David Harris
David Harris

Where’s the outrage?

There’s an entire global industry dedicated to vilifying and isolating Israel, the world’s only Jewish-majority nation.

Where’s the outrage?

Of the 193 UN member states, only one, Israel, is targeted by another, Iran, for annihilation, even as many countries conduct a shameful business-as-usual policy with the Iranian regime.

Where’s the outrage?

At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, just one nation is deemed such a violator of human rights that it warrants a separate and permanent agenda item. Not China. Not Cuba. Not Iran. Not Russia. Not Syria. Only Israel, the lone liberal democracy in the Middle East.

Where’s the outrage?

Every country but one has the recognized right to designate its own capital city. Only Israel is denied that right by a majority of states, and, by the way, even though the key government agencies are located in Jerusalem and all official meetings take place there.

Where’s the outrage?

Unlike other countries, Israel’s legitimacy is constantly challenged, yet Israel’s claim to a sovereign sliver of land has been validated by more international bodies (San Remo Conference, League of Nations, UN Special Committee on Palestine, UN General Assembly) than most other nations, including several that happen to be located in the Middle East.

Where’s the outrage?

Jews have been connected to the region for 3,500+ years, established Jerusalem as the center of Jewish prayer, and, even in forced exile, never stopped yearning for a return. Nonetheless, Jews are called “crusaders” and “colonizers,” rather than the indigenous people they are.

Where’s the outrage?

Israel has achieved peace and normalization with six Arab countries, withdrawn fully from Gaza, and put several two-state deals with the Palestinians on the table, yet is depicted by its nonstop critics as being unalterably opposed to peace.

Where’s the outrage?

Afghanistan and Yemen recently joined Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, and Syria as witnessing the end of ancient Jewish communities, driven out largely by intolerance and persecution.

Where’s the outrage?

In some UN bodies, there’s been a concerted effort by several member states, with the acquiescence of too many others, to extinguish Jewish history from Israel, as if the Jews never existed, the Hebrew (and, I might add, Christian) Bible was fiction, and archaeological findings were all cheap fakes.

Where’s the outrage?

A few outspoken members of Congress make a practice of libeling Israel regularly, accusing it of every nefarious deed under the sun, and, outrageously, even trying to turn a political conflict with the Palestinians into a racialized war against Arabs.

Where’s the outrage?

Pro-Israel supporters gather peacefully in the U.S. and are physically attacked by pro-Hamas supporters.

Where’s the outrage?

A Jewish university student asks a professor for a letter of recommendation, which he refuses to write when he learns she wishes to spend her junior year at an Israeli school.

Where’s the outrage?

A non-Jewish university student is harassed and ostracized because she opposes a student government resolution calling for a boycott of Israel.

Where’s the outrage?

A high-school social studies teacher refuses to include in his classroom any maps of the Middle East that show Israel.

Where’s the outrage?

A questionnaire from Democratic Socialists of America asks New York City Council candidates to sign a pledge that, if elected, they will not visit Israel, the only country so mentioned.

Where’s the outrage?

A prominent CNN host has a discussion on the aftermath of Hamas’s war against Israel. Two of the three panelists are well-known for denying Israel’s very right to exist.

Where’s the outrage?

An Israeli-inspired food truck is barred from participating in a food festival in Philadelphia.

Where’s the outrage?

A candidate in the New York mayoral race issues a statement of support for Israel during last month’s Hamas-triggered war, but is then bullied into retracting it, instead coming up with a statement that can hardly distinguish between Hamas, a designated terror group, and Israel, the target and a staunch American ally.

Where’s the outrage?

Antisemitism is rising in America today, including the number of violent incidents, as it has been in Europe for the past 20 years. Jews are acting more cautiously, and Jewish institutions are ratcheting up security, including for synagogues and schools.

Where’s the outrage?

The antisemitism is coming from the radical right and the totalitarian left. Both pose a clear and present danger.

Where’s the outrage?

The latest FBI statistics indicate that 60 percent of all religiously-motivated hate crimes in the U.S. are directed at Jews, who comprise two percent of the nation’s population.

Where’s the outrage?

And for the past 76 years, there’s been a sustained effort by some regimes (most notably these days, the Iranian), institutions, and individuals to deny, trivialize, or distort the Holocaust — the systematic murder of six million Jews, among them 1.5 million children.

Where’s the outrage?

American Jews have been incredibly fortunate.

They have lived in a country that, unlike most European nations, never had a Jewish obsession, and that, especially in the postwar years, created a sense of unprecedented safety, security, opportunity, and equality for Jews.

And America has laudably stood by Israel’s side since its rebirth in 1948, with overwhelming majorities of both Democrats and Republicans in full support.

There’s now a growing threat on both fronts. Antisemitism is on the uptick and, significantly, is being mainstreamed, while Israel’s relentless foes are more determined than ever to try and drive a wedge between Washington and Jerusalem.

It’s time to wake up and take careful notice. And it’s time, yes, to unleash the outrage and act. The stakes couldn’t be higher.

If not now, when?

About the Author
David Harris is the CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
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