Contemporary anti-Semitism takes many twisted forms from policy speeches and political rallies to the cold steel bullets fired in hatred.
On Saturday, in the northern suburb of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill, in the Or L’Simcha – Tree of Life synagogue. Eleven people have died. Why?
Because they were Jews. Jews have had reason to live in fear for thousands of years, in every place they have been.
Contemporary anti-Semitism exists in America.
And America is boiling over with toxic hate. The ADL reported a 57% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017 over the previous year.
Most of them took the form of vandalism; for example, Swastikas painted on Jewish community center walls or cemeteries desecrated. Jewish students have experienced harassment on campus.
The progressive left has it’s own approach to Jew-hatred, with words and actions. Recently, Louis Farrakhan sent a tweet to his 375,000 followers comparing Jews to insects. Last spring, the leadership of the Women’s March in Washington, DC made feminist Jews unwelcome. Right-wing anti-Semitism is more nakedly aggressive. We all remember the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, with the marchers chanting “Jews will not replace us.”
The Pittsburgh massacre did not happen in a vacuum. The murderer had on all his social media accounts the same hateful, Anti-Semitic rhetoric of Louis Farrakhan, Hamas, David Duke, and Linda Sarsour. The Jewish people are the most persecuted people of all times. That is a fact.
But in this sad fact is where the Jews find their strength, perseverance, and ability to unite during the most difficult of times.