Nahum Meron
Appeasers Feed Crocodiles, Hoping To Be Eaten Last

Rabbi, You’re Fired!

It was widely reported in American media on April 21, 2024, that Rabbi Ellie Buechler warned Jewish students at Columbia University to go home and not return to campus because of “extreme antisemitism” at the campus. He has not been alone in issuing this type of advice, and we hear of many Jewish students and leaders telling the media of how afraid they are, of how they have stopped wearing their kippahs and Magen Davids in public for fear of being attacked.

Is avoiding confrontation the way Jews in the diaspora should respond to the most widespread antisemitism since the 1930s?

Hitler joined the Nazi Party in 1919 when it was “no more than a fringe irritant in German politics”, and even in 1928 the Nazi Party received only 2.6% of the vote. In those 10 years German Jews sat idly, avoiding confrontation. But just 4 years later that 2.6% had leapt to 92%. By that time the world had lost its opportunity of eliminating Hitler and the Nazi Party, and perhaps of preventing the outbreak of WWII. Had we taken timely action, Jewry today would number around 38,000,000, instead of just scraping in at under 16,000,000.

Is the threat we face today as serious as that posed to European Jewry 100 years ago?

The Moslem Brotherhood is a fundamentalist Islam-inspired terrorist organization, incorporating the worst elements of Nazi ideology and adding a tranche of others. It is supported by Iran, Turkey and Qatar and was founded in 1928 by school teacher Hassan al Banna, who explained: “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet”. One of the Moslem Brotherhood’s most aggressive branches is Hamas which was founded in 1987 with the express purpose of destroying Israel through jihad. Hamas’s most effective tentacles is the American Muslims for Palestine (“AMP”) organization. In 2010 AMP took control of college campuses through its newly formed National Students for Justice in Palestine (“NSJP”) organization, by serving as the umbrella organization for hundreds of Students for Justice in Palestine (“SJP”) chapters across the country. Through well-funded and brilliantly executed propaganda, portraying the Palestinians as victims and Israel as a colonial, apartheid power (go figure!) AMP has convinced tens of thousands of well-intentioned, uninformed, impressionable, liberal students to abandon logic and support their goals.

In a multi-million-dollar law suit filed 2 weeks ago by Shurat HaDin, the complaint alleges that National Students for Justice in Palestine is a front for Hamas and that:

“On October 8, the day after Hamas’s terrorist attack, AMP and NSJP were prepared and responded to Hamas’s “call for mass mobilization” by disseminating a manifesto and plan of attack (“NSJP Toolkit”) which includes materials that appear to have been created before the attack. In the NSJP Toolkit, AMP and NSJP identify themselves as “PART of” a “Unity Intifada,” governed by Hamas’s “unified command” of terrorist operations in Gaza. As part of Hamas’s movement, AMP and NSJP state that they seek “liberation,” which they describe as a “real process that requires confrontation by any means necessary,” including “armed struggle” and other acts of violence. “All [resistance] is legitimate, and all of it is necessary.” The plain text of the NSJP Toolkit confirms that AMP and NSJP do not merely assist Hamas’s ongoing terror campaign abroad—they perpetuate it in the United States”.

More than that. In 2021, President Biden appointed a radical Palestinian anti-Semite Maher Bitar as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs at the NSC. In January this year Bitar was appointed Deputy Assistant to the President and coordinator for intelligence and defense policy. While at Georgetown University, he served on the executive board of the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine. He advocates for BDS. In 2006 Bitar explained to a student group how to best demonize Israel. He also recently collaborated with Joseph Massad, the Columbia University professor who labeled the gang-raping psychotic assault of October 7 as a “resistance offensive” and called the scene of the attack “awesome”. Bitar is one of many foxes Biden has invited to guard the henhouse.

Is it now too late to stop the avalanche of Islamic inspired antisemitism from overwhelming us?

The tragic advantage we have in 2024 over the Jews of 1924, is that we have borne witness to the most violent cataclysm of our turbulent 3500-year blood-soaked history. We have the advantage of hindsight, knowing that the naïve appeasement attempted by the Munich Agreement in September 1938 failed. Of knowing that Chamberlain’s declaration of “peace in our time” would be given the lie just 2 months later by the ominous portents of genocide written in the shattered glass of Kristallnacht. Of knowing that appeasement did not prevent Germany from invading Czechoslovakia and Poland. Of knowing that the world leaders’ failure to confront the German psychopaths, hell-bent on world domination and ethnic cleansing, led to WWII. Hamas’s declared aim is to ethnically cleanse the Middle East of Jews. They have declared it publicly and proudly. They have said they will do October 7 “again and again”. We cannot defeat antisemitism by capitulating to it. Appeasing these Palestinians is like feeding a crocodile, hoping it will eat us last.

In this time of peril, our leaders must message resilience, not surrender. Every day IDF soldiers put their lives on the line, with the hot breath of genocide on their necks. The IDF’s conscripted soldiers are the same age as our college students, Israeli reservists are our age. We’re all in this together – Israel’s fate will be the Galut’s. At the very least Rabbi Buechler should have encouraged the Columbia students to stand their ground. He should have counseled them that we in the diaspora have the same responsibility to fight antisemitism as our Israeli brothers and sisters. We cannot trust “the authorities” to protect us.

Our leaders, as social activists, must be courageous agents for change, drawing inspiration from people like Dr. Martin Luther King and his model, Mahatma Gandhi. Though King was a proponent of non-violence, he understood that, paradoxically, a non-violent campaign, when prosecuted correctly, produces violence. King unflinchingly led his followers into danger, requiring them to non-violently absorb the blows of their tormentors alongside him. The violence he sought, indeed relied on, was from his bigoted oppressors. He knew that the greater their violence, captured by the media, the greater would be the public outrage.

It is not by mistake that King chose to have his young foot soldiers stand their ground in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. That’s where they peacefully marched during “The Children’s Crusade” in the Spring of 1963, demanding an end to racial segregation. Birmingham (“Bombingham”, as it came to be known) was a strategically chosen by King because it had the toxic mix he depended on: a brutal racist police force headed by an uncompromising police commissioner Bull Connor, vicious police dogs, water cannons and national notoriety as the city where Reverend Shuttlesworth and his team of activists had been brutalized while trying to desegregate schools, buses, and businesses. The iconic photo of a vicious dog with fangs bared, about to attack a young child protestor, kindled the national conscience, and was instrumental in ending Jim Crow. Dr King, supported by important elements of the black community, had concluded that to defeat their opponents, they would need to subject their children and themselves to physical danger.

Should we in the diaspora subject our children to physical danger? What have the Palestinians done?

Like the Civil Rights Movement, the Palestinian Jihadis have adopted the mantle of victimhood. But with significant material differences. When they marched, the Civil Rights activists made the conscious decision to subject themselves and their children to danger. The Palestinians have given this their own brand of psychotic twist: In Gaza, Hamas has subjected the unwilling above-ground population of men, women, children and infants to violence by using them as human shields, offering them up as deliberately created, very visible, photogenic martyrs. To achieve this spectacle of suffering and bloodshed, Hamas spent 17 years building 400 miles of concrete tunnels to hide in. But unlike the Civil Rights leaders who marched shoulder to shoulder with their followers, Hamas leaders hide themselves in the tunnels, while actively and violently preventing the civilians from taking refuge under its protective concrete. The Hamas leadership cynically relied on the fact that Israel’s inevitable defensive counter-attack would unavoidably lead to massive infrastructure destruction and civilian death. And unlike the active non-violence practiced by the Civil Rights Movement, these Palestinian terrorists, crying rivers of crocodile tears, have created a diabolically different format: they have convinced the world that they are victims, all the while wreaking their violent horror and genocidal antisemitic mayhem on Jews.

Throughout the world and throughout time, Jews have been faced with this issue: what do we do in the face of antisemitism. In recent history, beginning with the 1881 pogroms, the Eastern European Jews fled largely to Western Europe, the Americas and Israel.  When their time came in the 1930s, the German Jews’ reaction ranged from denial and attempts at assimilation to resistance, protest, and desperate efforts to flee the country. Each was too little, too late. Now it is our turn. We must learn from our ancestors’ tragic mistakes. On October 7 the antisemitism that had been vigorously bubbling beneath a thin veneer of tolerance, burst into the open, spewing its wretched poison into public torrents of violence and abuse.

What should we do when, like the college students, we are confronted with blatant antisemitism? The best choice I believe is to attempt to educate your antisemitic opponent. That’s difficult to pull off as it requires a deep understanding of the issues and the temperament and personality to calmly talk persuasively and logically to someone who is often loudly insulting you with ignorance and lies. If you feel you’d like to do this, I suggest you watch a few of Rudy Rochman’s videos. Absent this, I believe there are but three choices:

  • We can stand our ground non-violently, even if physically attacked. Not as pacifists, not as pearl-clutching pansy do-gooders, too moral or afraid to fight back. Not as random victims, but strategically, video-recording their violence, threats, curses and antisemitism for use in legal proceedings to bankrupt them, deport them and imprison them. And in doing this we may be injured. But there are things worse than injury. Loss of dignity, and if these bullies get their way, loss of the freedoms we cherish and ultimately, loss of life.

Our Jewish students have the privilege of being at the diaspora’s epicenter of the greatest threat to world Jewry since the holocaust, where their actions are being watched closely by our enemy. Their bravery and commitment, the way they handle themselves will make a difference.

  • We can fight back physically, if attacked physically. The Lower East Side of Manhattan was no place for sissies. Nor was Williamsburg. These and other neighborhoods in New York’s ‘60s, where Jews lived uneasily cheek by jowl with a kaleidoscope of other ethnicities, were cauldrons of social change. Kumbaya rubbed shoulders with street gangs and the nascent black power movement. Left wing Islamist antisemitism was awakening, curiously eyeing the tactics of their dominant right wing neo-Nazi brothers. It is from this turbulent metamorphic chaos that Meir Kahane emerged, kippa on head and gun in hand, as a right-wing zealot advocating militant Jewish self-defense. He was keenly aware of the history of Jewish persecution, had witnessed the Holocaust, and believed that Jews must never again submit to violence. He railed against the Jewish establishment’s passivism and conciliation. He was outraged that they had sat by submissively when President Roosevelt refused their pleas to bomb the German concentration camps. He was inspired by Bobby Seal and Malcolm X’s willingness to fight back physically (“…if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery”) and concluded that Jews needed a similar organization to defend them against violence and promote Jewish pride. Uplifted by Israel’s decisive 1967 victory against overwhelming odds, and influenced by the social change swirling around him, Kahane formed the Jewish Defense League in 1968 as the militant expression of his beliefs, stating “To turn the other cheek is not a Jewish concept. Do not listen to the soothing anesthesia of the establishment. They walk in the paths of those whose timidity helped bury our brothers and sisters less than thirty years ago.”

The JDL became more extreme and violent and was ultimately declared a terrorist organization by the US government. It was disbanded in 2015. That does not mean that we cannot take important lessons from it.

Are we now at a point in America that we need a reconstituted JDL? Should we welcome a new (less radical) Meir Kahane into our midst? Should we individually be arming ourselves?

Although our position as Jews in the US is better in some ways than it was 50 years ago, it is significantly worse in others. On April 16, 2024 the ADL reported that there had been a massive spike in antisemitism since October 7, 2023. Bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions were up 10 times. Campus incidents of harassment surged by 184% compared to 2022; acts of vandalism rose 69% and physical assaults jumped 45%, being 161 assaults against 196 Jews. Our elite universities, once welcoming institutions of tolerance, are hot-beds of antisemitism. Students and faculty alike side with the Palestinians against Israel, and much of that hatred for Israel either masks or has turned into open hatred of Jews. We all saw Palestinian thugs and their cohorts preventing Jews from going to class, spitting on them and in some cases striking them. The left, with the charge being led by the likes of The Council on American Islamic Relations and The Islamic Society of North America is now firmly entrenched within the fabric of the US and all three branches government; it has overtaken the Neo-Nazi right as our most dangerous enemy. They are overtly antisemitic, support terrorism, and call for the elimination of Israel. They are much more dangerous than the neo-Nazis for many reasons: They disguise their antisemitism under a cloak of anti-Zionism, which is more difficult to expose. And whereas the Neo-Nazis would love nothing better than for us to make Aliyah, the Islamist left wants to dismantle Israel, our first, last and only bastion.

The right of self-defense and bear arms is as American as apple pie, embedded in our Constitution as one of our inalienable rights. Unfortunately, we must now consider this possibility as seriously as we do the path of active, strategic non-violence.

  • We can walk away. The one option we must never chose is that advocated by Rabbi Buechler and too many other Jewish leaders – retreat. Surely we did not rise from the ashes of the German ovens to repeat that mistake. Israel, which on the very first day of its existence as a State on May 15, 1948, knew that unless it succeeded in defending itself from the war waged against it, it would face genocide. In 2011 the Middle East Forum reported that “Of the countless threats of violence made by Arab and Palestinian leaders in the run up to …the 1947 partition resolution, none has resonated more widely than the warning by Abdul Rahman Azzam, the Arab League’s first secretary-general, that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to “a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades.”

Standing up to antisemitism, facing down our enemies, is not easy. Yet it must be done. And if we make the momentous decision to ask it of our children, we must personally lead by example. Like our IDF officers whose command in battle to charge is “After me!” and not “Forward!” as in many other armies. And we can draw inspiration from figures like Nelson Mandella and Hariet Tubman. And similarly, from our own ancient heroes Moses and Judah Maccabee and modern ones like Moshe Dayan and Joni Netanyahu. All put their lives on the line, determined to live free of coercion and intimidation.

One last thing: this public complaining about being afraid. Yes, we’re afraid when a mob of Palestinian thugs pushes us around. And yes, it’s uncomfortable wearing a kippa or Magen David knowing we may attract antisemitic action. It’s never been easy to stand up to bullies. But shouldn’t we, especially our leaders, resist messaging weakness in public statements, which encourages further attack. Instead of “They pushed me around and I was afraid” how about “They pushed me around but I stood my ground?” Moslems wear their traditional garb openly – should we do less?

The eyes of the tens of millions of Jews who have been slaughtered over the centuries are on us – we owe it to them and our progeny to get this right.

About the Author
South African, Israeli, American. Proudly served in IDF. Now fighting for Israel from the Galut.
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