Jewish Lives Don’t Matter to the Left
None of the recent anti-Semitic attacks in cities are happening by accident. They are happening largely because of social media, social justice, and social intolerance for pro Israel Jews in the West
Jewish Lives Don’t Matter to the Left
Since the latest Israeli-Palestinian violence started, American Jews have experienced some of the worst anti Semitic attacks since the Holocaust. At the beginning of May, it seemed unimaginable that visible Jews would be attacked in cities worldwide, synagogues vandalized, Israeli flags burned, and Jewish families being forced to remove religious symbols from outside their homes, but the fires of anti-Semitism are rising stronger than ever before. Aiding the new anti-Semitism in the West is not just the usual neo Nazis, who are responsible for a plurality of anti Semitism recorded in recent years, but a more subtle and arguably more deadly form disguised as “social justice”. Over the past three weeks, Twitter, TikTok, college campuses, Hollywood celebrities and politicians have amplified their vocal anti Zionism into the biggest anti-Semitism threat facing Diaspora Jewry since World War II. This vicious new form of anti-Semitism coming almost solely from the Left shows that to so-called progressives, caring about Jews is not important. These past three weeks have proven that even for the loudest voices in the Left’s social justice movements, Jewish Lives Don’t Matter.
When Israeli-Palestinian hostilities flared up on Monday May 8th, I knew this time would be different. But I didn’t exactly know just how different it would be. For all the talk among Republican Jews of how anti-Israel Obama was, in 2014, Democrats were still generally pro-Israel. President Obama and most senior Democrats voiced their support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, after Hamas murdered 3 Israeli teens and fired rockets at Israeli cities. Palestinian human rights were barely mentioned. Celebrities did not virtue signal about how Israel was committing war crimes, and most Democrats did not know how the words “apartheid, occupation, and ethnic cleansing” related to Israel. After the Black Lives Matter movement heavily thrusted America’s discourse to the Left in 2020, things are different, and may never be the same again. But even before the “racial reckoning of 2020”, leftists flexed their muscle on demonizing Israel on college campuses. In 2015, students at UC Irvine embraced the BDS movement by divesting from Israel, students at UMichigan attempted to divest from Israel in 2017, NYU divested from Israel in 2019, and anti-Semitic attacks were widespread on college campuses (mostly left wing campuses) under the presidency of Donald Trump. After the latest round of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, we have entered a disturbing new era of anti-Semitism now driven from the Left, and things are likely to get worse before they get any better.
Social Media Cesspool
One of the major differences from 2014 and now is the much expanded reach of social media. Social media’s reach has spread far beyond its now outdated confines of 2014 when Israel and the Palestinians last were in violent conflict. With this, anti-Semitism has become more vocal, threatening and severe. Experts have correctly pointed out how social media is fueling a rise in anti Semitism at levels not seen in decades. In the latest round of fighting, tweets expressing admiration for what Hitler did to Jews have been shared far and wide. In a seven day span from May 7th to May 14th, over 17,000 tweets saying simply “Hitler was right” were shared. The tweets additionally came from prominent figures in the media. A CNN contributor tweeted recently “The world today needs a Hitler”, and BBC correspondent Tala Hawala tweeted “Hitler was right”. If someone tweeted that directed at any other marginalized group, it would be international news for weeks, but Jewish lives don’t matter to the Left. On May 11th, Pakistani singer Veera Malik tweeted the anti-Semitic quote of “I would have killed all the Jews of the world… but I kept some to show the world why I killed them”, misattributing it from Hitler. On TikTok, after a 97 year old Holocaust survivor welcomed the weekly Sabbath in a video, thousands of users replied with comments that praised Hitler and wished the survivor “a Happy Holocaust”. This is not the first instance of anti-Semitism on TikTok during the three week long conflict, as a Canadian university student filmed herself stabbing an Israeli flag. TikTok has long been known as a bastion of anti-Semitism before the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed, as TikTok users have mocked death camps as “places with warm showers, great campfires and overnight camp”, endless TikToks praising Hitler, and in August 2020, several videos mocked dead Holocaust survivors by dressing in clothes similar to what concentration camp wore. No response from the social justice Left here, but could you imagine the rightful national uproar if white people mocked Black slaves or Native Americans on the Trail of Tears?
On Instagram, the vitriol against Jews is no better. Since the latest conflict started, thousands of anti-Israel infographics have been shared calling Israel a country of “white colonizers”, “settlers” and even blaming the Israelis for acting like the Nazis did towards the Palestinians. The smear from Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) that Israelis are white colonizers oppressing the brown Palestinians takes a simplistic, critical race theory like view of a conflict far too complex for minds like Rep. Bowman. All of these smears have no basis in reality, and exist to delegitimize and demonize the world’s only Jewish State. One specific infographic calls Israel not a real country, instead the infographic argues Israel is “a settler colony that is supported by other settler colonies like the U.S., Canada and Australia”. This rhetoric has become much more common among leftists in recent years, with progressives taking an “oppressor vs oppressed” narrative on Israel that comes straight out of U.C. Berkeley lecture halls. So-called progressives are trying to spin the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into something similar to critical race theory, with the Israelis being the colonizers and the Palestinians being the colonized. Spinning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a simple “oppressor vs oppressed” narrative is wrong, demonizing to Jews, and completely disregards history, such as the fact that the UN designated present day Israel as a Jewish State in the 1947 Partition Plan. Progressives twisting the conflict into the narrative that Israelis are “white settlers colonizing brown Palestinian Muslims” disregards the fact that European Jews arrived in Israel as refugees from the Holocaust, and an even larger number of Middle Eastern Jews (who are not white) arrived in Israel in the 1950s after being kicked out of Arab countries. None of these convenient facts are ever mentioned by leftists though. The story of refugees fleeing persecution returning to their 2,000 year old homeland would be heralded as national liberation in a postcolonial African country, but when it comes to Jews doing the same thing, progressives call Israeli Jews and its defenders “the colonizers”.
Cause and Effect
In life, there is almost always a cause and effect. Online anti Zionism in the name of “social justice” is the cause, and physical anti Semitism in the real world is the effect. As of May 20th, the ADL has reported over 193 anti-Semitic attacks or a 63% increase, since the conflict began. New numbers show an even starker 75% increase in anti Semitic attacks in the past two weeks. Progressives will and already have naturally blamed Israel for causing Jews to be attacked in American cities, blaming the Jews as the collateral victims for the Netanyahu Government’s actions. The Left would recoil in horror and call you a racist until the end of time if one said the Chinese Communists are responsible for the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes in America, but when it comes to American Jews, their standard is different.
The cause of online anti Zionism wrapped in “social justice” and the effect of Jews being attacked in the real world is a direct result of woke activism from the Left, with devastating results. In New York, a Jewish man was beaten bloody and fled for his life at a pro Palestinian protest, an elderly Jewish man was attacked walking into synagogue, and a Jewish man named Joseph Borgen was punched, beaten with crutches and pepper sprayed by a gang of pro Palestinian youths in NYC. Jewish owned jewelry stores in Manhattan’s Diamond District were threatened by roving pro Palestinian mobs, one of whom threw an explosive inside the store. In Los Angeles, a group of pro Palestinian supporters asked diners “Who’s Jewish?!” and proceeded to attack the Jews at a sushi restaurant. In Florida, a Jewish family was threatened with being raped by a group of Arab men, and feces was left outside a synagogue. Synagogues have been attacked with rocks thrown into windows in Arizona and swastikas in Utah. In Chicago, after a synagogue was vandalized, local Jewish residents rallied against anti-Semitism, and were subsequently taunted at the rally by pro Palestinian activists. Anti Defamation League President Jonathan Greenblatt said “Anti Jewish incidents are literally happening from coast to coast, and spreading like wildfire. The sheer audacity of these attacks feels very different.” And this is only in America.
In Europe, synagogues have been attacked in the German cities of Bonn, Gelsenkirchen and Munster, a Jewish man was seen on film getting attacked in Berlin, Palestinians drove through Jewish areas of London threatening to “rape Jewish women”. In Paris and Brussels, Arabs chanted “Death to Jews” at a pro Palestinian rally, echoing similar chants heard in New York. In Montreal, a Jewish woman was accosted by pro Palestinian thugs and threatened with rape, and an elderly Jewish man was beaten bloody in Toronto. Things have gotten so drastic that some American Jews are even removing their mezuzahs from their doorposts, fearing that these visible identifiers put them at risk of anti-Semitic attacks.
Social Justice and Social Intolerance for Jews
None of these anti-Semitic attacks in cities are happening by accident. They are happening largely because of social media, social justice, and social intolerance for pro Israel Jews in the West. As the West has become woke, so has the act of sweeping anti-Semitism under the rug. One perfect example is in Las Vegas, where an elderly Jewish man was beaten in broad daylight, with the assailant yelling “baby killer” at the man. The attacker branded the victim as a Palestinian “baby killer” simply for wearing a Jewish Star necklace, equivocating Jewishness with support for Israel’s defensive war against Hamas terrorists. This same language of “Israelis are baby killers” has been used by the left wing Squad of AOC, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar in Congress. If Ilhan Omar and the Left did not incite such rhetoric against Israel, it’s very likely the attack on an innocent Jewish man in Las Vegas would not have happened. It’s all connected.
Excluding Jews, Including Everyone Else
Anti Jewish hatred is the only hatred that the woke Left has consistently ignored, and the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict proves the Left is more concerned with the human rights of Palestinians 6,000 miles away than the Jews being attacked by their rhetoric in their own cities. The very same activists who screamed “Silence is violence” at BLM rallies in 2020 are now exactly that: Silent as anti Jewish attacks that their anti Israel tweets have stoked. The same woke Left that explodes into protest whenever there’s a police involved shooting is nowhere to be found protecting American Jews, a group that ironically votes 70%+ Democrat in every election. The same woke Left that shared thousands of anti Israel infographics calling Jews “white colonizers” and “ethnic cleansers of Palestinians” are now suddenly shocked that their actions online are having offline consequences in the real world. ADL President Jonathan Greenblatt summarized it as “This is why Jews feel so terrified in this moment,” Mr. Greenblatt said, observing that there are currents of anti-Semitism flowing from both the left and the right. Now, no one is wearing MAGA hats.” Instead, one group of anti Semites are predominantly Muslims wearing Palestinian keffiyehs, alongside white hipsters in skinny jeans wearing “Free Palestine” t-shirts.
The Media and Politicians’ Dereliction of Duty
Even when the Left tries to call out the recent spike in anti-Semitism, they have failed miserably. CNN’s Chris Cuomo stated that “At a time when Jewish people are facing increased violence, Democrats are not where the recent anti-Semitism is coming from”. Yes, because conservatives from Middle America are definitely wearing Palestinian keffiyehs attacking Jews in the far right strongholds of New York and Los Angeles. The media’s tone deafness gets worse in the New York Times’ editorial, and this is a real headline, “Attacks on Jews are a gift to the Right”. Author Michelle Goldberg has since changed the headline, but the damage was done. Whether she knew it or not, Goldberg declared that the optics of helping conservatives was more of a sin than Jews being assaulted in the streets of our cities. Historian Michael Benschloss also subtly blamed Jews when he tweeted “Claiming that criticism of a leader is an attack on the leader’s followers is a classic authoritarian tactic”, referring to Netanyahu and how critiques of his government equal anti Semitism. Normally, they wouldn’t, but this latest round of Israeli-Palestinian fighting has proven most people don’t know how to criticize Israel without criticizing Jews and the essentialness of our ancestral homeland.
Along with the media, woke Hollywood celebrities and politicians have been equally as bad as condemning attacks on American Jews that they have fermented with their critiques of Israel. Noted geopolitical expert and model Bella Hadid posted on Instagram on May 16th how happy she was to be surrounded by “beautiful, kind, smart and loving Palestinians” at a pro Palestine rally in Brooklyn...only for one of the men in Hadid’s picture to be arrested during the gang assault on Joseph Borgen in Manhattan four days later. This rings similar to the classic media deception that last year’s riot in Wisconsin was “a mostly peaceful protest”. Politicians on the Left have not been any better in condemning anti Semitism, and I would argue their weak and half-hearted “condemnations” of anti Jewish hatred are the most depressing part.
Politicians including Sen. Bernie Sanders, Reps Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have condemned anti-Semitism, but have loudly included speaking out against Islamophobia in the same tweets as condemning anti Semitism. This is an “All Lives Matter” like approach. Politicians from Sanders to AOC are choosing to brush aside the attacks exclusively on Jews, while including Islamophobia in the same sentence when there has been no equivalent recorded spike in Islamophobic attacks. London Mayor Sadiq Khan broadened his condemnation of anti-Semitism to include the rise of Islamophobia, but last time I checked, pro Israel convoys were not driving around Muslim areas of London threatening Muslims; instead it was pro Palestinian convoys doing this in Jewish areas. Bernie Sanders’ double condemnation of anti Semitism and Islamophobia would have serious merit if Jews were forming mobs and beating Muslims in New York because of Hamas’ actions, but there has been no spike in Islamophobic hate crimes recorded, none of this has happened. It has been the reverse. According to New York’s Q1 of 2021 Hate Crime statistics, there have been 27 anti Jewish hate crimes, and a grand total of 1 anti Muslim hate crimes in New York. We are living in a time when hate crimes against Jews in major cities like New York were spiking even before the latest round of fighting in Israel, and our left wing politicians cannot even afford to speak out against anti Jewish hatred exclusively. Leftist politicians are scared to condemn anti Jewishness alone because it’s clear whose side they’re on now: The oppressed, the marginalized, the brown Palestinians against the oppressive, white colonizing Israeli Jews, funded by American Jewish money, of which over 70% of the vote goes to the Democratic Party. Congressman Dean Phillips (D-MN) is one of the few self aware voices left in a Democratic Party zooming far to the Left, as Phillips pointed out his progressive colleague’s deafening silence on anti-Semitic attacks in America.
In conclusion, the Left has repeatedly proved over these past three weeks that to the most social justice oriented wing of the Democratic Party, Jewish Lives Don’t Matter. The warning signs were there on TikTok and college campuses divesting from the world’s only Jewish State before the latest flareup in Gaza, but now, it is crystal clear. In these past three weeks, the organizations who dominate American civil society have made it clear: Black Lives Matter, we must stop anti Asian hate, but Jewish Lives Don’t Matter because of what Israel is doing to the Palestinians.
It is obvious that Jewish Lives Don’t Matter to leftist colleges like Rutgers, whose administration were forced by the Students for Justice in Palestine organization into apologizing for a letter apologizing for anti-Semitic acts on campus. Jewish Lives Don’t Matter to the college students who share anti Israel infographics online, and then act shocked when Jews are attacked at pro Israel rallies. Jewish Lives Don’t Matter to the politicians who blatantly lie and denounce the attackers of Jews in cities as “white supremacists”, when they are pro Palestinian activists. We have seen Jewish Lives Don’t Matter to a tone-deaf media that claims it’s actually conservatives that are benefitting from anti-Semitic hatred. Jewish Lives Don’t Matter to the activists who rightfully preach about intersectionality for BLM, gay rights & Stop Asian Hate, but then call Jews “too sensitive” for caring about anti Semitic attacks this week “because Jews have white privilege”. Jewish Lives Don’t Matter to the woke activists who screamed “Silence is Violence” for years, only to ignore Jewish Americans’ cries for solidarity when we are being beaten in cities. Finally, Jewish Lives Don’t Matter to intersectional activists who include every marginalized ethnic group in their activism, except for Jews when it matters most.
American Jews are exhausted and living in fear of anti-Semitism now coming from the Left, and in a time like this, what American Jews need to hear is that our lives matter.