First it was Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri where Jewish gravestones have been in place since 1883. Today it was Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where monuments have been standing over Jewish graves since the 1800’s. What do these two cities have in common, separated from each other by hundreds of miles?
More than one hundred monuments were toppled over or broken in the St. Louis Jewish cemetery. Many dozens, in the Philadelphia cemetery. Desecrations of final resting places.
Open anti-Semitism has finally awakened and arrived on the shores of a very divided United States. These were not acts of wanton vandalism. They were purposely done as anti-Semitic acts to show hatred for Jews.
On a bright side it is important to tell the world that in St. Louis, the Muslim community raised more than $75,000 to make repairs to the damaged and desecrated monuments. It is important to know that the American Vice-President Pence made the trip to the St. Louis cemetery and with a rake and a shovel in his hands he began to clean up the terrible mess.
These crimes are not the acts of decent non-Jewish Americans. On the contrary, both the Muslim and the Christian communities have denounced the violence and have raised funds to make repairs.
These are the acts of sick people inspired by the controversies dividing America… racism, deportations, travel bans, condemnation of a free press. It is, in reverse, an image of 1933 Germany. In the American case, the leader may be an autocrat but he is not an anti-Semite. After much urging, he spoke out against this crime and pledged to end anti-Semitism in America.
Is he a dreamer or is he smoking the wrong stuff? Anti-Semitism began when Abraham arrived from Mesopotamia and settled among pagan nations in the land of Canaan. Being different, speaking a different language, dressing differently, worshipping another God, eating strange foods called kasher…all these stand out to make the Jew visible to anyone who has the aim of harming Jews. Anti-Semitic feelings can never be eliminated. Anti-Semitic acts, however, can be punished when the perpetrators are eventually caught.
Today I have heard that sixteen Jewish Community Centers across America had to be quickly evacuated due to telephone calls informing that a bomb had been placed in their building. All the calls were made at the same time from different cities and states across the North American continent. Obviously to all, this is no coincidence. It had been a planned united sick action by organized sick Jew-haters.
Small children, senior citizens, young adults had to be swiftly evacuated from the community centers while police and bomb-sniffing dogs made thorough searches. Praised be God that no bomb was found in any of the sixteen Jewish Community Centers.
But what will be next? Will aged senior citizens have to be removed from batei avot, senior nursing home facilities, at the next false bomb alarm?
American Anti-Semitism has awakened and has reared its ugly head…a head that must quickly be decapitated. There is a new wind blowing in the land of the once free and once brave. American Jews need to be prepared and attentive to any threats.
The days of “oh, it can never happen here” are long gone. Hatred knows no respect for color, race, religion, sex,. or creed. It must be destroyed by every possible means.
Like the octopus, hatred has many tentacles. Let each one be cut off until the monster of hate is dead.