each punch with a punch back. I was never a fan of Irv Rubin and his Jewish Defense League, but right now, the Jewish community needs some form of the JDL. Consider this: New York's new bail law, which goes into effect in January, will be turning these suspects back on the street as fast as the cops can fingerprint and photograph them.
Enough is enough: We may not be able to control Jew hatred in the Middle East, and we may not be able to control Jew hatred in Europe. We can fight back here at home. America has traditionally been a safe refuge for Jews, and it must remain so. These attacks, be they in New York or any other American town, must be punished to the full extent of the law. In addition, the decent forces in our society must stand loud and clear with our Jewish neighbors. Every politician, every police chief, and every religious leader needs to speak out now.