Like many people, I’ve been shocked by the open anti-Semitic violence that I’ve seen in the United States, the UK, and in the rest of the world. It hasn’t just been the violence, though. It’s also been the silence from the people who are usually quick to rightly speak out whenever any other group is targeted with threats and harassment.
As much as it pains me to say it, anti-Semitism does not surprise me. It’s the world’s oldest prejudice and one that stubbornly refuses to die. And I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the same people who have spent the past few years supporting BDS and spreading lies about Israel are now conspicuously silent as those lies are used to justify attacks on Jews worldwide. And yet, I am surprised because, deep down, I keep trying to convince myself that the world is better than this and that even those who are critical of Israel have enough human decency to step and condemn anti-Semitism.
Don’t get me wrong. After spending a week attacking Israel, some members of the Left have offered up half-hearted condemnations of anti-Semitism. Of course, they always making sure to mention that Islamophobia is bad too. And yes, Islamophobia is wrong but, when violence broke out in New York’s Diamond District last week, it wasn’t because Jews were driving through the neighborhood and attacking Muslims. Apparently, the “both sides do it” argument is suddenly once again acceptable when it comes to discussing attacks on Jewish people. The message that I’ve gotten from so many on the Left is that open anti-Semitic violence is bad only because it is saying the quiet part loud.
The lack of any real condemnation will be remembered long after this current spate of anti-Semitic violence has died down.