The Anti-Defamation League monitors and reports incidents of antisemitism. According to a recent report published by Reuters the ADL stated that since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 antisemitic incidents in the US have increased nearly 400% compared to before the attack. These included incidents primarily of harassment, vandalism and assault. The ADL report asserted that about 60% of these incidents were directly tied to the Israel-Hamas War. The numbers sound incredulous, but anyone who has been paying attention to the news would have no reason to doubt their veracity.
Every day various media outlets have reported numerous incidents. There have been way too many for me to include in this blog, but I will briefly discuss a few:
As published in the NY Post a few days ago “hundreds” of “radicalized” high school students at Hillcrest High School in Queens, NY “rampaged” through the school for two hours. The target of their ire was a teacher who had committed the “heinous crime” of attending a pro-Israel rally and posting a photo of herself on Facebook holding a sign proclaiming, “I Stand with Israel.” The terrified teacher, a 23-year veteran, advised she was “shaken to my core” by the violent reaction. She had to lock herself in an office. But that was not enough for the students. They tried to force their way into the locked office, and when that failed, they ran amok through the halls chanting, yelling and waiving Palestinian banners and flags, and shouting slogans such as “Free Palestine” and the teacher “needs to go.” Furthermore, they vandalized the boys’ bathroom, a water fountain and other property. Some students had the audacity to record the event and post it on social media. The NYPD responded by sending a couple dozen or so police officers to the school and directed its Counterterrorism Bureau to investigate the incident. City Councilman James Gennaro told the Post that the CB is normally called out only in a “potentially serious situation.” Eventually order was restored, and the school was placed on a “soft lockdown.” It got worse. Some students ascertained her address, personal telephone number and other personal information and have proceeded to terrorize her further. All this just for attending a pro-Israel rally and expressing support for Israel. Whatever happened to free speech and the Bill of Rights? Do these students even know what that is?
The very next day the police had to return to the same school to deal with another incident. A student had been issuing threats via a group chat. This student was 18, so he was arrested and charged with aggravated harassment. Summing up these two incidents Gennaro told the Post “It’s a sad commentary on the rancid hate that exists within the hearts of students – for Jews.” NYC Councilman Robert Holden characterized the entire incident as “shocking.” Furthermore, he told the Post “I don’t know why these students are so misinformed, so intolerant and so radicalized. They don’t even know the history of the Middle East.” One student went even further saying “I doubt half of them know how to spell ‘Palestine.’ ” NYC Mayor Eric Adams succinctly called the entire incident “vile.” He blustered that it was “motivated by ignorance-fueled hatred… and it will not be tolerated in any of our schools let alone anywhere else in our city.” Strong words. Let’s see if he follows through. Let’s see what actions are taken against the perpetrators. My guess would be, “not much, if anything.”
Over the Thanksgiving weekend. There was a wild pro-Palestinian rally at Columbus Circle in NYC. Some 300 demonstrators chanted slogans and dragged a burning Israeli flag down the street. Some samples: “[The] US government is the No. 1 funder of Israeli terrorism,” and Israeli supporters’ days are numbered.” They entered nearby stores and harassed shoppers chanting “bombs are dropping while you’re shopping.” Also, they vandalized a statue of Abraham Lincoln. What will happen to the perpetrators? Again, probably nothing.
Post reporter Matthew Sedacca wrote that Celia Walsh, a former Disney Channel actress, is one of several members of an anti-Israel group called Palestine Action US, that is facing felony charges for vandalizing the offices of Elbit Systems, an Israel-based defense contractor located in New Hampshire. According to Sedacca Walsh is a long-time leftist activist who has been linked to Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and far left politician Elizabeth Warren. GOP political strategist Garrett Ventry expressed an opinion held by many when he told Sedacca “this is what happens when limousine liberals who grow up with a silver spoon in their mouth are beholden to TikTok trends rather than having facts.”
In my view most, of the anti-Israel, anti-Jew “demonstrators” fall into three categories: (1) “professional agitators” who flit from place to place and have no purpose other than to destroy, steal and wreak havoc; (2) misguided youths who get their information from social media or biased educators and act out of ignorance without the foggiest notion of the facts and without any knowledge of the context of history; and (3) genuine antisemites who, for whatever reason, hate Jews. Each of these groups is dangerous in its own way. Each represents a severe threat to the principles of our Constitution and our way of life for which generations of our forebears have sacrificed.
Heretofore, whenever our country was in need strong leaders have emerged to guide us through the danger. A few examples would include George Washington during and immediately after the Revolutionary War, Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and FDR during WWII. Where are our strong leaders now in this crucial time of need? Where is the strong leader who will put a stop to this divisiveness, which has been plaguing us for several years and bring us together? Even President Biden’s most fervent supporters have to concede he is not a strong leader. In fact, he is the antithesis of a strong leader. Half the time he hides or is unavailable for comment. Then, when he emerges, he gives us words and platitudes, not deeds. He says he stands with Israel but then he pressures it to stand down versus Hamas and advocates a two-state solution, which neither side actually wants. Senate Majority Chuck Schumer, who is a Jew from a heavily Jewish state, has been similarly spineless and two-faced. In my opinion, they and others like them are too afraid of the far-left vocal minority to stand up and do what’s right.
Folks, we are in a downward spiral with no end in sight. We need a strong leader with the courage to stand up for America!