Good news, everyone is ritualistically condemning antisemitism.
And just like the condemnations of ‘Anti-Asian Hate’, it’s a hollow exercise because the condemnations refuse to actually name the perpetrators.
“The kind of anti-Semitic attacks, like those reported over the last week, are disturbing and wrong. Intolerance like this has no place in New York or anywhere else, and it must be confronted and overcome,” Senator Schumer belatedly tweeted.
What attacks? Where? Who’s carrying them out? What’s “this” and “those”?
“I’m angry & concerned by reports of alleged anti-Semitic violence in Times Square last night. Such despicable hatred isn’t what our city stands for and we won’t tolerate it,” Rep. Nadler tweeted.
“The recent attacks targeting Jews in New York City are deeply disturbing and must be forcefully condemned. Hatred and bigotry don’t belong in NY or anywhere across our country,” Rep. Rice tweeted.
“This outbreak of antisemitic hatred and violence is absolutely appalling and unacceptable. New York is a place where people of all faiths and backgrounds should be able to come together — not face vitriol,” Rep. Espaillat tweeted.
There’s another dozen examples of condemning antisemitism as some sort of nameless and faceless problem, or of condemning “hate” and “intolerance”.
The easiest way to spot what’s missing is the condemnation from Rep. Zeldin, “We must all step up to defend the great, innocent Jews being physically attacked by antisemitic Hamas sympathizers in NYC and across the US. Feckless leadership, eroded public safety, and the empowerment/appeasement of the radical left are a few of the many contributing factors.”
Rep. Zeldin is the only Jewish Republican House member. Now I don’t expect your average Democrat to go this far, but it’s easy to spot what’s missing. If Jews were being attacked by Neo-Nazis, Democrats wouldn’t be shy about naming the perpetrator. Instead, there’s a lot of passive voice condemnations of an “outbreak of antisemitic hatred” or “reports” and “recent attacks” as if they’re emerging out of thin air.
Every one of those attacks has been perpetrated by men waving PLO flags.
The ADL, AJC, OU, and a number of other organizations dispatched a letter to Biden about the rise in antisemitism. The 2-page letter mentions “examples of physical violence” without ever addressing who the perpetrators are. It mentions anti-Israel, rather than pro-terrorist rallies.
Condemning antisemitism as a phenomenon, rather than mob violence by racist pro-terrorist mobs is worthless cowardice.
It’s like the politicians who condemned gun violence when a black supremacist opened fire in a Kosher market in Jersey City.
Antisemitism is not an inanimate object. And before condemning abstractions, start by actually dealing with perpetrators.
I’ll close with a notable contrast from a soccer player who makes it clear that he’s not pro-Israel.
“Last night I was walking in New York with a friend and all of a sudden a group of 6-8 Palestinian men walk up to me and asked me where I was from. I responded and said, “New York”.
Than one guy asks me if I was jewish. I paused for a moment in confusion and thought about it, than I saw them withdrawing knives. I obviously said no.
The guy looked at me with such disgust in his eyes and said ‘Good’.”
I got extremely angry and felt like I had to say something.
So I turned back around and said to him, “What if I was Jewish?”
“The group of men walk up to my face and the same guy says ‘ I’ll beat the f*ckin sh*t out of you and kill you ‘. As I was face to face with this guy I told him ‘ What is the need for that ‘ he started charging at me but a few women who were with the group screamed at him to stop and to let it go.”
That’s part of his Instagram post. I kept the original spelling. And yet Luca Lewis captures the basics of journalism. We learn Who, What, When Where, and Why.
Lewis isn’t threatened by abstract forces. There’s no outburst of hate. There are people who come up to him, showing knives, and demanding to know if he’s a Jew.
Not tropes or memes. The real raw and uncut antisemitism.
And we learn who’s responsible: “6-8 Palestinian men”. They’re probably just Arab Muslims wearing PLO gear, but that’s not the point.
Compare Lewis’ Instagram post to that of all the empty social media condemnations by politicians and organizations. Lewis doesn’t pretend to support Israel. But when confronted by antisemitic thugs, he feels unease and at least tries to tell them to stop. And he names who they are.
Until you do that, there’s no hope that anything will change.
If you can’t describe the perpetrators, then you’re not condemning them, you’re enabling them.