Is the greater New York city joining Berlin, London, and Paris as cities where identifiably dressed Jews are subjected to harassment, insults, and violent assaults? Judging by the recent attacks in New York city and Union City, NJ, the answer is yes. Ironically, New York, known as the city with the largest Jewish population in the world, and where Jews contributed richly and decisively to its greatness, is now experiencing multiple antisemitic hate crimes. Alarmingly, the scourge of antisemitism has become an epidemic in the liberal western world, including the U.S. A spate of antisemitic hate crimes in December, 2019 and into the new year of 2020, in greater New York city, illustrates the point.
The Jerusalem Post reported on New Year’s Day, 2020, that two black women shoved a 22-year old Hasidic Jewish man and yelled “F… you Jew” and added, “I will kill you.” That occurred in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY. On December 24, 2019, the New York City Police Department released a video showing a group of black teenagers assaulting a 23-year old Hasidic Jewish man in Brooklyn. A few days earlier, a 34-year old black woman named Tiffany Harris attacked three Jewish women in front of their young children in Brooklyn. The 34-year old woman admitted to the police, “yes, I slapped them. I cursed them. I said F… you Jews.” She was released shortly after being arrested. More violent and deadly assaults on Jews took place on December 10, 2019, in a Jersey City Kosher supermarket, where three people were murdered by black racist antisemites. On the seventh day of Chanukah, 2019, a black anti-Semite with a machete cut down and severely injured five Hasidic Jews at a home of a Chabad rabbi, in Monsey, New York. Last month, a young Israeli exchange student was verbally assaulted and threatened on a busy New York subway, and once again, the perpetrator was a black man. The police stood by doing nothing.
The Wiesenthal Center top ten list of antisemitism has given New York city the “honor” of being number six. The acceptance of anti-Jewish bigotry is now justified by political correctness (PC), whose dictates includes “justice for Palestinians.” The BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions), anti-Israel, and anti-Jewish bigotry has been legitimized on American college campuses, particularly in some Ivy League schools of which Columbia University is a prime example. The New York Times reported that, “Of 421 hate crimes in New York City in 2019, more than half were directed at Jews, according to police crime data.”
With New York City being a bastion of liberalism, one would assume that blatant antisemitism would raise some concern among city leaders, but short of verbal expression, nothing else has been done. Hate crimes against Jews by African-Americans does not fit the progressive media playbook. For the media and the politicians, African-Americans are permanent “victims,” and therefore cannot be racist or antisemitic. Yet, the current assaults on Jews cannot be blamed on white supremacists. It is the work of African-Americans imbued with racist and antisemitic sentiments. It is rather ironic that Jews, who stood along with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his fight for civil rights and equality for African-Americans, and were the most ardent champions of the civil-rights movement, are now the victims of the very people American Jews have fought for.
The African-American community leadership has thus far failed to address the antisemitism in its midst. The Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, probably the vilest anti-Semite and racist in today’s America, and hater of Jews and Christians, who called Jews “termites”, has been coddled by many black leaders including Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Jesse Jackson of “Hymietown fame” remarks against Jews in 1984. Farrakhan, who came out in Jackson’s defense, threatened Jews charging, “If you harm this brother (Jackson), it will be the last one you harm.” There are also the race-mongering Rev. Al Sharpton who was fanning flames during the anti-Jewish riots in Crown Heights, (to his credit, this time Sharpton denounced the antisemitism in the Monsey, New York attack), and Tamika Mallory, the organizer of the Women’s March, who called Farrakhan “great” and took admiring photos with him. Lest we forget, President Obama’s personal pastor, Jeremiah Wright, is an anti-Semite, and anti-white racist.
A New York Times editorial (January 1, 2020) titled “It is an Old and Insidious Hatred…” dealing with the attacks in New York and Jersey City, failed to mention that the perpetrators were blacks, which is typical of the PC culture the liberal media has promoted, and in most cases denies reality and excuses crimes committed by blacks. If a color-blind principle prevails, then mentioning black perpetrators of crime is as legitimate as mentioning white perpetrators, but it cannot be just one way. Furthermore, there are black racists as there are white racists. No one race has a monopoly on racism, or antisemitism.
It is not however, in the media alone that PC prevails over justice and fairness. In the U.S. Congress, the two Muslim Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) have been excused for their blatant antisemitism and hatred of Israel. Following Omar’s antisemitic tirade against American Jews supporting Israel, accusing them of dual loyalty, and “It’s all about the Benjamins” quip, she received a congressional “slap on her wrist” but was not removed from the prestigious and sensitive Foreign Affairs Committee. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi advanced a lukewarm resolution against antisemitism but took no disciplinary action against these two members of congress.
In New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo, pushed a Bail Reform Bill that enabled Tiffany Harris to be released by police because the new bill allows the release of perpetrators if the judge deems the offense to be a non-sexual assault case, where supposedly no physical injury has occurred. But assaulting three innocent Jewish woman and slapping them in front of their children is not only a humiliating and psychological injury, it is also physical one, and it was clearly a hate crime.
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio has refrained from taking a clear stand against antisemitism because of the PC culture. To combat antisemitism would require admitting the real source of Jew-hatred. Much of it is black resentment of Jewish success. According to the New York Post (12/30/2019), Black political leaders like City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, blamed the recent spate of anti-Jewish attacks on black fears of being “pushed out” by Jewish landlords? Jersey City, NJ school-board member Joan Terrell-Paige remarked after the killing in her city Jewish supermarket in December, calling Jews “brutes who waved bags of money.” DeBlasio’s fear of antagonizing the black community by pointing out the anti-Jewish bigotry their midst, and demanding change from black pastors, politicians, and educators, is not happening.
In the age of social media and the internet, fanning the flames of hatred, and especially the oldest hatred – antisemitism, is rather easy. The culture of political correctness has proscribed anti-black and anti-Muslim bigotry and hate. Manifestations of such hatreds are punished and ostracized by our media, politicians, and society in general. Unfortunately, PC culture, and the media, and politicians who follow its dictum, have not done the same about Jew-hated.