Demonstrator protests against attacks on Jews. Illustrative image. Photo: Bigstock
A few days ago, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sent additional state patrols to Jewish neighborhoods after a series of attacks, including the beating of a man by a downtown mob, a brick thrown through the windows of a kosher pizzeria and “protesters” spitting and threatening restaurant patrons.
At first, I didn’t really know the story. Since the Brooklyn anti-Jewish attacks were not primarily the work of white supremacists, the incidents do not attract everyone’s attention.
It does not matter. I would suggest that the Jews go out and arm themselves to deter these kinds of attacks, but of course New York makes that extremely difficult. And we shouldn’t exaggerate the circumstances – hate crimes are still rare, and the United States may be the safest place for Jews.
Having said that, it would be a tragedy if we followed the European trajectory. There, the same types of lies and slander that are now normalized and propagated by people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and other progressives in Congress have turned into harassment and violence against Jews.
Almost a quarter of the French, for example, believe in a Jewish conspiracy theory. Almost half of the French say Zionism is a conspiracy to dominate the world.
Like American progressives, the European Union is helping to fuel this animosity, signaling endless and almost exclusive reprimands to the Jewish state, while ignoring atrocities around the world.
In Europe, few Jewish organizations resist these currents. And in fact, in the United States, Jewish organizations – ADL cowards and others – also exist largely to appease leftists and struggles for progressive causes. These places are populated by people who display their bravery by putting three brackets around their Twitter credentials; the kind of person who works harder to quash Fox News’ Tucker Carlson than to expose the spread of bloodthirsty accusations by elected officials. He is the kind of person who suggests that American Jews take their kippahs away, as is done in the suburbs of Paris.
“It pains me to say that,” tweeted Aaron Keyak, head of Jewish engagement at Joe Biden during the campaign and transition, “but if you fear for your life or your physical safety, take off your kippah and hide your David’s star. (Obviously, if you can, ask your rabbi first.) “In 2020, Keyak blamed Trump for the anti-Semitic attacks, saying, ‘We see how Trump has been extremely weak on anti-Semitism and has put the Jews in danger by making us less secure. “Today he has no idea why this is happening …
As in the United States, media coverage in Europe gives the impression that anti-Semitism is largely the work of angry ethnonationalists.
But, as an EU study found, among the most serious incidents of anti-Semitic harassment in the European Union, 31% include someone whose victim they do not know, but 30% were perpetrated by a victim. person with extreme Muslim views; 21% by someone who had leftist political views; 16% by a colleague from work or school; 15% by an acquaintance or a friend; and only 13% by someone with known right-wing opinions. Of course, it is embarrassing to talk about it.
In 2015, in France, Europe’s largest Jewish community (which, it should be noted, is only 500,000), the government sent 10,000 soldiers across the country to protect hundreds of Jewish sites. French soldiers patrol the streets of places like Sarcelles to protect Jews from “anti-Zionist” violence. Every year, horrific acts of violence and murder are perpetrated against Jews.
Now in France you can throw an elderly Jew off a balcony shouting Allahu Akbar, as long as you smoke a good one first. In Germany, you can throw Molotov cocktails at a Jewish place of worship, as long as you “draw attention to the conflict in Gaza.”
For the average Jew, the situation in Europe is worse now than at any time after World War II. The United States is far from it. But they are certainly going in the wrong direction.
David Harsanyi is editor-in-chief at National Review and author of the still unpublished book Eurotrash: Why the United States Should Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent.
© Revue nationale 2021. Published with permission. Original in English.