Anti-Semitic attacks have reached epidemic proportions in the New York metropolitan area. A shooting early last December at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City left several people dead, including two Hasidic Jews. A policeman was also killed by the same shooters nearby. The killers aimed to kill as many Jews as possible before they were struck down. Last Saturday night, five Jewish people were stabbed by a Jew-hater wielding a machete at a Hasidic rabbi’s house in the suburb of Monsey, New York. One of the victims suffered serious head injuries, which has left him in a coma and may result in permanent damage to his brain. Orthodox Jews residing in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg are living in constant fear, triggered by a slew of anti-Semitic incidents that were a near daily occurrence during December and have continued into 2020.
These were not violent crimes committed by white nationalists. While white supremacists continue to pose a major threat to the lives and well-being of Jews and other minority groups nationwide, the alarming series of recent anti-Semitic attacks in the New York metropolitan area were conducted primarily by African Americans.
Anti-Semitic propensities among some African Americans have been simmering for years, as documented by a survey conducted back in 2013 by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a second survey conducted by the ADL in 2016. The 2016 survey noted that over the past four years, “Anti-Semitic views among the African American population have remained steady and are higher than the general population.” As compared to the white population, anti-Semitic propensities among African Americans as measured in 2016 were more than double that of whites – 23% versus 10% respectively. This survey also found that Hispanic Americans born outside of the U.S. have even higher anti-Semitic propensities (31%) than African Americans. The anti-Semitic propensities of U.S. born Hispanics were measured at 19%, higher than whites but lower than African Americans.
It is the simmering anti-Semitism within the African American population that is now spilling over into rampant violence against Jews. The attacks on Orthodox Jews in New York City, particularly in Brooklyn, have not stopped with either the end of Hanukkah or the close of 2019. On New Year’s Day, two women attacked a Hasidic man in South Williamsburg, yelling “I will kill you Jews.” As the victim tried to use his cellphone to take a photo of his attackers, one of them snatched the phone out of his hand. After pushing their victim to the ground, one of the women broke the phone and threw it in his face.
Why do they keep doing this to us?” asked one Hasidic woman after the New Year’s Day incident that occurred close to her home. “We mean them no harm, yet they’re always cursing at us and hitting us.”
Part of the answer is rooted in a hate-filled black supremacist ideology that has influenced some African Americans willing to move from militant rhetoric to violence.
The Jersey City murderers were Black Hebrew Israelites, a sect which includes black supremacists who believe that they are God’s true chosen people as the real descendants of the Hebrews of the Bible. They dismiss whites who call themselves Jews as imposters.
The accused Monsey machete slasher reportedly kept journals that were filled with anti-Semitic rants reflective of this ideology and that referred specifically to “Hebrew Israelites” in one passage.
Even the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listed 144 Black Hebrew Israelite groups as “hate groups because of their anti-white and antisemitic beliefs.” SPLC noted that these Black Israelite groups “believe that, as members of the 12 Tribes of Israel – consisting only of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans – they are God’s ‘chosen people.’” They regard Caucasians and members of the LGBTQ community as ‘devils.’
“Extreme Black Hebrew Israelites believe that individuals outside the movement are deserving of slavery or death,” SPLC added. Remember that this assessment is coming from the same organization that finds white supremacists and Islamophobes lurking everywhere.
But extremist ideology is not the entire answer for the escalating violence by African Americans against Jews. Some African American leaders have stoked anti-Semitic accusations that Jews possess too much economic and political power in the United States, which Jews are supposedly exploiting against African Americans who live in the same neighborhoods. African Americans believing such false accusations turn their anger into self-justifications for violence. Hasidic Jews wearing religious garb living in these neighborhoods stand out as the most vulnerable targets.
Following the murder of Jews in Jersey City, a black school board member named Joan Terrell-Paige posted on Facebook a diatribe against Jews who have moved to the city. She pooh-poohed the concerns expressed by some political and religious leaders over the anti-Semitic killings.
“Where was all this faith and hope when Black homeowners were threatened, intimidated, and harassed by I WANT TO BUY YOUR HOUSE brutes of the jewish community,” Terrell-Paige wrote. “Are we brave enough to stop the assault on the Black communities of America?” she added, displaying shocking indifference to the slaughter of innocent Jews as well as of a policeman.
Terrell-Paige said that she did not regret her post. While some New Jersey government leaders called for her resignation, a House candidate John Flora viewed her post as a teaching moment. “To me her remarks were an invitation for the entire city to discuss honestly what led up to such a horrific event,” Flora said Tuesday. “There is a lingering resentment in certain transitioning neighborhoods that I’m not sure repeated sit-downs with the same community leaders will ever resolve.” He announced a vigil in support of Terrell-Paige on Thursday.
The Hudson County Democratic Black Caucus said that while it did not agree with “the delivery of the statement made by Ms. Terrell-Paige we believe that her statement has heightened awareness around issues that must be addressed.”
Rabbi Avi Shafran responded to such outrageous excuse-making in an op-ed article entitled “Not-So-Good People.” He wrote:
“No, dear Caucus, the only issue that must be addressed is black anti-Semitism.
That phrase, of course, isn’t intended to implicate the larger African-American community, any more than the phrase ‘white anti-Semitism’ implicates all Caucasians.
It simply acknowledges the sad reality that Jew-hatred exists not only in the fever dreams of racists who hate blacks but also in the delusions of some of those they hate.”
Progressives leading the Democratic Party leftward, along with their friends in the mainstream media, refuse to acknowledge this reality. They shrink from speaking out forcefully against the violence of black racists, while using every opportunity they can to denounce white supremacists. Heaven forbid that they upset the narrative of “white privilege” and white “oppression” of minorities, which casts Jews as part of the oppressor class and people of color as always the victims.
Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib even blamed “white supremacy” for the Jersey City murders by the black supremacist Hebrew Israelites. “This is heartbreaking. White supremacy kills,” she wrote in a tweet. Tlaib has since deleted this absurd tweet, but it reflects her clear anti-Semitic bias.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reverted to form last Sunday when he blamed the recent spike in anti-Semitic attacks in New York on an “atmosphere of hate” that has been “emanating from Washington.” He mentioned only President Trump by name. While placing some of the blame on divisiveness in Congress, he did not call out the leading anti-Semites in Congress, Representatives Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The epidemic of anti-Semitic attacks in the New York metropolitan area are emanating from within the local African American communities themselves. The attacks are rationalized or ignored by leftists who believe that only “privileged” whites commit hate crimes.
Misguided policies that coddle criminals are making it easier for the violence against Jews to spread, because word gets around that the perpetrators face no serious consequences. Indeed, the irresponsible no-bail catch and release policy in New York, which technically went into effect on January 1st, has already put an anti-Semitic offender back on the street to continue her rampage. The get-out-of jail card will likely mean the quick release of most of the other offenders as well. What good are the increased police patrols in Jewish neighborhoods promised by Mayor de Blasio and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo if the attacks against Jews are treated like petty crimes?
Will there be a repeat of the anti-Jewish riot in Crown Heights that occurred in 1991? Are massacres of Jews resulting in many deaths and injuries inevitable if nothing is done to stem the current level of violence? It’s a distinct possibility. The seeds of African American anti-Semitism have already been sown. The fertilizer contributing to their potential fruition into full-fledged riots or mass massacres consists of a radicalized left obsessed with “white privilege,” lax criminal laws, and government leaders unwilling to directly confront the scourge of African American anti-Semitism. Hopefully, there is still time to turn the tide.