Antisemitism Never Goes Away

Source: Jene J. Puskar – AP

The Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting yet again proved the ever-lingering fear. Antisemitism just simply does not go away. No matter how many claims are made about Nazism being dead. On the other side on the anti-Israel spectrum, the arguments you get to hear are the very epitome of antisemitism. Why do Jews need a homeland when the Nazi threat is no more?

The heartbreaking massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh reminded you of the haunting memories of the 1970 Munich Olympics massacre and the suicide bombing at Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul in 2013. And these are just incidents of such a rampage that come to the surface because you cannot miss them in the news. The little acts of hate, seemingly unthreatening to the insensitive, happen all around the year and all the time.

It was probably days before the Pittsburgh massacre that a synagogue in Indiana was defaced with Nazi graffiti. And while the Jews in the Middle East are often told to “go back” to America and Europe, this often ignored pattern is just too shocking to ignore. As much as it is important to argue for a Palestinian state, it is also important to argue for strengthening the Jewish one.

All eleven people who lost their lives in Pittsburgh were above 50 years old. One even more than 90 years old. It is obvious anyone who is going to attack them just for being who they are is doing out of sheer hate and bigotry. There are no grievances here or some struggle for freedom involved, for the people who think that Jewish people are targeted in the Middle East just for occupation, it is sheer hate taught by one generation to the next unabated.

The turn that American politics has taken certainly is not helping that trend. While on one hand, President Trump seems to be the best friend of Israel by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, on the other, he has only been encouraging the White Supremacist Nationalists in his base. The terrible White Nationalist parade at Charlottesville, Virginia, is just one example. Perhaps, it is something for the Republican Jewish Coalition to think about.

But there is a reason the right wing is winning with the Jewish people too, especially back home in Israel. Because the left wing, as committed it has been against fascism (though some would argue not as much against antisemitism), they are beginning to give up on Israel. Somehow, the politicians in the United States and Israel and the Jewish community in general, need to come together with a sane way of reconciling conservatism with humane politics. There must be no room for racism, bigotry, and antisemitism on any platform, under any condition

Jews need a homeland because of Pittsburgh. Because of Charlottesville. Because the entire Western civilization is covered by a thin veil of civility that could slip off any time.