Scott Cushing
Former Newspaper Publisher and Editorial Writer

‘Come See Me Bro’…’Watch What I do Bro’ – Rallying Cries to Fight Jew Hatred

UFC fighter Natan Levy lifts the flag of Israel during his recent fight. Photo credit Amy Kaplan

How is the battle against “Jew Hatred” doing? In a word, poorly. The NYPD recently reported that Hate Crimes in New York in the month of November increased by over 125%. The issue of Jew Hatred and Antisemitism hate crimes can no longer be explained away by politicians. The recent incident of a machete wielding man who asks, “where the synagogue is,” clearly shows the time for explaining away Jew Hatred is over.

The mainstreaming and normalization of Jew Hatred came to a recent crescendo with the comments of Kanye West. Kanye’s praising of Hitler and promotion of conspiracy theories about Jews has transformed him into a prime spokesperson for Jew Hatred in real time.

Kanye’s most recent outburst indicates he is not only doubling down, but also betting the house on his vitriolic hate speech. Kanye simply wants the Jewish people to “let it go” when it comes to Hitler.

One man stood up to Kanye in his own way and challenged his friends and followers on Instagram to join him. Yuli Prizant, a proud Jew and Zionist, “let go” of his Yeezy sneakers by dumping them. He did not just talk the talk; he walked the walk. Months earlier, Prizant spoke to his friends and followers about Jew Hatred and challenged them to stand up to hate in all forms. He led by example.

The mainstreaming of Jew Hatred is no longer just in our streets but has found a breeding ground in higher education institutions and social media platforms. Antisemites run free in our institutions of higher education where no accountability can be found. Social media is riddled with Jew Hatred from the pages of Tik Tok where Anne Frank is parodied to ovens that are used as jokes to attack Jews. Jew hatred is real. Make no mistake about it.

This past weekend I did feel a lot better about the fight against Jew Hatred. Natan Levy, an Israeli Jew, won his UFC fight in a unanimous decision. But it was not the fight that made me feel better- although I enjoyed watching it. It was the press conference after the fight that fueled me again in the fight against Jew Hatred. Levy was asked about the meteoric rise of Antisemitism and the comments of Kanye West. Levy replied with great poise that he felt bad for people that have so much hate in their hearts. But it was his remark spoken directly to Kanye that made me rise out of my chair. “Kanye West, if you’ve got a problem with me or my people, come see me bro.”

Incidentally, Levy’s leadership by example moment that evening did not end with his win and drop the microphone moment in the press conference. Before the fight, Levy announced his uniform would be auctioned off to support a charity for Holocaust survivors. That is a true warrior in the fight against hate.

Levy’s one sentence in his post-fight press conference should be a rallying call for all Jews to stand up, speak out, call out, corner, and hold accountable Jew Hatred in every single arena. It is a strong statement to hold corporations accountable. It is a challenge to corner the apologists of Jew Hatred and hold them responsible for supporting Antisemitism.

Natan Levy demonstrated clearly what Jews need to do every day. With a simple and direct response to a reporter’s question, he became a leader in the fight against Jew Hatred. “Come see me bro.” Yuli Prizant had a similar moment. He, in essence said, “watch what I do bro.”

About the Author
Michael "Scott" Cushing serves as Special Advisor to the Nassau County Executive on the Combating Antisemitism Task Force. He also serves on the Community Advisory Board of Northwell Long Island Jewish Hospital, Valley Stream, New York. Further, he is former Publisher and Editorial writer for the Gateway-Bulletin Newspapers. He served in senior staff positions for the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate for over twenty years. He is active in Israeli and Jewish affairs in Nassau County.
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