Liberals Blame Orthodox Jews’ Unfounded Fear For Loss of Congress

In New York’s 17th congressional district, Democratic incumbent Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney lost his seat to a Republican challenger, Mike Lawler. The pundits – and Maloney himself – offered their opinions as to why the five-term incumbent who spent 5.6 times more than his opponent, lost.

Their conclusion is disheartening, as it further underscores how liberals simply refuse to acknowledge the rampant anti-Semitism and attacks against Jews in society.

The New York Times asked the question directly in its headline “A Powerful N.Y. Democrat Was a Shoo-In for Re-election. What happened?” It offered some ideas including that Maloney opted for running in the wrong district after his historic contours were redrawn. The article wrote that it may have appeared like a safe choice in “diverse, left-leaning places like Peekskill and Ossining,” it neglected to consider the “significant population of right-leaning ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Jews were the only ethnic group mentioned in the article. Not Hispanics, Blacks, Asians nor any others. Jews were the thorn in the side which helped lead to this congressman’s demise, and possibly Democratic control of the House of Representatives.

In another Times’ article, Maloney was asked why some of his constituents voted against him. He blamed media fear-mongering.

Maloney said that people in the suburbs of New York City are fed lies by conservative media about crime. “New York is home to the fiercest outlet in the News Corporation fear machine. In fairness to the governor, she and the rest of us have to contend with the hysteria of The New York Post and of Fox News… you have these suburban voters who are experiencing those messages coming out of New York City outlets, which were heavily focused on crime.”

The outgoing congressman said that the media cooked up “messages” about crime to manufacture “fear” and “hysteria.” The issue for this New York politician who’s been serving in congress for ten years was media spin, not actual crime.

Hate crimes against Jews – particularly in New York – is not a fiction concocted to make Democrats look weak on crime. It is an alarming reality, and the scourge is reported by all media outlets, whether CBSNews, CNN or Reuters.

Jews are being harassed, assaulted and murdered with increasing frequency and rather than acknowledge the serious problem, liberals are treating it like false news.

And if that’s not bad enough, they are now blaming Orthodox Jews for flipping congress and thereby hurting the Democratic agenda in the entire country. A little more fuel for liberal Jew hatred for the coming years.

Related articles:

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New York Times’ Small Anti-Semitism

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The New York Times Excuses Palestinian “Localized Expressions of Impatience.” I Mean Rockets.

For The Sins Of 5782…

… for following directions from Waze with more obedience than any Torah commandments;

… for being upset that we don’t skip enough piyutim and selichot in synagogue;

… for coming to synagogue during the week wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt;

… for completing morning services at home in 360 seconds;

… for re-watching Key & Peele skits on my phone during breaks in davening;

for these sins and thoughts related to prayer services, please pardon us

… for the sin of cursing the gardener and coveting my neighbor’s lawn;

… for using COVID as an excuse for not going to shiva visits;

… for not killing lanterbugs on Shabbos;

… for sincerely asking for forgiveness and begrudgingly giving it;

… for taking the final aluminum tins from Amazing Savings right before the holidays;

… for not speaking up loudly against anti-Semites because they were Jews or from my political party;

… for embracing anti-Semites and their positions in the belief that I will be spared while fellow Jews are carted away;

… for not rallying behind institutions that fired anti-Zionist teachers;

… for not calling out anti-Semitism from other minorities, for fear of being called a racist;

… for not visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem;

… for believing that calls for violence are covered under free speech;

… for not doing enough to stop more anti-Semites from becoming members of Congress;

… for not protesting my government’s funding Palestinian agencies that still actively promote terrorism;

… for falsely believing that Tikkun Olam will stop the spread of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism;

… for screaming at ignoramuses like Whoopi Goldberg rather than educating them;

… for continuing to subscribe to anti-Semitic media which peddles the ‘powerful Jew’ myth;

… for deliberately weakening Jewish institutions with lawsuits and public declarations, rather than finding a way to improve them from within the community;

for these sins and thoughts related to community, please pardon us

… for allowing my children to attend colleges with rampant anti-Semitism;

… for visiting countries on vacation that fund anti-Israel NGOs and condemn Israel at the United Nations;

… for not listening to kids’ recommendation to invest alongside Pelosi, and for listening to them about investing in crypto;

… for calling my uncle a crazy racist and my niece a lazy woke-tard;

… for still not having a proper name for my in-laws, after many years of being married;

… for not calling my parents enough, even when they remind me of that fact constantly;

… for pretending I’m preoccupied when my spouse asks for something I’m not interested in;

… for telling my spouse to change attire; for not listening to spouse’s recommendation on attire; for listening to spouse’s recommendation on dress; for being late to events because of attire;

for these sins and thoughts related to family, please pardon us

… for the arrogance of believing that people read my postings including annoying Wordle scores;

… for believing Shabbos calories don’t count;

… for thinking I’m younger than my age, and not living each day fully;

… for internalizing that living my best life means selfish overindulgence;

… for trying to do too much; for trying to do too little;

… for not spending more time with family, friends, community and You;

for all these things, please pardon us

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The Economics Behind The Times’ Hasidic School Article

The New York Times printed a very long article about Hasidic schools in New York which took in roughly $1 billion of pubic money over the last few years, and claimed that they failed to provide a basic education on purpose. The Times mocked the terrible hiring practices at the schools and essentially urged the government to stop funding them until they improved their practices, as the paper released the article just two days before the New York State Board of Regents met on the matter.

The Board of Regents took notice and proposed tougher regulations aimed at these ultra Orthodox schools.

A deeper review of the Times article shows that the paper may have reached the wrong conclusion – that the schools require MORE money to succeed, not less.

The Times made its conclusion clear on the front page when it wrote “where other schools may be underperforming because of underfunding and mismanagement, these schools are different. They are failing by design.

The article made it appear that the Jewish schools are actually OVERFUNDED, calling out “$1 Billion. Amount of government money collected in the past four years by Hasidic boys’ schools, even though they appear to be operating in violation of state laws guaranteeing students an adequate education.” It mocked the hiring practices of the schools, writing “Often, English teachers cannot speak the language fluently themselves. Many earn as little as $15 an hour. Some have been hired off Craigslist or ads on lamp posts.” The article added that the schools “mostly hire only Hasidic men as teachers, regardless of whether they know English. One former student said he once had a secular teacher who doubled as the school cook.

The article made it appear that the schools are just pocketing the money, especially as it highlighted that one of the Hasidic school networks “controlled over $500 million in assets,” and showed a picture with accompanying text that one school building “takes up a city block.

But a deeper dive of these observations paints the opposite picture.

Small Subsidies Per Yeshiva Child

The $1 billion sounds like a huge headline figure going out to failing private schools. The accompanying Times’ commentary spelling out that the sum covers four years is perhaps lost in the momentary shock. It equates to roughly $250 million per year used to support 50,000 boys, or roughly $5,000 per student per year. That figure covers transportation, food, child care and special ed classes, in addition to general education.

By way of comparison, New York City has an annual budget of $38 billion for 919,000 students (a steadily declining number that was over 1 million just two years ago). That’s over $41,000 per student. It’s a gap of more than $36,000 per child compared to yeshiva boys.

The article hinted about this enormous gap in a few spots without sharing the math.

It first attributed the basic fact as a defense offered by the Hasidic schools, making the small subsidy seem biased: “They [the Hasidic schools] denied some of the Times findings,… that the schools receive far less taxpayer money per pupil than public schools do.” The qualified speaker tainted the observation.

Only on the fourth page of the Times’ article did the Times state two critical facts clearly: “Hasidic boy’s yeshivas receive far less per pupil than public schools, and they charge tuition.Public school students get more than 8 times the funding as these yeshiva boys, as detailed above. The fact that these private schools charge tuition needs further elaboration as well.

Enormous Yeshiva Tuition Bills Require Penny Pinching

The boys’ schools don’t operate on a budget of $5,000 per student. Parents pay tuition as noted by the Times.

These ultra Orthodox families typically have very large families. For example, on the fifth page of the article, the Times mentioned a family with six children. It also mentioned Naftuli Moser who started an advocacy group to improve secular education in yeshivas. The Times did not write that Moser is one of 17 children.

Consider the tuition bills for these families. If the yeshivas charged like the public schools, six children with a funding gap of $36,000 each would mean a tuition bill of $216,000 per year for the family. For Moser’s family, the annual tuition bill would be $612,000!

Needless to say, these schools cannot operate with the generosity afforded to public school teachers backed by powerful teacher unions. The yeshivas need to hire teachers on a budget to match the incomes of these large Hasidic families. The overall school budget is a fraction of the $41,000 spent per pupil in public schools. The schools also make accommodations for parents who cannot afford full tuition for all of their kids, by having the fathers teach at the school, accounting for Yiddish-speakers teaching English as featured in the article.

And yes, teachers do double-duty, including teaching and acting as the school chef. It keeps the school budgets down and the tuitions more affordable.

Wealth Amidst The Poverty

The Times article made the Hasidic community appear to be sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars and then taking a billion dollars from the government. Much of the wealth in the Hasidic community revolves around real estate holdings in Brooklyn. Educating nearly 100,000 boys and girls – roughly 1/10th the size of New York City’s public school students – requires many buildings. The dense communities where the Hasidim live drive up demand and therefore the prices.

This is a community whose wealth – to the extent there is some – is mostly illiquid. It is in the very homes and schools they live in every day.

Possible Solutions

Both the Times’ opening conclusion that Hasidic schools are neither underfunded nor mismanaged, and the timing of the article’s release before the Board of Regents meeting, had the desired impact of the city threatening to cut funding to the schools. As reviewed above, that is ill advised. Why take away transportation, food and other subsidies to a poor community already struggling?

More money needs to flow into the Hasidic school system, not less. That does not mean simply writing checks without accountability. The system needs to pivot to address the plain facts that yeshiva students are growing rapidly and now account for almost 10% of New York City students, as the public schools continue to shrink.

A few suggestions:

Bilingual Yiddish schools. New York City has 545 bilingual schools. They are mostly in Spanish, but also include French, Russian, Chinese, Bengali and Haitian-Creole. It is time to invest in distinct Yiddish schools in coordination with the Hasidic community. The schools would need to be segregated by gender and timed to allow for religious private school either in the morning or afternoon, switching off for different groups in the area to fully utilize the facilities.

Employ/ Pay Secular Teachers Directly. For those parents that do not want to use bilingual Yiddish schools, the city should pay for qualified secular teachers directly. As public school teachers are being retired due to the shrinking public school student body, reassign the teachers to teach secular subjects in these yeshivas.

Should the community fail to adopt these investments in secular education, punitive measures should be considered. However, immediately jumping to threaten poor Hasidic schools that get minimal funding is counterproductive and mean-spirited.

If we truly want all students to be educated and to succeed, we need to examine the situation honestly and invest appropriately. The New York Times and Board of Regents seemingly have chosen the opposite path, and acted abusively to a large impoverished minority. If it is simply a coincidence that these secular bodies opted to target ultra Orthodox Jews, I leave it to each reader to consider.

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Why Does the New York Times Delete Stories of Attacks on Jews?

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Israeli-German Jews Find Empathy For Descendants of Nazis

To spend time in Berlin, Germany is to be surrounded by echoes of the Holocaust. The silhouettes of Jewish victims can be seen in the memorials of concrete coffins emerging from the ground, brass plaques cemented into the sidewalks, sculptures of men, women and children atop pedestals, and the anti-Semitic edicts drawn on placards hoisted on street poles.

The small community of Israeli Jews who moved to the epicenter of the Jewish genocide since World War II have made a peculiar peace with this past. Some came when the city was divided in two and settled in West Berlin, and others are recent arrivals, former Ukrainians and Russians who prefer Eastern Europe to the Middle East.

They all know the city’s history and they know the oddity that they represent.

Speaking to these Israeli Jews about their relationships with German neighbors is a course of curiosity and incredulity. They offer that perhaps as many as 20% of Germans today are Nazi sympathizers much like their grandparents, and a similar percentage probably don’t think about the past at all. The Israeli-German residents estimate that most non-Jewish Germans are embarrassed about their legacy but don’t want to hate their own flesh-and-blood. Such Germans are left in an awkward situation when they talk with Jews: the unsympathetic descendants of murderers are engaged with the much more sympathetic descendants of their victims, creating an unbalanced state.

The Jewish Berliners dislike the dynamic, and argue that today’s generation of Germans cannot be held responsible for the sins of the past. They argue that today’s Germans have atoned as best they could through memorials and compensation to survivors. These Jews offer that they bemoan the preferred position they have in society as children of victims; they do not want such inherited status. Instead, they seek their righteous rank earned from sympathizing with the challenging constellation that places today’s Germans alongside Jews. The Jews and Germans are equally inheritors of the past, no more, no less.

Today in Berlin, I heard Jews talk about two different Children of the Holocaust. While I have long been familiar with children of Survivors like myself, it was shocking to hear some Jews relate to the grandchildren of Nazis as victims as well, albeit of familial reputational stain rather than of genocide. Perhaps that is how these new German Jews live surrounded by Jewish and Nazi ghosts: imagining that today’s Germans live with those same ghosts as well.

Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, continues below ground with stories of Jewish families destroyed by the Nazis. It sits one block from the Brandenburg Gate, a monument used by Germans to celebrate their power and freedom.

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Biden Enables Anti-Semitism On College Campuses

The terrible news seems to come out daily: anti-Semitism on the rise in cities and towns across the country. One of the worst locations is college campuses, where the government has the power to reduce the scourge, and refuses to do so.

Beyond The US And Beyond This Year

To be clear, the problem is not just local and not only recent.

In March 2022, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson saidI think that our universities, for far too long, have been tolerant of casual or indeed systemic anti-Semitism… it’s important that we have an anti-Semitism task force devoted to rooting out anti-Semitism in education,” calling out the Jew hatred in universities.

US President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13899—Combating Anti-Semitism in December 2019 to address the problem, stating “my Administration is committed to combating the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and around the world. Anti-Semitic incidents have increased since 2013, and students, in particular, continue to face anti-Semitic harassment in schools and on university and college campuses.”

The United States government was trying to tackle the issue in November 2017 when it held a hearing to consider interpreting Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect Jewish students and other religious minorities from discrimination. At that time, Rabbi Cooper, Associate Dean, Director Global Social Action Agenda, Simon Wiesenthal Center called out for the government to help combat the hatred, arguing that “The failure of schools and Federal Government to protect Jewish students on campus from harassment is one of the most pressing issues for the American Jewish Community.”

But educational institutions and the government are backing away from providing protections to Jewish students on campus.

Failure of Leadership

The City University of New York (CUNY) has seen an enormous spike in anti-Semitic incidents. To combat the menace, over 100 non-profit institutions wrote a letter on June 28, 2022 to the NYC Council Committee on Higher Education to address “the alarming rise of antisemitism on campuses across the country, and at CUNY in particular.” After being postponed once, the committee finally met to address this serious issue, but CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez did not attend. Brooklyn Councilwoman Inna Vernikov was angered at the chancellor’s absence and saidlast night, in a very cowardly fashion, the chancellor said he won’t appear. Instead he sent a lawyer to represent him. What a sham, what an insult to the Jewish community of New York.

President Biden is similarly aware of the scourge of anti-Semitism on campuses and opted to delay action until after mid-term elections.

President Biden is aware of the scourge of anti-Semitism on campuses and opted to delay action until after mid-term elections.

Shortly after Biden took office in February 2021, Kara McDonald, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, embraced the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. She saidwe must educate ourselves and our communities to recognize antisemitism in its many forms, so that we can call hate by its proper name and take effective action. That is why the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, with its real-world examples, is such an invaluable tool.”

It was the logical and appropriate time for Biden to follow-through on Trump’s EO 13899 and the federal government’s efforts to apply the IHRA definition to Title VI. Title VIprohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity that receives Federal funds or other Federal financial assistance.” As most colleges receive federal funds and would collapse without them, and the fact that Jews do not fall neatly into “race, color or national origin,” Jews were counting on inclusion in the Title VI clause together with the working definition of anti-Semitism.

But Biden decided to postpone a decision on the Title VI matter until December 2022, after mid-term elections.

Biden Fears the Far-Left Anti-Zionists

While Biden was willing to champion the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, he fears members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) within his party, and the threat that they will primary incumbent party centrists out of office. The IHRA definition has several references to Israel including “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel“, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” and “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” These anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic statements often come from the mouths of Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Cori Bush (D-MO), members of the DSA. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY), a leading shrill voice of the DSA, has stated plainly that her squad will come after centrists if the Democratic leadership doesn’t bend to their extremist policy demands, including lambasting Israel. Biden doesn’t want to anger the squad and risk his party’s slim majority.

President Biden with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (left) and Rep. Debbie Dingell, May 2021. (photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

While studies have shown that “much of the antisemitic activity [on college campuses] was perpetrated by anti-Zionist students and student groups” at schools with “faculty academic boycotters,” and the federal government has a clear pathway to clamp down on the Jew hatred, President Biden has chosen to place party politics ahead of the safety of the young adults of the most persecuted minority in America.

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Jews In Jerusalem Still Fighting For ‘Social Justice’

Social justice is a concept that has been advanced by left-wing Americans into mainstream conversation. The idea covers a number of principles:

  • Access
  • Human rights
  • Participation
  • Equity
  • Diversity

The Jews in Jerusalem are slowly advancing in their movement on each of these principles, however, systemic anti-Semitism at the United Nations and for many Arab Muslim nations, has slowed progress.

Access

Despite the facts that only Jews consider Jerusalem as its holiest location and uniquely made the city its capital, Arab Muslim nations ethnically-cleansed the Old City of Jerusalem of its Jews in the 1948-9 Arab-Israeli war. Transjordan illegally annexed the eastern part of the city including the Old City and the west bank of the Jordan River, and subsequently denied any Jew the ability to visit their holiest sites.

Jordan attacked Israel again in 1967 but lost the ‘West Bank’ and eastern Jerusalem to Israel. While Israel once again allowed Jews to live and visit their holiest city, the Jordanian Waqf was given permission by Israel to administer the Jewish Temple Mount, and limits the time and number of Jews who can visit.

Human Rights

Not long after Jordan annexed lands west of the Jordan River in a move not recognized by almost every country in the world, it passed a citizenship law specifically excluding Jews in article 3. Now under Israeli rule, the Jews of Jerusalem – as well as Arabs – are afforded citizenship in a reversal to Jordan’s anti-Semitic law.

Jordan still enforces its ban on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, a flagrant violation of the basic human rights of Jews. Remarkably, the world stays mum on the subject, fearing radical Islamic violence.

Participation

The Jews in Jerusalem are marginalized by the United Nations and much of the world. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334 which stated that “Israelis” could not move to eastern Jerusalem. The anti-Zionists call Jews who live and visit ‘settlers’, even if they are not Israeli, and do not use the label for Israeli Arabs who do the same, clearly demonstrating the anti-Jewish nature of the smear.

The UN has set up distinct agencies, committees and inquiries uniquely for the Jewish State and does not afford Israel an opportunity to participate on the same basis as others in a forum stacked against it.

As noted above, the administration of the Temple Mount which holds the al Aqsa mosque is administered solely by Arab Muslims of the Jordanian waqf. Such formulation does not allow Jews to participate in the administration of their holiest site, and has led to their being completely marginalized.

Equity / Restorative Justice

There has been some measure of restorative justice for Jews, in facilitating the migration of Jews back to their ancestral homeland over the past hundred years. Germany has paid the state compensation for its actions in the Holocaust. The United States has invested in the fledgling state and facilitated its ascendency out of a third world emerging state to a thriving liberal democracy. The most persecuted people who faced a genocide have established a safe haven.

But evil still lurks. The Islamic Republic of Iran has stated its desire to destroy Israel. It has several terrorist proxies abutting the Jewish State including Hamas and Hezbollah which have thousands of missiles directed at it. The world is debating how to handle the leading state sponsor of terrorism’s quest for nuclear weapons, even though the answer is obvious to any toddler.

In relation to Jerusalem, the world has done the opposite of restorative justice. It did – and still does not – facilitate and recognize Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel had to reunite the city on its own in a defensive battle. It rebuilds the synagogues (like the Hurva) that Jordan destroyed in the face of global condemnation.

The Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, shortly after its re-opening in March 2010 (photo: First One Through)

Diversity

Israel’s neighbors like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Iraq and others, are each over 90% Muslim. In contrast, Israel is only 73.9% Jewish and has over 26% of the population from a variety of religions including Muslims, Christians, Druze, Baha’i, Samaritans and others.

Israel’s diversity is seen in its schools and hospitals. The signs in the country are written in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Its parliament and Supreme Court have people of different religions, ethnic backgrounds, genders and orientation. All of those dynamics are lacking in the other countries of the Middle East.

Many of those same countries that lack diversity attack Israel economically, politically and militarily. They deny the history of the Jews, their rights and any acceptance of the Jewish State. They have stood against ‘normalizing’ the Jewish State in any manner in an aggressive campaign of ‘three denials.‘ These efforts are most pronounced regarding Israel’s capital of Jerusalem, which they seek to revert back to the Arab-only, Jew-free situation they enforced in the eastern half from 1949 to 1967.


Regarding the principles of access, human rights, participation, equity and diversity, Israel stands as a beacon in the Middle East. However, the country still faces many obstacles, mostly from the biased United Nations and at the Jewish Temple Mount. Hopefully those committed to social justice will engage in the hard work to end the systemic anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Islamic privilege, religious persecution and isolation of the indigenous Jewish people in their ancient homeland and in their holy capital city of Jerusalem.

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It Is NOT Israel Independence Day But Israel REESTABLISHMENT Day

The Jewish calendar runs at a different pace than the Gregorian or other calendars. Based on the cycles of the moon, it starts with the creation of the world which correlates to the year 3761 BCE. That means that the year 2022 CE is the year 5782 in the Jewish calendar.

In the Hebrew Bible, the first monotheist and forefather of the Jewish people is Abraham. Born as Abram in the year 1948 in the Jewish calendar, he lived his early years in present day southern Iraq in Ur-Kasdim and then Haran. At 75 years old, in the year 2023, he heard the voice of God tell him to move to Canaan, present day Israel. It was there that God told him that the land was an ever-lasting inheritance to his descendants Isaac, Jacob (later Israel) and all of the Children of Israel.

Judaism is not like other religions or even the other monotheistic faiths of Christianity and Islam. Judaism is a particular religion for a particular group of people. It does not have designs to spread to the corners of the Earth in an effort to make others convert. It was designed to be local – to the land of Israel – for the Jewish people. That is why the Bible commands the Jews to visit Jerusalem THREE TIMES EVERY YEAR – Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot – while Islam asks of its adherents to visit Mecca only once in a lifetime. Jews were supposed to stay in the land (certainly before planes and automobiles) while Islam knew that Muslims would live thousands of miles away from its holy city.

From 722BCE onward, many invaders and colonists forced Jews out of their land of inheritance. Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and others came into the Jewish holy land, killing or hauling Jews to foreign lands, and planting their own flag in Jewish soil.

Yet some Jews remained in the land, and a greater influx of world Jewry commenced during the 19th century. By the late 1860’s CE, Jerusalem was majority Jewish.

In 1948 CE (a curious coincident to the birth of Abraham in 1948 in the Jewish calendar) the modern State of Israel was established on the 5th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar. People often refer to the anniversary of the founding as “Israel Independence Day” but that is a misnomer, as Israel did not become independent from anyone. Jews waited for the British to leave the land and end their mandate before declaring itself a new state, the REESTABLISHED Jewish State in the Jewish homeland.

Next year, May 2023, will mark the 75th year of Israel’s Reestablishment Day, correlating to when the land of Israel was promised by God to the Children of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/ Israel when Abraham was 75 years old in the year 2023 of the Jewish calendar. Let’s celebrate this entire year with particular revelry, as a plurality of Jews now live in the thriving Jewish State with a united Jerusalem once again as its capital.

Israeli flag at the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple Mount (photo: First One Through)

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A Core Tenet of Zionism Is Combatting Anti-Semitism

Zionism has been defined as the “Jewish nationalist movement that has had as its goal the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews.” Gil Troy, a historian and author of a new book “The Zionist Ideas,” expanded upon that definition and says Zionism has three principle components: that Jews are a nation; that Jews have ties to their particular homeland in the land of Israel; and that Jews have a right to establish a state in that homeland, much like other people have rights to their own country.

That view of Zionism purely through a nationalistic lens enables many people to view Zionism as inherently racist. While Zionist advocates – like Troy – clearly articulate that Jews’ attachment to Israel does not mean that other people do not have attachments to the land as well, and that Israel welcomes the one-quarter of its population that is not Jewish with full rights, the anti-Zionists consider the core of the movement as exclusionary. The sentiment that nationalist populism inherently poses a risk “to the fundamental human rights principles of non-discrimination and equality” as stated in a 2018 United Nations report, puts Zionism in the crosshairs. The phrase “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination” as once declared in UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 of 1973, gets new air.

Zionism is more than the nationalistic movement of Jews reestablishing a thriving community in their homeland. It is a mission to combat anti-Semitism by providing a safe haven and a base from which to attack the noxious hatred.

Historic Zionism

Jews have always been Zionists. For thousands of years, Jews have prayed facing Jerusalem. Their daily prayers are replete with calls to rebuild their holy city. Jews have lived in and moved to the land of Israel throughout their history. The Jewish nation and religion are bound to the land. Jews were a majority in Jerusalem decades before the first Zionist Congress.

The connection of Jews and their Promised Land is a bedrock laid down in the bible and thousands of years of history. It naturally set the foundation for viewing the modern Jewish State through a three-part nationalist lens of people, religion and land. And it led humanitarians like Henry Dunant (1828-1910) to call for the rightful restoration of Jews to their homeland many years before Jewish Zionists articulated their vision.

But modern Zionism is more than the nationalist yearnings of thousands of years as articulated in Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, written in 1878. It is a clarion call to fight and end Jew hatred.

Members of the Israeli Defense Forces “sing” Hatikvah in sign language in 2013.

Modern Zionism as a Safe Haven

The man credited with founding modern Zionism is Theodor Herzl (1860-1904). While completely assimilated and secular, Herzl saw a world which only saw him and others like him as foreign Jews.

He was horrified at the conviction of a secular Jew, Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) in France on trumped up espionage charges. The anti-Semitism on bold display in the courtroom and media convinced Herzl that Jews would never be tolerated anywhere if they could not find peace in a liberal society like France. He said:

The Jewish question exists wherever the Jews live, however small their number. Where it does not exist it is imported by Jew immigrants. We naturally go where we are not persecuted, and, still persecution is the result of our appearance.

The pogroms in Russia (Ukraine, Poland) from 1881 to 1884 as well as Kishinev in 1903 and 1905 further cemented the opinion of Herzl and many other early Zionists that Jews would never be able to live in peace where they were treated as despised foreigners. Zionism was a tool to address systemic anti-Semitism. The principle was that only in a place where Jews governed themselves could they escape persecution.

The situation for the Jews in Europe and the USSR actually got worse after Herzl. On January 20 1942, the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, Germany, developed the “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem,” calling for their extermination. Nazi Germany and its supporters killed one-third of the global Jewish population. The horrors of the European Holocaust which confirmed the radical anti-Semitism prevalent in the world, most likely encouraged many nations to support the reestablishment of the Jewish State just a few years later.

Modern Zionism Fights Anti-Semitism

Today, Israel does not simply seek to be a safe haven for Jews but actively fights anti-Semitism and anti-Semites around the world.

  • In 1960, years after the Holocaust, agents of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, captured former Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and brought him to Israel to stand trial for his crimes.
  • In 1976, after Arab terrorists hijacked an Air France plane to Uganda, Israeli commandos flew in to rescue the innocent.
  • In 1991, when the situation of Ethiopian Jews became dire, Israel launched Operation Solomon which air-lifted 14,325 people out of the country and resettled them in Israel.
  • In 1994, after Iran and Hezbollah blew up the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina killing 85 people, Israel sent a team to investigate.
  • In 2015, after Muslim terrorist targeted killing Jews in a kosher supermarket in Paris, France, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed French Jews and saidany Jew who chooses to come to Israel will be greeted with open arms and an open heart, it is not a foreign nation, and hopefully they and you will one day come to Israel.

The government of Israel has a special division for world Jewry called The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. A core mission of the office is “monitoring and treating the scourge of anti-Semitism.” No other government in the world has an office dedicated to its diaspora and to fighting the terrible hatred it endures.

Anti-Zionism Is Not Anti-Racism But Anti-Semitism

Using the false precept that all forms of nationalism are inherently racist and that Zionism is a particular exclusionary Jewish supremacist movement, schools are indoctrinating students that anti-Zionism is anti-racism and should be embraced. Similarly, the Black Lives Matter movement endorsed boycotting Israel, and the Democratic Socialists of America have all guns blazing with vile smears that Jews in Israel and the United States exploit Black and Brown bodies as a way to turn a profit.

When Zionism only portrays itself as the rightful national aspiration of Jews to self-determination in their homeland, it opens itself up to noxious attacks. A core tenet of Zionism is the fight against anti-Semitism which should be broadcast, as it makes abundantly clear that anti-Zionism is inherently anti-Semitic.

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Trends in Anti-Muslim and Anti-Semitic Attacks Post-9/11

As the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States approaches, various news outlets are discussing the animosity towards Muslims that became a reality in America after the terrorist attacks by nineteen Muslim men, directly killed nearly 3,000 people and many times that number indirectly in the years that followed. Other than giving a platform for American Muslims to talk about their experiences with prejudice, little analysis into the hate crime statistics has been shared.

So here it is.

Before the September 11th attacks, almost every religious-based hate crime reported by the FBI was against Jews. From 1998 to 2000, a total of 89 anti-Muslim hate crimes were reported, or about 30 per year. In comparison, over that time period, over 3,500 anti-Jewish attacks were reported by the FBI, or 39 times as many. That dynamic changed with the jihadist terrorism against the USA in 2001.

The spike was immediate and significant.

In 2001, a total of 546 anti-Muslim hate crimes were reported, a 16.5 times jump from the prior year. White people committed 200 of those offenses, a high number relative to the 29 attacks committed by Black people. The numbers declined rapidly in 2002, but the number of anti-Muslim attacks has remained significantly above the pre-9/11 days.

Anti-Muslim attacks increased again with the influx of Muslim refugees from Syria and elsewhere in 2015 and 2016, reaching a high of 381 in 2016. The number of incidents declined significantly since then, with 219 attacks reported in 2019, a 43 percent decline in three years.

In regards to the perpetrators of the offenses, from 2000 to 2009, Whites committed an average of 69.9 attacks per year, compared to 16.8 for Blacks. The numbers increased for both groups in the 2010-2019 decade, with Whites and Blacks committing an average of 97.3 and 25.2 attacks, respectively, representing a jump of 39% for Whites and 50% for Blacks.

By way of comparison, Jews suffer many more hate crimes than Muslims but the trend line is quite different.

Attacks against Jews was consistently above 1,100 attacks per year through the year 2001. It was only in 2002 that anti-Semitic attacks began to decline, reaching a low of 635 attacks in 2014. This was a period marked by the War on Terror around the world, and in Israel, it included the Second Intifada/Two Percent War (2000-2005), the election of a Holocaust denier to the Palestinian presidency and a jihadist terrorist group to a majority of the Palestinian parliament (2005 and 2006) and wars from Gaza after the Hamas takeover of the Strip (2008, 2012 and 2014). Perhaps Americans sympathized with Jews and the Jewish State in the global war on Islamic extremism, as attacks on Jews declined significantly over those thirteen years.

But the trend reversed as anti-Semitism began to spike at the same time as anti-Muslim attacks picked up in 2015. Most recently, crimes against Muslims have been declining while anti-Semitism has been rising.

A review of the offenders perhaps reveals some clues.

From 2000 to 2009, Whites committed an average of 181.0 attacks against Jews while Blacks committed an average of 17.8 attacks per year. But from 2010 to 2019, Whites committed an annual average of 137.3 attacks while Blacks committed 28.5. So while anti-Semitic attacks among Whites declined by 24% over the past decade, it increased 60% among Blacks.

The past decade witnessed a spike in religious-based hate crimes committed by Black people at a greater rate than White people, and against Jews in particular, as the average anti-Semitic hate crimes committed by Whites has declined by 24%. (source: FBI Hate Crime Statistics)

The sharp increase in Black anti-Semitism came most recently in 2018 and 2019, with all-time record levels of attacks by Blacks on Jews. This coincides with the election of the “Squad” to Congress – and two Muslim women, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, in particular – who pushed anti-Semitic tropes that Jews control the military, the press, the government and do it all as a means to profit from the poor. The ridiculous shouts of “from Ferguson to Palestine” shouted by the likes of CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill and “from Detroit to Gaza” shirts sold on Rashida Tlaib’s website, were malicious attempts to portray Jews as militant exploiters of Blacks and Muslims all around the world. Shockingly, Democratic leaders protected their anti-Semitic minority members and advanced anti-Islamophobia measures rather than protecting Jews.

Not surprisingly, attacks against Jews increased and those against Muslims decreased.

In 2019, an average American Jew was roughly three times more likely to suffer a hate crime than an average Muslim (1,032 Jewish victims in a population of 5.7 million versus 227 Muslim victims in a population of 3.3 million). Jews always suffered more than Muslims and the gap is growing.

In summary, there were almost no anti-Muslim attacks in the United States until the Islamic extremist attacks of September 11, 2001. The spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes went on for a year, and the situation then dramatically improved. That turnaround enabled American Muslims to assume positions of power in the United States, which they have used to further protect Muslims and fuel minority attacks against Jews.

Twenty years ago, foreign jihadists hijacked a small part of the U.S. transportation system to viciously attack America’s financial, military and political centers. Today’s jihadists are aggressively weaponizing the U.S. educational system, the government and the media, to attack Jews around the world.


Related First One Through articles:

David Duke, Ilhan Omar and the Three Lenses of Anti-Semitism

The Insidious Jihad in America

Criticizing Muslim Antisemitism is Not Islamophobia

Victims of Preference

Mum on Black, Brown and Leftist Anti-Semitism

The Global Intifada

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Torching Each Corner to Get Rid of the Jews

I had always been told that my paternal grandmother’s family came from Sighet, a decent sized town in Romania along the Ukrainian border. It was considered a small source of familial pride as it was the same home town for Eli Wiesel, the Nobel laureate who wrote about the Holocaust.

Some years ago, upon speaking to my grandmother’s brother about the place where the family grew up as my grandmother died before I was born, I learned that history takes a bit of time, both to happen and to explain.

My great uncle informed me that his family grew up in a small shtetl, a small Jewish village, some miles away from Sighet. One evening, when he was about eight years old, a fire broke out in a corner of the shtetl. All of the people in the town, including himself, rapidly lined up to pass buckets of water one to the other to help put out the flames. He recalled that while he was passing buckets he heard someone shouting that another fire had broken out on the other side of the village. The villagers started to shout how to break the line into two to deal with the second blaze, when they looked up to see a third blaze in another corner of the town. And then a fourth.

The local anti-Semites had come to incinerate their town.

He recalled how the following morning the family grabbed what belongings they could manage, and walked to Sighet as the smoke from his village filled the air. He told me the name of that former village, and as I quickly forgot the foreign sounding name, I internalized how history had forgotten it too.

So, yes, the family did live in Sighet, but it wasn’t really the town of his birth. Our family had already been routed by local anti-Semites a couple of decades before the Nazis came for the Jews of Sighet.

The alt-right relentlessly pursued the Jews of Europe and Russia for hundreds of years, sometimes as part of the ruling class and other times by the hands of a band of locals. In each circumstance, they knew how to rout the small collection of Jews.

The Four Corners of Anti-Semitism Today

In many parts of the world, the ruling class is being taken over by extremists. The alt-left made inroads in America’s Democratic Party with the Democratic Socialists of America getting seats in Congress with members including Bernie Sanders, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman. The DSA was following the playbook of the Labour Party of the United Kingdom, where Jeremy Corbyn pushed anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism and extremist ideas to take over the party.

The DSA invited disgraced anti-Semite and former leader of the British Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn to address their annual convention.

The alt-right still exists around the world and in America but shunned and sidelined by civilized society. Not so the alt-left, which has bonded with Islamic extremists to gain power, and with the alt-right in the cause of setting fire to Jewish homes.

American Jews are surrounded on all sides by anti-Semitic extremists, and there are neither sufficient volunteers to pass buckets to extinguish the flames of hatred nor to expel the sinister arsonists.


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David Duke, Ilhan Omar and the Three Lenses of Anti-Semitism

The Right Number of Anti-Semites in Congress

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