Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
Lyft
September 1, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 5     (5 of 48 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
 
PAGE 5     (5 of 48 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
September 1, 2017
 

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.




HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 PAGE 5A Is it ble to nq By Jonathan S. Tobln JNS.org We live in a time when, as the U.S. State Depart- ment has noted, a "rising tide of anti-Semitism" has swept across the globe. Anti-Semitism has crept into the mainstream from the margins of society in the West, as a coalition of intellectual elites and Mus- lims has produced a surge of venom against Israel and Jews who identify with it. That movement has found a foothold on American campuses and among left- wing groups, resulting in Jews being stigmatized and isolated in the public square, and students being subjected to violence and intimidation. But the growth of this noxious form of hate is not what most American Jews are most worried about. Instead, it is the spectacle ofneo-Nazis and their Ku Klux Klan and alt-right allies parading in Charlottesville, Va that scares Jews the most. A reasonable argument can be put forward to assert that, even now, with far-right anti-Semites being more ac- tive than in recent memory, their left-wing counterparts pose a more serious menace to global Jewish security. But fear of the anti-Semitic right is always going to be the threat that resonates the most in the Jewish community. The thought process leading to the conclusion behind this mindset might be debatable, but it also reflects a disturbing truth about the persistence of anti-Semitism and the failure of both liberals and conserva- tives to think clearly about the issue. Part of the reason why right-wing anti-Semites are scarier to American Jews is a function of imagery and historical memory. The spectacle in Charlottesville of large numbers of neo-Nazis and Klan members holding a torchlight paradewhile chant- ing anti-Semitic slogans is chilling in of itself, but also because it is reminiscent of the Holocaust. These thugs aren't anything close to being the threat the Nazis were in Germany, but their brazen- ness provides a visceral shock that even the most vicious and perhaps more influential Jew-haters on the left can't provoke. The increasingly central role anti-Semitic attitudes are playing on the left often flies under the flag of anti- Zionism rather than open Jew-hatred. But that is a dis- tinction without a difference. Even in the U.S where it is less prevalent than in Europe, this has meant boycotts and even violence, as well as in- flammatory rhetoric--com- ing from many prominent members of the anti-Trump "resistance'--that demon- izes affiliated Jews as racist oppressors. Liberal Jews have been slow to respond to this threat because it requires them to confront erstwhile allies who are part of the Demo- cratic Party base or groups they view with sympathy, like Black Lives Matter or organizations that purport to represent the LGBTQ community. But liberals aren't the only ones who have ignored things that didn't fit into their woridview. Republicans have become a lockstep pro-Israel party, and the main organs of conservatism like National Review chased anti-Semites out long ago. This has led Jewish conservatives to be- lieve the virus of right-wing anti-Semitism was dead and buried. But anti-Semitism on the right has made a come- back in the form of a virulent and violent alt-right move- ment that rejects mainstream conservatism. Neo-Nazis and the Klan, and their alt-right allies, may be small in number and make up only an infinitesimal fraction of the coalition that elected Trump. But their im- pact is magnified by Trump's reluctance to consistently take them on. Trump is no anti-Semite and has gov- erned as a staunch friend of Israel. Yet he has encouraged right-wing anti-Semites by alleging a false moral equiva- lence with those who oppose them, while also signaling sympathy with the cause (preserving Confederate statues) that the anti- Semites and racists turned out to sup- port in Charlottesville. Neo-Nazis may seem scari- er than Jew-haters on the left, but the challenge for Ameri- can Jews now lies in trying to rise above the partisan loyal- ties that can blind us to both sides of the anti-Semitic coin. Liberals prefer to ignore the potent influence of those who promulgate anti- Semitic boycotts of Israel while en- couraging intimidation and attacks against Jews. Many seem to think calling out left-wing anti-Semites in the anti-Trump resistance is not as important as opposing the administration. At the same time, conservatives need to acknowledge that speaking up about the anti-Semitic right isn't chasing ghosts. They need to understand that calling out Trump for his encouragement of alt-right anti-Semites will neither betray Israel nor aid left-wing Jew-haters. What is needed is a Jewish community with the wisdom to take up the fight against hate and bigotry no matter its origin. Until that happens, liberals and conservatives alike will continue to fail to adequately address a prob- lem that ought to transcend politics. Jonathan S. Tobin is opin- ion editor of JNS.org and a contributing writer for National Review. Follow him on Twitter at: @jona- thans tobin. By Abraham H. Miller JNS.org Jews are asking if we're back in the 1920s. To me, the scene outside a Charlottesville synagogue is more like Odessa in 1905. Across from the synagogue stood three white suprema- cists with semi-automatic weapons. During the Friday night torchlight parade that passed the synagogue, the alt-right marchers, hands in the salute formation, hurled slogans reminiscent of the Nazi era. The armed men in fatigues looked as if they were ready to carry out the threats. The police were called. They did not show. Did the city By Gabriel Groisman JNS .org The stinging heat of anti- Semitism is being felt, yet again, around the world. Whether you live in Miami, Rome or Santiago, the goose- bumps we all got when we heard the chants of the white supremacists in Charlottes- ville--"Jews will not replace us"--are the same. The lump in my throat when I learned that the pe- destrians who were mowed down in Barcelona Aug. 17 were standing outside two kosher restaurants is the same feeling felt by Jews in Brussels, Sydney and Toronto. These feelings remind me of Robert De Niro's character in the 1995 movie, "Heat." De Niro's character famously says that you have to be ready to drop everything and go, in 30 seconds, if you feel the heat coming around the corner. With the heat index of anti-Semitism on the rise, we must ask: Is it time for Jews to drop everything and move to the Jewish homeland, Israel? In2015, then-Vice President Joe Biden said the only coun- try in the world that can guarantee the safety of the Jewish people is Israel. Biden council want blood spilled to advance an agenda? We are told by one dis- traught police officer that the police were told to let the two groups of demonstrators have conl:act with each other and then stand down--a scenario designed for chaos and crafted outrage. Although this is from an anonymous source, video footage of the event posted by the Virginia ACLU shows just that. The Virginia ACLU repeated on Twitter that the police were told to stand down. Inside the synagogue, the rabbi and the congregation were helpless. I imagine that, like mostsynagogues, itprides itself on being a gun-free zone, received a lot of criticism for that comment. American Jews felt slighted and concerned. Yet I believe he was absolutely correct. As Biden said, "No matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States there's only one guarantee. There is really only one ab- solute guarantee, and that's the state of Israel." A clear look at today's po- litical landscape shows the resurgence of anti-Semitism on both sides of the political spectrum. On one side, there is the "progressive" move- ment's aggressive and anti- Semitic support of boycotts of Israel, often revealing that anti-Zionism is a thin veil for classic anti-Semitism. On the other side, we saw that the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville was filledwith Nazis and white suprema- cists. None of this is new. At the same time, an- other source of "heat" is the cheapening of Jewish life in mainstream society. This may seem like a bold, inflamma- tory statement--but it doesn't make it any less true. For instance, in January 2017, a group of people were patiently Or in the lexicon of gun advo- cates, an easy target. If someone wants to kill you, hanging a sign isn't the deterrent you might think it is. If the neo-Nazis, KKK members andwhite suprema- cists entered the synagogue, they could have slaughtered all the worshippers before the first police car could arrive at the scene. The congregants left through the back door, and were told to walk in groups instead of dispersing. In fact, a group only provides more targets in close proximity. The congregants have a lot to learn. But what does this have to do with Odessa in 19057 standing on a pedestrian promenade.Atruck came bar- reling down the street, veered intentionally up the sidewalk and ran right over the group, killing four and injuring 15. The driver was then shot as he was reversing the truck to try to extend the carnage. Since this terrorist attack took place in Jerusalem, the BBC covered the story with a headline that read, "Driver of lorry shot in Jerusalem after allegedly ramming pedes- trians, injuring at least 15, Israeli media report." This is not just one news outlet. This is not just one incident. This is the new trend. Is the value of Jewish life beginning to diminish--again? This brings us back to the initial question: Has the pro- verbial heat of anti- Semitism reached a level dictating that Jews should pack their bags and move to Israel, where all Jews are welcome and where there is a strong military focused entirely on defending the Jewish people? As a patriotic American citizen and as the mayor of an amazing municipality, I be- lieve that the answer for Jews in the U.S. is "no." America is still avery safe country, where the government--at every Odessa was the scene of the bloodiest pogrom to take place in Russia, whose Jews sustained a long series of brutal massacres. Although many Jews (esti- mates vary from 400 to 2,000) died in the Odessa pogrom of 1905, the Jews had created organized, armed militias and fought back, taking a toll on police and soldiers that were actively involved in the pogrom, along with the Okhrana, the czarist secret police. Two Russian Jews who took special note of the Odessa pogrom were Ze'ev Jabotinsky and Joseph Trumpeldor. Ja- botinsky, at the time, was a leading Russian-Jewish level--protects the rights of ethnic and religious minori- ties, including Jews. I know that in my municipality of Bal Harbour, and throughout the U.S the Jewish commu- nity feels safe and is thriving. In fact, the Jewish people have never lived a safer and freer existence--outside of Israel--than we have in the U.S. during the last century. Despite this reality, and given the lessons of history, it is imperative for Jews to always ask the question: Am I still safe here? Jews around the world cannot be blind to the reality surrounding us. We cannot ignore the rising heat levels of the past several years. We must keep our eyes wide open, even if we live in what seems to be a paradise. The rise of anti-Semitism must be fought without hesitation and without equivocation-- whether it comes from the left or the right. Anti-Semitism should not only be chal- lenged when it is politically convenient. We must never again allow anti-Semitism or any form of racism to become tolerable in our society. Gabriel Groisman is the mayor of Bal Harbour, Fla. Follow him on Twitter: @ gabegroisman. intellectual. Trumpeldor was a decorated military hero who lost an arm in the Russo- Japanese War. Influenced by the events in Odessa, the two set about to create Jewish militias, teach- ing the repelled pogromists that pitchforks, torches and knives were no match for trained and disciplined men with guns. Jabotinsky and Trumpeldor left their mark through the fact that the Russians learned killing Jews just wasn't what it used to be. Surviving pogroms in Charlottesville isn't very dif- ferent from surviving them in Odessa. IfJewswant to survive, they need to arm and train them- selves. Their other option? Walking out the back door of the synagogue and pray- ing white supremacists don't shoot them as they gather together in groups to make themselves easier targets. Or better yet, Jews can stay home where it is safe. Those are the choices. Remember, the police never showed, and the average police response time in the nation is 11 minutes when they do arrive. When a gun-toting hate group showed up outside a mosque in Texas, they were met by armed congre- gants who greatly outnum- bered them. Nobody walked out the back door of the mosque that day. The NRA was not formed to defend Southern blacks. But ex-marine Robert Wil- liams and his gun club made it possible for blacks in Mon- roe County, N.C to create a chapter of the NAACP. Williams and his gun club fought off the KKK, which previously harassed, injured and murdered blacks at will. His NAACP chapter went on to integrate the local library and swimming pool. During the turmoil of the civil rights era in Louisiana, the Deacons for Defense, made up of veterans, armed themselves to protect young civil rights workers from the savagery of KKKviolence. The Miller on page 15A S !