New York is burning: On the Upper East Side this week, a gang waving Palestinian flags attacked Jewish bystanders, while protestors on 13th Street marched by cheerfully shouting “we are terrorists.”
Not to be outdone, yet more hoodlums stormed Manhattan’s Diamond District, known for its large concentration of Jews, flinging a firework at a woman, and hitting others.
If you’re wondering why so much anti-Semitic violence could explode so suddenly and so forcefully, you’ve only to look back to the events of last summer, when the Black Lives Matter movement set fire to one American city after another.
Many of those who took to the streets then undoubtedly did so for all the right reasons, believing they were helping to curb racism. But it turns out that when you make violent outbursts the norm for addressing political discords, and when you kneecap the police and keep it from upholding peace and security, you get a powder keg ready to detonate at the slightest provocation.
And this week it exploded on the Jews.
If you’re wondering why, just listen to Rep. Jamaal Bowman, or Rashida Tlaib, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or Ilhan Omar, or Cori Bush, or Ayanna Pressley, or Mark Pocan, or any number of Democrats who were vocal this week in portraying the fight between Israelis and Palestinians as one between privileged white colonialists on the one hand and oppressed black and brown people on the other.
Seeing everything and everywhere through the same racially tinged lens applied to American politics isn’t just intellectually dishonest and morally ruinous. It also puts real American Jews in real danger: If, after all, you believe that Tel Aviv is just another Ferguson or that dead Hamas terrorists are only so many more George Floyds, why not respond to Israel’s attempts at self-defense by taking a page from the BLM playbook? And why not beat up men in yarmulkes the way you would anyone wearing uniform and a badge? It all makes perfect sense.
American Jews, the overwhelming majority of whom still support the Democrats, have a very serious reckoning coming. The attacks in one American city after the other aren’t spontaneous outbreaks; they’re the direct outcome of a political party enabling a populist movement to redefine the boundaries of acceptable conduct. And as is so often the case when mobs are set loose and allowed to start fires, Jews are the first to suffer.
ThinkCivics researches, examines, and reports on issues that matter most. We deliver explanative, fearless, and insightful analysis for public consumption.