Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
German synagogue 1938
Since I began my blog almost two years ago, I have written often about the topic of anti-Semitism, specifically, my worries that we might be seeing a resurgence of it around the world and even here in the US. With the situation in the Middle East, my fears are increasing. A week ago, right here in Irvine, two local synagogues were defaced with pro-Hamas posters. On December 30, in a pro-Hamas demonstration in Ft Lauderdale, some protesters carried banners that said, "Nuke Israel", while a few taunted Jews with cries of "you need bigger ovens." Add to this the increasing anti-Semitism in many European countries, and what we have is a dangerous situation that may even lead to a second Holocaust. It is high time for our outgoing President, George Bush and our in-coming president Barack Obama to publicly speak out on this issue.
I am exaggerating you say? What do you think will happen to the people in Israel if they are ever overrun by their Palestinian enemies? Of course, that would have to be aided and abetted by the Arab world at large (and, of course Iran with their emerging nuclear weapons), but don't discount the possibility. Who in 1920 would have thought that there would have been a Holocaust in the first place?
Naturally, the above scenario would also require the indifference of America and the Western world to the fate of Israel's Jews. But is that such a far-fetched idea? Clearly, the attitude in Europe is pro-Palestinian. Ironically, only Germany, with its unique history, feels any responsibility to Israel and the Jewish people. In addition, many in America are becoming weary of Israel's efforts to defend itself. Jews are being seen as blind supporters of Israel, though that is not universally the case.
So now, we have blatant expressions of anti-Semitism in Europe, where the small Jewish communities feel threatened and scorned. It should be pointed out that most expressions of hate seem to be coming from the Arab, North African, and other Muslim populations of those countries, but there seems to be no outrage coming from the native populations. And at home, the Israel/Palestinian problem is being exacerbated by increasing expressions of anti-Semitism.
Who are the perpetrators of these acts of hate directed against Jews here in America? In the case of the Irvine synagogues, we don't know. A couple of years back, there were violent rampages in San Francisco and Seattle carried out by lone perpetrators (Muslims) directed against Jews. The press, after the initial reports, quickly buried the stories because of their obvious implications.
On our college campuses we see the problem as well. It is not just the various Muslim Student Unions who are guilty, though I have repeatedly condemned the anti-Semitic speakers they have brought to the UC-Irvine campus. They are aided and abetted by radical, America/Israel-hating professors who actively stir up demonstrations directed against Israel. And make no mistake, these professors are not from the right; they are from the far-left, with few-if any exceptions. As pointed out in the essay I just cross-posted, which was written by Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, universities like the University of California at Santa Cruz are bastions of indoctrination aimed against Israel. Only Jewish students and young College Republicans will speak for Israel-at risk to their grades and their physical safety. What an environment for a young Jewish student to attend college in these days.
That leads to my final point, and I want to say it carefully because I am not looking to whip up feelings against our Muslim communities. I don't want to see violence and vandalism directed toward them or their mosques any more than against Jews. They, however, must understand that whatever feelings they have brought with them from their countries of origin, whether they be based on religion or the Israel situation, must be left at the door. We cannot tolerate a resurgence of anti-Semitism in this country that is even partially fueled by the feelings of immigrants.
True, we in the US are hardly at the point of a 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom, but the warning signs are here. It is time for us as Americans to nip it in the bud. It should start with our national leaders; hence my call for Bush and Obama to speak out in defense of our Jewish citizens. Obama can be especially effective because most of his support comes from the left-and yes, the black community in America is not immune from anti-Semitism either. Someone needs to effectively counter the words of the Louis Farrakhans, Cynthia McKinneys, and Amir Abdel Malik Alis. That would be Barack Obama.
Between George Bush and Barack Obama, they can influence not only their own contituencies, but send a message that even their respective opponents should accept and applaud. The time to do it is now.