Attacks on Orthodox Jews spike; mainstream Jewish groups seem indifferent

Recently, attacks against Jews have sharply increased in New York City. According to a report published in May by the New York Police Department, from January through May of this year, New York City experienced an 83 percent rise in hate crimes. Fifty-nine percent of hate crimes in the city are directed against Jews, and anti-Semitic attacks have risen by 90 percent in the past year.

On September 22, a few hundred Jewish demonstrators congregated outside of New York City Hall to demand that city officials take effective action to stem the rising wave of anti-Semitic attacks. According to Caroline Glick, Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, was the only leader of a major Jewish organization among the participants. Aside from two New York City councilmen, no Jewish politicians attended the event. Chuck Schumer didn’t. Neither did any of the Jewish representatives from New York.

How to explain the apparent indifference of mainstream Jewish groups and politicians to the spike in hate crimes committed against Jews? Glick believes the explanation lies in the kind of Jews who are being attacked and the kind of people doing the attacking:

The Jewish victims in New York are not Reform Jews. They are ultra-Orthodox Jews. And they don’t live in Manhattan. They live in Brooklyn.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews are not progressives and not part of the Democratic coalition.

As for their assailants:

Most of the perpetrators are African Americans, and as such, like the Reform Jews, they are members in good standing of the progressive camp in American politics.

Mayor Bill de Blasio claims that the attacks are the work of neo-Nazis. But they are occurring in Crown Heights. How many neo-Nazis are there in Crown Heights? Approximately none.

There aren’t many on college campuses, either. There too, attacks on Jews have increased. There too, the rise has nothing to do with neo-Nazis or “right-wingers”. Says Glick:

Last month, the Amcha Initiative, which documents, investigates and combats anti-Semitism on college campuses, published its 2018 report on-campus anti-Semitism. The report revealed that classic anti-Semitic attacks—that is, right-wing anti-Semitic attacks — decreased by 42 percent. In contrast, 2018 saw a 70 percent increase in leftist anti-Semitic attacks on campuses.

The report also found that faculty members are playing a central role in propagating and inciting anti-Semitism on campuses by pushing academic boycotts of Israel. Their decisive role — and the fact that their actions are largely backed by university administrators — indicates that anti-Semitism has become institutionalized in American academia.

One shouldn’t expect better from Bill de Blasio, a socialist hack, or academia, a subsidiary of the hard left. But what about mainstream Jewish organizations? One might have hoped for better from them, even given their lack of affinity for the New York City Jews under attack. At a minimum, one might have hoped for vigorous push back against boycotts of Israel.

According to Glick, however, any push back has been less than vigorous.

Instead of vigorously combating genuine anti-Semitism, mainstream Jewish groups focus on attacking President Trump. For example, leaders of the Reform movement published a pre-Rosh Hashanah statement on the movement’s website. The statement was a lengthy diatribe against Trump.

Meanwhile, as Glick points out, the Trump administration is taking steps to combat academia’s attack on Jews. Just last month, the Department of Education sent warning letters to Duke University and the University of North Carolina after they used federal funds to finance an anti-Semitic conference.

There’s irony here. More ironic, and more sickening, is the fact that reform Jews in New York and Washington, D.C. now treat Al Sharpton as a hero. Sharpton once incited a pogrom in Crown Heights, the same area where Jews are now being attacked as they walk down the street.

In the 1991 pogrom, more than 180 members of the Chabad community were injured during three-days and four-nights of violence perpetrated by African American and Caribbean American rioters. Yankel Rosenbaum, a visiting student from Melbourne, Australia, was beaten and stabbed to death.

Nowadays, Sharpton, who has never apologized for his role in the Crown Heights pogrom, is a mainstay of the Democratic Party, courted assiduously by Dem presidential hopefuls. And Reform Jews have joined in the adulation. According to Glick:

On Rosh Hashanah, the tony East Side Synagogue honored Sharpton at its service. In May, the Religious Action Center of the Reform movement held a conference in Washington, D.C., titled “Consultation on Conscience.” They invited Sharpton, whom they touted as a “civil rights leader,” to speak.

These invitations are so revolting as to seem unhinged. But Glick sees a method in the madness:

The liberal Jewish leadership’s decision to pretend away progressive anti-Semitism is not unhinged. As a decade of survey data has shown conclusively, their communities are in a state of demographic collapse. With the lowest fertility rates in America, with the majority of non-Orthodox Jews intermarrying and with Jewish literacy at an all-time low, the liberal Jewish establishment seeks to retain its members by embracing their lowest common denominator.

That commonality is not Judaism. It is progressivism.

Norman Podhoretz made a similar point years ago in his book Why Are Jews Liberals?

It was valid then, and even more valid today. No wonder mainstream Jews seem indifferent to attacks on Jews whose primary religion is Judaism, not progressivism, and who in fact are not progressives at all.

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