I am a Zionist
American Jews seeking safety should be three aspects of the new reality of mainstream antisemitism.
First, mobs of Jew haters (defined as anyone who supports Hamas, calls for Israel’s elimination by any means possible, attacks Jews for being Jews and defenders of Israel, or chants “from the river to the sea’) are engaging in intimidation tactics, especially on many collegeampuses.
Second, the Jew-hating movement is well-funded, passionate, and emboldened. It is well organized and will target other events, institutions, and private homes. The frequency and intensity of intimidation, vandalism, and mob violence will only escalate. The goal of these tactics is suffocating support for Israel and generating support for Hamas.
Third, there is only so much that can or will be done to respond to and let alone prevent the Jew-haters from acting out. educational institutions are indifferent to the security needs of Jewish students or even if they do.
The question is: how do we ensure the safety of Jewish institutions, Jewish communities, and our Jewish students? What is the mission, strategy, goal, objectives, and tactics?
The mission – which presupposes a vision of a flourishing Jewish people who grow in their love and active support of Israel — should be to provide Jews with the safety and security to openly express their support for Israel and participate in religious services, educational activities, and community programs without fear.
The strategy should be to combine lawsuits, boycotts, and transparency to increase the price paid for engaging in Jew-hatred at the political, educational, financial level and individual levels.
The goals should be to form a working group of lawyers, activists, private security experts, philanthropists, influencers, and political organizers to develop a list of high-profile organizations, events, and individuals that would be targets of an “all of the above” assault on their participation in, support of and inaction against Jew-hatred.
The objective would be to shut down, suspend, prosecute, sue, isolate, and punish at least 10-20 high-profile targets, ranging from universities, university presidents, pro-Hamas groups, professors, protestors, and vandals in sequence or at the same time. Tactics would include shaming them on social media, denying them employment, arresting them, and holding events that ‘trigger’ them. Anti-Zionist Jewish groups, influencers, and academics should comprise most of the entities of interest. As Saul Alinsky wrote in “Rules for Radicals”: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Finally, because of the elevated level of physical threats and violence, Jews should create a network of unarmed patrols and first responders in Jewish communities and on college campuses. Such patrols already exist in New York City. Groups such as the Shomrim have nearly 30 years of experience in safety patrols and have worked with Caribbean and Asian community organizations to help them lay the groundwork, discussing operations, strategies, funding, and other issues that are involved in creating a new patrol.
To this end, Jewish communal organizations such as the UJA Federation which already provide security training for synagogues and Jewish day schools should expand their efforts into protecting Hillel programs and Jewish student groups.
These efforts to increase the security and safety of Jews are important because they clear the public square for sustained and stronger public support of Israel. Ultimately, as Einat Wilf notes, the most potent response to anti-Zionism is more Zionism. And one of the highest expressions of Zionism occurs when Jews defend other Jews. As Menachem Begin stated: “Jewish dignity and honor must be protected in all circumstances. The seeds of Jewish destruction lie in passively enabling the enemy to humiliate us. Only when the enemy succeeds in turning the spirit of the Jew into dust and ashes in life, can he turn the Jew into dust and ashes in death.”