Why is there suddenly this huge uptick in brazen, public antisemitic incidences in the U.S., more than in past Israeli wars? I honestly think the Jewish community is in some ways responsible for this turn of events.
Last year, though there were very legitimate protests for social justice and the betterment of society, something nefarious occurred in broad daylight that we failed to speak out against. We not only turned a blind eye, but often justified the looting and burning of over 2,000 businesses in the United States. Small business owners lost everything, yet we said nothing, excusing it as a necessary step to social reform.
Many incidence of protesters accosting random people in restaurants, smashing cars while people were inside them, and beating and even murdering people who just happened to be in the wrong place occurred. Yet we said and did nothing as this violent form of protest slowly became acceptable and normalized. All police officers were painted in a negative light and given the message that if they interfere in any law breaking surrounding social justice protests, they would likely be next on the chopping block. Police received the message loud and clear.
1) In a scene that played out several times Monday, a Black Lives Matter protest that began in Columbia Heights confronted White diners outside D.C. restaurants, chanting “White silence is violence!” and demanding White diners show their solidarity. #DCProtests pic.twitter.com/fJbPM76vb0
— Fredrick Kunkle WaPo (@KunkleFredrick) August 25, 2020
Now suddenly today, everyone’s so shocked that social justice protests surrounding Gaza are turning into attacks against Jews in the same way that protesters attacked innocent bystanders in last year’s protests. We’re amazed that it’s often not even reported in the news and there seems to be little outrage from the public. Where was our outrage when this happened to innocent people last year? Our silence normalized and encouraged violent protest. Did we really think that once these vicious tactics became the norm, they wouldn’t be turned on us? Are we really so surprised of videos showing police standing by and doing nothing as these violent antisemitic events are perpetrated right in front of them?
In many ways, our silence and inability to speak out against all injustices, including those perpetrated against innocent bystanders, has brought this dangerous new reality upon ourselves.