Action Plan to Fight Against Anti-Semitism in 2020

Barack Mandela in the Golani Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) with fellow Israeli soldiers during the Second Intifada. (Courtesy)
Barack Mandela in the Golani Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) with fellow Israeli soldiers during the Second Intifada. (Courtesy)

We are in the midst of a dangerous wave of anti-Semitism, hatred of Jewish people, and violent acts against Jewish communities. According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were 1,879 anti-Jewish acts in 2018 in the United States.

I have created a new four-part plan to combat anti-Semitism. The plan is called the “Anti-Hatred Initiative” (AHI). The Jewish community must adopt these new and creative proposals to prevent future attacks:

I. Multi-Cultural Jewish Speakers Tour

Many racists and anti-Semites falsely believe that all Jewish people belong to the “white” race. In addition, some groups promote the idea that “white Jews” are not “real Jews”. There are groups that will not accept “white Jews” as members of the Jewish people. Certain Black Hebrew Israelite groups openly teach that “white Jews” are “fake Jews”.

In my opinion, there has not been a coordinated Jewish response to attacks on so-called “white Jews”.

The Jewish community must recruit “Jewish people of color” such as Ethiopian Jewish people, Sephardic Jewish people, Persian Jewish people, and Yemenite Jewish people for a “multi-cultural Jewish speakers tour”. We must demonstrate that “Jewish people come in all colors and races”.

The Jewish people is a “rainbow colored” people; we come in all colors. The Jewish community must delve into its diversity to share inclusion, diversity, and multi-racialism. Why not send Ethiopian Jewish groups to Harlem, New York; Compton, California; and the South Side of Chicago to speak at African American schools about Jewish traditions? Ethiopian Jewish speakers can achieve a “cultural breakthrough” between Jewish communities and African American communities.

II. NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, and World Jewish Congress

Years ago, I was a financial donor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the ADL, and I am a former member of the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

Immediately, the NAACP, ADL, and WJC should launch a “Building Bridges between African Americans and American Jews Campaign”. The result of this campaign should be the creation of a joint Jewish-African American organization called the “African American and American Jewish Congress” (AAAJC). The ultimate goal is to build long-term, collaborative relationships between African American communities and Jewish communities.

While living in Jerusalem, I met a well-known Afro-Jewish leader named Rabbi Nati Gamedze who is originally from Swaziland and South Africa. Rabbi Gamedze is a famous Jewish teacher in Israel. Why don’t American Jewish organizations invite Rabbi Nati Gamedze to speak to African American audiences about his experiences in the Jewish world?

Barack Mandela talking to a rabbi at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem. (Courtesy)

III. United States Department of Racial Unity in 2020

In order to prevent a dangerous race war in the United States, I call upon President Donald Trump to immediately establish a “United States Department of Racial Unity” with General Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as co-directors.

IV. International Organization for African American Jews

There are thousands of African American Jewish people; some of whom are converts. Why doesn’t the World Jewish Congress, Conference of Presidents of Jewish Organizations, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Federation, and Jewish Community Relations Council create and fund a new organization called “African American Jewish Congress” (AAJC). Such an organization, if properly organized, can create a positive and optimistic Jewishness or Yiddishkeit among African American communities.

V. Conclusion

As an American American-Jewish Israeli citizen, I believe there is mutual distrust and mutual misunderstanding between some African Americans and American Jewish people. Many African American know little about Jewish traditions. Moreover, many Jewish people do not understand the bitter struggles of African America.

I publicly call upon the following leaders for assistance and support: (1) President Ronald Lauder of the World Jewish Congress; (2)  Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, (3) Harriet Schleifer, president of the American Jewish Committee; (4) Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands and mega-donor; (5) Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP (6) Arthur Stark, chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.

We need bold and compassionate action to fight anti-Semitism, anti-Israel bias, racism, unfair stereotyping, discrimination, and violence. Let us work together to uproot hatred and violence. Let us adopt the following motto: “By standing together, no one stands alone”.

About the Author
Licensed Attorney. I earned a Doctor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
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