“Is this it?”
This seems to be the universal question amongst Jews right now. “Is this it? Is this the moment? Is this the equivalent to 90 years ago – the opening that if our grandparents and great-grandparents had taken they would have survived? Is it really over?”
Yes. The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s some much needed tough love: it’s time to stop deluding ourselves. People are saying antisemitism is on the rise, but the truth is antisemitism never went away. It was simply tucked into the dark corners of society, peaking out every once in a while. What we are seeing right now is eighty years-worth of Jew-hatred finally exploding.
May 2021 saw something unprecedented. Operation Guardian of the Walls was a wake-up call to many Jews. We watched as so-called “progressives” took to the streets screaming to “globalize the intifada” and “from the river to the sea” and sharing videos of Palestinians chanting to bomb Tel Aviv. Between May 10th and 21st, almost 4500 rockets were fired into Israel and the masses in the West were rallying for more.
Anti-Zionism, they claimed it was, not antisemitism. Anti-Israel not anti-Jew.
And then it was over and these same people decided to return to polite society. Except there was no going back. Those of us who woke up could not go back to sleep. Ironic, since it was the “woke” calling for another Jewish genocide. We realized something broke. The façade of progressive allyship was just that – nothing more than a mere façade. Now the masks were off and for the next two-and-a-half years we were forced to watch the decay in our universities and our cities as they were taken over by the one thing that unites the Right, the Left, and Islamism: Jew-hatred.
For two-and-a-half years we have been ringing the alarms. We have been drawing the parallels between 1930s Europe and 2020s America. We have been pointing out the state of Europe because as Europe goes, so America follows. We have been stating over and over again the violence pre-Israel Mizrahi Jews had to live through under Islamist rule and how those same Islamist ideas are now being spread throughout the West. And we have been saying over and over again it is time.
By October 2021, aliyah to Israel had increased by over 31% compared to the same time the previous year. Antisemitic harassment and violence had spiked that year because of what happened in May, and Jews around the world understood it was time to go home. 2022 saw another increase in Aliyah, mostly because of the Ukraine-Russia War, as Israel allowed Jewish refugees (and many non-Jews too) to come home without all the due paperwork and processing.
And here we are in November 2023. Many people are saying once this war is over, things will go back to normal. I’m sorry, but that is some first class delusion. First of all, what is normal? Because if you ask me, “normal” is pretending antisemitism only lies in the underbelly of society so that we can keep pretending things aren’t bad. That’s not a normal anyone should ever want to return to. Second of all, no, it won’t. Things will not go back to “normal” because “normal” is gone. If May 2021 simply broke our delusions of safety, October and November 2023 have destroyed whatever hope may have been left. Make no mistake, this war will only end once Israel destroys Hamas and when Israel does, antisemitic violence will once again skyrocket.
Don’t believe me? Just take a look at what is happening in the Diaspora. Hamas is steadily losing this war and as Hamas loses, the pro-Palestine/pro-Hamas crowd is losing its collective mind and getting more violent. What do you think will happen when Hamas is no more? When Israel once again ensures the promise of Never Again? Does anybody really think these terror sympathizers will take off their keffiyehs and face coverings and crawl back into their holes, re-entering polite society as though nothing happened? No. Nor should they be allowed to. But they will take their rage out on us.
In 2017, Hillel Neuer of UN Watch asked some very poignant questions of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Sorry, I meant to say the United Nations “Human Rights” Council because any organization who not only has members of – but is also led by – the worst human rights offenders cannot seriously be called a Human Rights Council. As some of these Middle Eastern human rights offenders lobbied allegations of human rights abuses against Israel (the only democracy in the Middle East which actually defends human rights) of supposed apartheid and ethnic cleansing, Neuer asked these same countries a very simple question: where were their Jews?
As read from the transcript on UN Watch’s website, “Once upon a time, the Middle East was full of Jews. Algeria had 140,000 Jews. Algeria, where are your Jews? Egypt used to have 75,000 Jews. Where are your Jews? Syria, you had tens of thousands of Jews. Where are your Jews? Iraq, you had over 135,000 Jews. Where are your Jews?”
The answer to Neuer’s line of question was very simple: the majority of them were in Israel. Many were in the United States, some in Europe, and the rest killed by their Arab neighbors in the countries their families had lived in for centuries or even millennia.
All of this is to make a simple point. The United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia are full of Jews. The United States has the second highest Jewish population in the world after Israel. But I can guarantee that within the next decade, Neuer will be able to ask the following questions: “America, where are your Jews? England, where are your Jews? Canada, where are your Jews? France, where are your Jews? Australia, where are your Jews? World, where are your Jews?” And the answer will be they’re in Israel.
So, let’s go back to the original question: is this it? Of course, I can’t answer this for everyone; each Jew must come to their own conclusion. But if we are totally honest with ourselves, yes, this is it. This is the moment that if our grandparents and great-grandparents had left, they might have survived. This is the moment the pogroms of Eastern Europe and the Middle East were escalating to the point of no return. This is the moment to get out before it is too late and the moment will end sooner rather than later, at which point hindsight will once again be 20/20.
But we know this pattern all too well. We know how this script plays out because we have seen previous versions of this same movie on repeat. We’ve read the same chapters over and over again. So this time around, why don’t we use our foresight instead?
This is it.