I believe I have written before on this very blog that anti-Semitism was the worst that I have ever seen it in my lifetime. And yet now, it is even worse. And while a criticism of Israel is not, in itself, anti-Semitic, what often follows is.
Too often, in fact, what starts out as an issue with policy deteriorates into “you people” or something about “Jews” and you see at once the underlying hate. Plus, Israel is a Jewish state… The ONLY Jewish state in the world. So often the criticism is steeped in this.
The silence on other countries is deafening. It is hard to see criticism on Israel as legitimate when those who are leading the rally claim they deeply care about humanity and people and yet fail to mention any other countries or groups, including known and proven terrorist organizations. The “human rights violations” they decry seem to be directed at Israel and only Israel. Just take a look at the number of resolutions against Israel in the UN, often led by countries that truly violate human rights and are the actual worst offenders.
For those who truly support “Palestinian” causes, and I do firmly believe that all people have a right to peace and happiness, it is deeply troubling that they never call out Hamas for human rights violations against their own people. In fact, it would appear to them that the ONLY cause of suffering is Israel.
This is simply untrue, but it fits the well-crafted and sadly long-lived false narrative. And it is THIS narrative that has allowed another BIG LIE to fester. And this brings me to the main point of this post.
KEEP THE JEWISH LIGHT BURNING BRIGHT
In the midst of all of this hate, I am studying more and learning more. Judaism is beautiful. It teaches right from wrong. It is a blueprint for living a meaningful and purposeful life. And yet, Jews are divided more than ever.
In my Tanya class, we are learning about the unity of Hashem. How nothing exists without G-d and how G-d is in ALL OF US. Hashem is one… Echad… but so the Jewish people must also be one… WE MUST BE UNIFIED… As Jews, yes… but in these crazy times, we must be unified as one against hate and anti-Semitism.
IT IS ON THE LEFT AND ON THE RIGHT AND LITERALLY ALL AROUND US
When I bring up the anti-Semitism on the right and the real and dangerous hate that is found in groups like Qanon, white supremacists and those who stormed the Capitol, I am told to stop watching CNN and go after Tlaib and Omar. I am told that those groups are small and not a real threat. Really???
When I bring up anti-Semitism on the left, I am told it does not exist, to stop listening to the right, watching Fox, and to go after idiots like MTG (I refuse to name her). Really?
I will agree that the anti-Semitism on the right is much more obvious in white supremacists and the things they do and say. But let’s not forget how many temples have been attacked by white supremacists. It’s a very real issue and concern. And sadly people like MTG and Qanon ARE GOING MORE MAINSTREAM. According to a survey by PRRI – Public Religion Research Institute is(described on their site asa nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy)15% of all Americans… ALL AMERICANS believe in Qanon… a group filled with anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories. This BETTER scare the heck out of you.
I will agree that the anti-Semitism on the left may be more insidious because it starts in the mainstream… starts with those who claim they are woke… want to be progressive… love all. I will agree that the comments made by reps like Omar and Tlaib go way beyond anti-Israel… they are truly anti-Semitic.
So what does all this mean???
WE MUST BE ONE
As Jews, we must unify against and stand up to hate and anti-Semitism. We do not have to agree on Israel, we do not have to agree on politics, BUT WE MUST BE ONE… WE MUST UNIFY AND STOP THIS DANGEROUS HATE.
Words become actions and deeds… and one need only look back on history to see how that went.
For me, I will continue to grow and study Judaism, not because I was born into it, but because I truly love it and am re-discovering it. I will embrace the Jewish ideals of seeking truth, doing the right thing, loving my fellow human beings… and I will call out lies no matter where I see them… whether they are small lies… or the big lie… Judaism is and must be about truth… ALWAYS!
I will support Israel because I feel I must, and that does not mean I will not have criticisms, but I truly love Israel and her people, and I know the importance of a Jewish state and I know the essential and existential must of defending and protecting her. I will stand up and speak up. And I will call out any lies… small or big.
Let us all continue to learn and grow, love and live. Let us seek out truth and justice and let us, as Jews, come together and fight off this hatred, these lies and this anti-Semitism. For if we don’t, we are doomed.
Anti-Semitism is on the left. Anti-Semitism is on the right. Anti-Semitism is all around us. WE MUST STAND UP TO IT AS ONE.