Anti-Zionism – Coming to a Music Venue Near You

“How are things in America?” I am asked frequently. “All is OK,” I respond to friends in Israel. Like many American Jews, even post October 7th, I considered antisemitism/anti-Zionism, to be a threat largely felt elsewhere. That was until this past Sunday night when my teenage granddaughter and her two friends attended a music venue in Brooklyn. They were excited to hear their favorite bands, but instead, a woman wearing a kufiyah grabbed the megaphone and began chanting “From the River to the Sea…” while the audience of 200 cheered. Shaken, my granddaughter, and her friends, left immediately, forfeiting the price of the ticket and the opportunity to enjoy the music they had so looked forward to hearing but were no longer able to enjoy among a crowd of Jew-haters. They walked out while being heckled with racial slurs; “leave Zionists, we don’t want you here, October 7th is our Victory.”

Arriving back at my apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where they are spending their Spring Break, they appeared traumatized from their first encounter with the harsh realty of anti-Semitism. In that moment I learned that it is so much harder to watch one’s child and grandchild face anti-Semitism than it is to experience it oneself.

I told them how proud I was that they were not intimidated. That they stood up for their values, in the face of verbal violence, and refused to be frightened into submission. They told me that while most were glaring at them with hate as they exited, a few were looking downwards uncomfortably. I suggested that they were probably also supporters of Israel who were too paralyzed in the moment to extricate themselves.

I ask myself; how did we Jews arrive at this juncture where a carefree evening of music can turn into a political frenzy to Free Palestine? My generation believed that we had successfully created a bubble for ourselves here in the United States and that the state of Israel further guaranteed our safety since we now have a place to go to that would protect us. Yet, it appears to be a fragile bubble, ready to burst at any moment.

Fortunately, I live in a vibrantly passionate Jewish community, where just the day before I had attended an amazing presentation at Lincoln Square Synagogue by the “Sharaka” organization, on Building Peace in Times of War. Sharaka (Partnership in Arabic) is comprised of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Druze; Israelis, and Arabs, working together to shape a new Middle East, built on dialogue, understanding, cooperation, and friendship. It gives me hope.

Despite their tears and trauma upon leaving the music venue, my granddaughter and her friends continue to dream about their upcoming gap year in Israel, and there’s even talk of joining the IDF and going to college in Israel. Fortunately, the sting of the Free Gaza protest didn’t puncture their love for Israel.  Am Yisrael Chai!

About the Author
Dr. Tani Foger has worked in the field of education, both in Israel and in the US, for over 35 years. She is an experienced educator and psychologist, with particular expertise in special education, second language acquisition, student learning styles, teacher consultation, social skills, and parenting. She is the Founder of "Let's Talk” - Guidance Workshops for Moving Forward and Conquering the Challenges in our Lives. Dr. Foger is a skilled facilitator offering workshops for all ages at all stages. She is currently in private practice and can be reached at
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