Hate has No Place in America

Hate has No Place in America

© David Burton 2021

Anti-Semitic Hatred in America

NOTE: All residents of the former British mandate of Palestine are Palestinians. I use “Palestinians” to denote the Arab peoples living in the Gaza Strip and certain areas of the West Bank who are not Israeli citizens.

     Hatred in America has been escalating rapidly over the past few years. Particularly disturbing has been the significant rise in the number of hate crimes and incidents committed against Jews under the guise of being “pro-Palestinian”, “anti-Israel”, and “anti-Zionist”. Such hatred, as well as all racial and ethnic hatred has no place in America!

Jews United in Fighting Anti-Semitism???

     Deeply disturbed by rising levels of anti-Semitism, a coalition of Jewish groups held a rally outside the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, 11 July 2021.

     Organizers said the gathering, called “No Fear: A Rally in Solidarity With the Jewish People” aimed to unite Jews and raise awareness of rising anti-Semitism in the U.S. and around the world.

     But, Are Jews really united against anti-Semitism? The rally against Jew-hatred struck many of the right notes, but the poor turnout, combined with obvious divisions between left and right, illustrated the dismal Jewish crisis response.
     “The first thing to be said about the “No Fear” rally against anti-Semitism held in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sunday was that it was a noble effort. The organizers and those who showed up deserve credit for trying to shine a spotlight on a surge in hate crimes against Jews. A new group called Alliance for Israel was the primary organizer of the effort; it was launched in the aftermath of the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in mid-May that led to a torrent of incidents of anti-Semitic incitement and violence across the nation. It was joined by Elisha Wiesel, the son of the late Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who appears to have played a key role in bringing together a broad array of national Jewish organizations.
     “Indeed, it’s a cause that ought to unite almost the entire Jewish world, and to that end, religious denominations as well as groups from the left, center and right, like the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the Zionist Organization of America, signed on as endorsers of the rally. If that weren’t enough unity on display, the leaders of both the Jewish Democratic Council of America and the Republican Jewish Coalition both spoke alongside each other, sounding a bipartisan note.
     “Others who spoke included Chabad Rabbi Shlomo Noginski, recently the victim of an anti-Semitic stabbing attack in Boston, and Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation, the site of the horrific mass shooting of Jewish worshippers in October 2018.
     “But if you think all this indicates that American Jewry is fully united in this struggle and sufficiently aware of the rising threat of anti-Semitism, you’d be mistaken. That’s because probably the most interesting thing about the rally wasn’t the people who were there but those who were not.
     “While organizers struggled to put a good face on their well-intentioned effort, the dismal turnout undermined the notion that the rally signified a united and mobilized Jewish community.
     “Raw numbers don’t always mean a lot; however, after the buildup for this event, the small numbers in attendance seemed insignificant when considering the importance of the cause and the large number of organizations co-sponsoring it. While the organizers claimed that 3,000 showed up, The Washington Post put the number at only “hundreds.” Either way, by the standards of the endless stream of protests on behalf of causes that regularly occur in the capital, it didn’t amount to much.
     “You can put that down to a summer event on a weekend when many people prefer to be at the beach or on vacation, coupled with the lingering effects of coronavirus hesitancy (and it’s true that many people did watch the rally online). Still, you don’t have to harken back to historic Jewish demonstrations of the past—like the 250,000 who turned out in Washington to protest for freedom for Soviet Jewry in 1987—to understand that when people are motivated and groups are willing to expend resources and send busloads to D.C. to make a statement, such a paltry turnout would have been unimaginable.
     “That may speak to the fact that most American Jews who are not Orthodox and may not feel as if they are personally targeted for hate weren’t too alarmed by the recent spate of anti-Semitic hate crimes.
     “More significant is the way that the divide over Israel has polarized and, to some extent, derailed efforts to mobilize the community against anti-Semitism.
     “Wiesel’s comments attempted to set some sensible parameters for a community response that should exclude all but extremists. He said that all were welcome at the rally, regardless of their politics or positions on Israel, except supporters of the ideas of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane or anti-Zionists. But even that seemingly anodyne drawing of lines is not inclusive enough for many on the left.
     “Unlike in past generations when Israel’s peril was a source of Jewish unity, today it is a deeply divisive issue, with the politically and religiously liberal majority of the community adopting critical views of the Jewish state and the minority that are Orthodox, politically conservative or staunchly pro-Zionist more likely to support it enthusiastically against its detractors.
     “More to the point, many on the Jewish left are adamant about trying to detach concern about anti-Semitism from the rising tide of anti-Zionist invective coming from the base of the Democratic Party. They are opposed to the widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism promulgated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance precisely because it includes rhetoric and actions that seek to delegitimize Israel, to judge it by double standards applied to no other government and to compare the Jewish state to the Nazis among its examples of anti-Semitism.
     “That appears to be why Americans for Peace Now and J Street stayed away from the rally. The same applies to openly anti-Zionist groups like Jewish Voices for Peace and IfNotNow - themselves a source of anti-Semitic incitement.
     “Unfortunately, the only instances of anti-Semitism that motivate many Jews to protest are those incidents that can be linked, however incorrectly, to their domestic political opponents, such as former President Donald Trump.
     “Along those same lines, some Jews refused to show up at the rally simply because it was an attempt at unity. For them, the partisan tribal culture wars of American politics are more important than a statement against Jew-hatred - so much so that they would prefer to skip it rather than to show up alongside conservative Jews who oppose critical race theory and the Black Lives Matter movement, which have been implicated in the targeting of Israel and the delegitimization of Jews.
     “It would be nice to draw from Sunday’s event the conclusion that Jewish unity is possible and that opposition to anti-Semitism, no matter its origin, is universal. But that doesn’t appear to be the case.
     “Opposition to anti-Semitism that doesn’t confront anti-Zionism and its prominent proponents, such as Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), is essentially giving a permission slip to hate groups and violent individuals to target Jews.
     “Until the fight against anti-Semitism can be said to include the entire Jewish community - meaning that Jews are willing to confront those on the left as well as the right - it’s no good pretending that Jewish unity is possible. So long as a significant percentage of Jews aren’t willing to stand up against such forces in theory, let alone show up at a rally against them, any talk of unity or a community that understands what it’s up against is deeply mistaken.” (Ref. 1)

Hiding Behind the Mask of Supposedly Supporting the Peace-Loving “Palestinians”

     There are disingenuous individuals who claim to simply be opposed to the State of Israel because they charge that Israel is oppressing the poor defenseless “Palestinians” – the ones launching rockets, incendiary balloons and building “terror tunnels” from which to attack Israeli civilians. These hypocrites are nothing but Jew-haters. These Jew-Haters who unsuccessfully attempt to hide their virulent anti-Semitism under the guise of an anti-Israel, anti-Zionist Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel recently called for a boycott of Pillsbury, best known for its cookie products, cake mixes, biscuits and other pastries.
     The endgame of these purveyors of hate? To smear Israel while pressuring parent company General Mills to close Pillsbury’s factory in Jerusalem’s Atarot Industrial Park. The park is located on land retaken from Jordan in 1967, which had been occupied since Israel’s 1948 War of Independence when the Kingdom invaded and then occupied East Jerusalem.
     The industrial zone contains more than 160 factories employing 4,000 people —three-quarters of whom are "Palestinian" Arabs living in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
     An email sent on 7 July 2021 by the "Palestinian" BDS National Committee called on supporters to go to their local supermarkets and place flyers and sticky notes on Pillsbury products, urging store managers to “de-shelve” Pillsbury.
     Responding to totally unfounded and unsupported claims that "Palestinian" employees were mistreated, a General Mills spokesperson said in a statement, “We provide every employee with full social benefits without prejudice to race, religion or nationality.”
     The "Palestinian" Central Bureau of Statistics found in 2014 that “Palestinians” employed by the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria earned more than double the wages of “Palestinians” working for “Palestinian” businesses, earning Israel rare praise from PA-controlled media.[2]

     To equate Israel, a country that grants full rights to all citizens, both Jewish and Arab, to apartheid-era South Africa, is the epitome of fake news. It’s sensationalistic and is unequivocally false. At The Harvard Crimson, contributing opinion writer Lucas Koerner succumbed to and indeed promoted this cheap fiction in an article titled “Boycott Israeli Apartheid: If Not Now, When?”
     In his piece, Koerner demanded that Harvard University sever all economic and academic ties with the State of Israel and support the notoriously anti-Semitic BDS movement. He used his status “as a Jew” to falsely accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing and settler-colonialism, and advocated for Harvard to pressure the Biden administration in the U.S. to cut military aid to the state. The article, which is riddled with inaccuracies, is emblematic of the anti-Israel culture on college campuses today.
     In spite of all the racist and ethnic atrocities and globally recognized genocides being perpetrated around the world, it is Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, that the writer holds accountable.
     Does Koerner believe that only Israel should be boycotted? Apparently so, because he urges Harvard to cut off a scholarship to Israeli students, as if these Israeli academics were all guilty of war crimes. Such general characterization based on ethnicity would be characterized as nothing short of racism if it were leveled against any other country in the Middle East.
     In a similar display of ignorance and a double standard, the writer recklessly framed Israeli military action as violations of international law on the basis that there were civilian casualties in the fighting in 2021 between Israel and Hamas. What he failed to mention was that the 4,300 rockets fired into Israel by Hamas during the 11-day conflict were not aimed at military targets. Instead, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad launched rockets into the heart of Tel Aviv, into the nation’s capital of Jerusalem and into the seaside cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.
     Hamas’s indiscriminate attacks on civilians are not new, nor is the widespread apathy towards such assaults. But rather than acknowledging the clear and present war crimes committed by Hamas and the riots on the Temple Mount actively endorsed by the Palestinian Authority, Koerner preferred to blame America’s closest Middle Eastern ally. While any loss of civilian life in a conflict is deeply unfortunate, it is not necessarily a violation of international law. In fact, Israel went to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza, and was highly successful in that regard. The Israeli government made clear its targets and sought only to destroy Hamas military strongholds, intelligence bases and missile-launching pads which Hamas had placed under hospitals, in mosques and in schools - clear violations of international law.
     Yet these reprehensible acts are not enough to raise the Harvard writer’s ire. Koerner obviously believes that his position “as a Jew” qualifies him to engage in heinous acts of racism and misrepresentation that perpetuate the lie that Israel is an apartheid state.
     That Koerner is an anti-Semitic Jew is irrefutable. In 2014, he tweeted a quote from an article that expressed unconditional support for Hamas. In 2009, he went so far as to state that “Hamas is not a terrorist organization, but rather the only democratically elected government of the entire Arab world.” As such, and with his connections at Ivy League Harvard University, he has the ability to potentially poison the minds of young students through his radicalism. As Harvard produces the leaders of tomorrow, this is something to which we cannot turn a blind eye and should condemn in the strongest of terms.[3]

     In still one more example of anti-Semitism on America’s college campuses, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of Massachusetts Boston put together a “March for Palestine” at the Massachusetts State House on 24 June 2021. The event began with a UMass Boston SJP member taking the microphone and telling the crowd that participants would be marching to the local offices of the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Community Relations Council. The choice of these locations seemed interesting, given that the Israeli Consulate was only a short walk away from the State House.
     They were marching to these offices because the ADL has funded trips for police to receive counter-terrorism training in Israel, while the JCRC has paid for state lawmakers to visit Israel.
     Without providing a shred of evidence, she suggested that these “trips for police have resulted in an escalation of militarization and lethality of Massachusetts police.” She also asserted that trips to Israel for lawmakers “poison[s] our representatives” and constitute an “investment in white supremacy.”
     Clearly, the purpose of her speech was to blame Israel and American-Jewish organizations for domestic issues in the United States that center on race. The logic of such a stunt is simple: Convince those uninvolved in anti-Israel movements to believe the speaker’s demagogic rantings if the lies are masqueraded as “justice.” Shades of Nazi Germany’s Joseph Goebbels!
     This attempt to Americanize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was followed by the totally irrelevant and illogical demand “that the ADL and JCRC set up a truth council and pay restitution to black and indigenous communities that they have harmed in Massachusetts.”
     Regardless of how baseless their accusations, their intent is to defame and demonize the majority of American Jews and Zionists and to isolate them from any kind of social-justice movement.
     Another speaker, a Boston University SJP member, referred to the ADL, the JCRC and “a bunch of other Zionist organizations” as “some of the most powerful organizations in Boston, represent[ing] some of the most influential sections of the ruling class in this country.” This was anti-Semitism on full display. These remarks harked back to the anti-Semitic charge derived from that time-worn and discredited anti-Semitic slander “The Protocol of the Elders of Zion”, a 1903 fabricated anti-Semitic text from Russia that speaks of a secretive worldwide Jewish conspiracy for control and power.
     A short time after the last speech, delivered by a local educator who called Israel a “cancer to the Middle East,” the group headed for the offices of the ADL and JCRC. Along the way, participants chanted “Long live the intifada!” and “There is only one solution, intifada revolution!”
     These chants referenced the first and second intifadas, the latter an especially deadly period in Israel (2000-05) when “Palestinian” terrorists perpetrated suicide bombings, stabbings shootings and car-rammings against innocent Israeli civilians on an almost daily basis. In other words, these young people on the streets of Boston were advocating for extremist Islamic terrorism.
     Dexter Van Zile, a researcher for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), was attending the event to observe it. Quiet and cordial, he stood scribbling notes. At the ADL, his presence was acknowledged by the local educator with the announcement that “He’s a rabid Zionist with this group called CAMERA.” CAMERA stands for Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
     The mob of enraged zealots proceeded to swarm around Van Zile, yelling obscenities and slurring him as a “Nazi.” They inched closer and closer, completely surrounding him, leaving him no option for escape. Van Zile was shoved by one member of the crowd while another doused him with water. A young woman in a keffiyeh called him a “f**king pig” and spat at him.
     This violent, xenophobic and anti-Semitic mob was seeking the destruction of an entire country. Their incitement to violence and terror against Israelis should not have been tolerated on the streets of Boston or anywhere else. That this anti-Semitic group became so agitated by the mere presence of a Zionist at an “open rally” as to jeopardize his personal safety was despicable and deplorable.[4]

Hatred Rears its Ugly Head at America’s Colleges and Universities

     The rise in college campus anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred is palpable! A new report revealed an increase in antisemitic incidents on U.S. college campuses, with hundreds of current and former students noting that antisemitism is a problem.
     Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), an alumni network trying to combat campus antisemitism and anti-Israel bias, conducted the survey between March 25 and June 14 of 2021 and noted that the report included first-hand accounts from students who said they experienced Holocaust comparisons, Jewish stereotyping and common antisemitic tropes on their college campuses. The students also cited administrative negligence in the report titled "A Growing Threat: Antisemitism on College Campuses."
     The survey found that nearly half of current students said antisemitism is getting worse on their college campuses. One University of Connecticut student reported that she had experienced some seven antisemitic incidents in the year and three during Passover alone, saying that "Each act has gotten bigger and bolder, and the students have become frightened."
     The report also found that 79% of those surveyed had experienced or heard firsthand about another student making offensive or threatening antisemitic comments. Perhaps even worse, the survey revealed that more than half of the survey respondents had received or heard firsthand offensive or threatening antisemitic comments from a faculty member or a university employee.
     In May 2021, a required Zoom lecture at a public university in New York City devolved into a pro-Palestinian protest, as many students and at least one professor "hijacked" the planned curriculum and read out what has been described as antisemitic tropes about the conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
     A group of Jewish students at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, CUNY told Fox News that they feared returning to campus for in-person instruction in the fall.
     One student said: "The horrifying thing is that there were professors that were expressing their opinions on it." She added: "They’re supposed to be the mediators in the discussion, not the ones who are fueling the fire."
     In 2019, ACF released a report that referred to Columbia University and its sister school, Barnard College, in New York City as "a hotbed for hate," documenting "systemic antisemitism and an ingrained delegitimization of Israel" at the schools.
     The report cited more than 100 incidents "that have contributed to a hostile climate" at the colleges since the 2016-17 academic year and included "antisemitic expressions, incidents targeting Jewish students and staff, and BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) activity." The report recorded how the work of Columbia faculty members has allegedly targeted Jewish and Zionist students.
     "These campuses are arguably the most prominent settings for university-based antisemitism in the United States," the 2019 report said.[5]

Hate Crimes are on the Rise

     Overall, hate crimes in these United States rose in 2020.

     “More than 10,000 people reported to law enforcement last year that they were the victim of a hate crime because of their race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion or disability - a number that has been on the rise in recent years, according to FBI's annual hate crime statistics report.
     “The report . . . found more than 7,700 criminal hate crime incidents were reported to the FBI in 2020, an increase of about 450 incidents over 2019. . .
     “Last year had the highest tally of reported hate crime incidents since 2008, when 7,783 incidents were reported to the FBI.
      - - -
     “According to the FBI report, 62% of victims were targeted because of their race or ethnicity, up from 58% in 2019. About 20% were victimized because of sexual-orientation bias in 2020, and 13% because of religious bias, the FBI said.
      - - -
     “These statistics are likely a vast undercount because law enforcement agencies are not required to submit their data to the FBI for their annual crime report. There are more than 18,000 agencies in the United States and more than 3,000 did not submit their crime statistics in 2020.” (Ref. 6)


  1. Are Jews really united against anti-Semitism? , Jonathan S. Tobin israelnationalnews.com , 13 July 2021.
  2. Anti-Israel Boycott Movement Targets Pillsbury Outlet Near Jerusalem, United With Israel, 9 July 2021.
  3. ‘Harvard Crimson’ provides platform for lying about Israel, Tehilla Katz, Jewish News Syndicate, 6 July 2021.
  4. An anti-Semitic rally to remember, Adam Gordon, Jewish News Syndicate, 6 July 2021.
  5. Antisemitism on college campuses on the rise, report finds: 'Each act has gotten bigger and bolder', Talia Kaplan, Fox News, 9 September 2021.
  6. Hate crime reports in US surge to the highest level in 12 years, FBI says, Christina Carrega and Priya Krishnakumar, CNN, 30 August 2021.

  4 November 2021 {Article_500; Israel_59}    
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