On the last weekend of May, two very different responses to anti-Semitism came out of California.
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, whose courageous response to a Neo-Nazi shooting at his synagogue in Poway won the hearts of a nation, headed off to appear at a Jerusalem Day event. Jerusalem Day or Yom Yerushalayim is a popular celebration in Israel commemorating the liberation of Jerusalem from its Islamic conquerors. “In the face of hatred and terror by our enemies in east Jerusalem, we continue to grow and thrive, despite the physical threat of violence and psychological danger that face our families every day, “Ateret Cohanim, the Jerusalem development organization, said in a statement.
In a very different response, California Democrats struggled with a hateful resolution put forward by David Mandel, a convention delegate, and a chapter leader in the hate group Jewish Voice for Peace. The hateful resolution falsely shifted blame to Israel and Jews for the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh. It also defended Muslim anti-Semitism and condemned attempts to reject terrorism against Jews.
Jewish Voice for Peace is neither Jewish nor peaceful. This is its latest episode of promoting blood libels, dating back to its association with an anti-Semitic bigot who claimed that Jews drank blood. Mandel, a chapter leader in a hate group that promoted an anti-Israel activist who appeared on white supremacist radio, cynically accuses Israel and Jews of collaborating with white supremacists.
Mandel is a contributor to Mondoweiss: a hate site which claimed that a previous anti-Semitic attack by a white supremacist was really an Israeli plot.
The work of another Mondoweiss contributor had been cited by that same anti-Semitic shooter.
One Mondoweiss editor has said, “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, but I can understand why some are.”
The vast chasm between Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein and David Mandel, between Jews who stand up to hate and radical activists with Jewish last names who collaborate with hate, also appeared in the AJC survey.
The American Jewish Congress, a liberal group that, despite its name, represents Jews no more than any of the other alphabet soup non-profits with a ‘J’ thrown in there do, has released its annual survey. The AJC’s survey of American Jews and Israeli Jews features its own profound chasm between two peoples.
43% of American Jews answered that being Jewish was very important in their lives. 35% allowed how it might be somewhat important. The other 24% deemed it unimportant.
Meanwhile 51% of Israelis believed that being Jewish was most important, 29% thought that it was very important, and 11% downgraded it to somewhat important.
Only 8% of Israeli Jews thought that being Jewish wasn’t a significant part of their lives.
35% of American Jews disagreed and 62% agreed that caring about Israel was very important. 25% did not think that Israel is important to the future of the Jewish people. 49% identified as Democrats.
Only 18% identified as Republicans.
91% of Israeli Jews believed that Israel was vital to the future of the Jewish people. 79% of Israeli Jews supported President Trump’s handling of the relationship between America and Israel.
45% of American Jews strongly disapproved of President Trump’s handling of relations with Israel. 36% listed Russia as the greatest threat to America. Only 14% put down Iran.
50% backed Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights. 39% opposed the move.
88% of Israeli Jews were in favor of recognition.
Since last year, the number of American Jews caring about Jews dropped from 70% to 62%. Among 18-29 year old American Jews, the number stands at 44%.
Less than half.
These numbers are consistent with a previous Pew survey in which 42% of American Jews complained that President Trump was favoring Israel too much. To put those numbers into perspective, historically black churches were less likely to complain that Trump was too pro-Israel than American Jews.
Pew’s mistake was contrasting members of religious groups with a dissipating ethnic identity.
The AJC’s numbers show that support for Israel is linked to a strong Jewish identity. When respondents were asked about the importance of being Jewish, the responses, ranging from 100% among the Orthodox to 63% among Conservative Jews to 35% among Reform Jews to 15% among secular Jews, reflected the overlap between traditionalism, religiosity and support for Israel.
That’s also what the split between Rabbi Goldstein and David Mandel reflects.
A Gallup poll in 2015 found that among Jews who attended synagogue services at least once a week, 60% disapproved of Obama. Among those who didn’t, 58% supported Obama.
The split was equally obvious in New York City where the left-wing Forward tabloid noted that, “Nearly every election district that Trump won in Brooklyn was in a Jewish neighborhood.”
Some of the most left-wing and right-wing neighborhoods in the Big Apple in 2016 were Jewish areas.
Like the rest of America, Jews are coming apart into two very different groups.
At the end of May, California faced the same split, with Rabbi Goldstein celebrating the liberation of Jerusalem, while David Mandel tried to find a way to blame murdered Jews for their own deaths.
Rabbi Goldstein and Mandel are both perfect examples of a particular type. The Chabad Rabbi who lost several fingers in the Poway attack, embodies the Jewish tradition of faith. Mandel, a JVP leader who is active with the National Lawyers Guild, a radical group with historical ties to the Communist Party, represents the traditional animus of leftists for everything Jewish. Israel is just one example.
Mandel and Rabbi Goldstein believe in two very different sets of ideas.
At the White House, Rabbi Goldstein, in a quote, urged introducing a moment of silence in public schools, “So that children, from early childhood on, could recognize that there’s more good to the world, that they are valuable, that there is accountability, and every human being is created in God’s image.”
While Rabbi Goldstein quoted the Lubavitcher Rebbe, a key religious leader in his movement, Mandel quoted Bernie Sanders in his hateful resolution. Bernie is also the avatar that the anti-Israel activist uses. While the leaders of Rabbi Goldstein’s Lubavitch Chassidic movement faced persecution by Communists, Mandel boasts of a “Progressive-Labor Alliance comrades” and a “post-capitalist world”.
And, while all this was going on, I was burying my mother, who had spent her life fighting Communism, in a dusty grave in the hills of Jerusalem.
Thousands of miles and a century later, the struggle between Jews and the anti-Jewish Left goes on.
A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch.
A slight drop in the number of antisemitic incidents in Berlin during the first half of this year is no excuse for complacency, the city’s antisemitism commissioner emphasized on Thursday following the publication of statistics for hate crimes targeting Jews in the German capital from January-June 2019.
“Antisemitism remains a serious problem that we cannot tolerate in Berlin,” Lorenz Korgel — the city’s commissioner for combating antisemitism — told local news outlet Berliner Morgenpost. “The number of antisemitic incidents remains at a high level. ”
People wear kippas at a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue denouncing an antisemitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including Christians and those of other minority groups.
A women holds up a sign against anti-Semitism at a rally in New York City on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Rhonda Hodas Hack.
JNS.org – Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in front of City Hall in New York on Sunday, calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other municipal leaders, as well as those on the national level, to act against antisemitism and the wave of antisemitic hate crimes taking place against the Orthodox Jewish community.
The beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.
On the eve of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the Jewish year of 5780, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released its traditional end-of-the-year findings.
Israel’s population now stands at 9.092 million people — 6.744 million (74.2 percent) of whom are Jews, with 1.907 million (21 percent) Arabs and 441,000 (4.8 percent) listed as “other.”
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason. Photo: Instagram.
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason play Pertshik and Hodl, whose love story takes them all the way to Siberia in the award-winning show by the National Yiddish Theatre.
Sep 30, 2019 0Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign secretary, has recently commissioned a report on the persecution of Christians, most acutely occurring in the Muslim World, and especially in the Arab/Muslim...
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“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” — Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
“Israel must, in the most blunt and clear way possible, illustrate to Washington that the prosperity of Jordan is a first-rate Israeli security and strategic interest.” — Former head of Mossad Ephraim Halevy at “Between Jerusalem and Amman: 25 Years Since the Signing of the Peace Agreement Between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” Institute for National Security Studies, Sept. 25, 2019.
A thought came to mind the other day.
For all the bluster about Judaism and anti-Semitism in America, I am not convinced that far-out-left and liberal young Jews, who have been very strident and even threatening on Israel-related issues and local American political battles, have done much on the ground to confront and quash, one way or another, attacks on Jews. They have portrayed themselves as gliding along a moral highway but have permitted immoral actions to exist quite close to home, far from Gaza (did any of them recite a public Kaddish in the town square for murdered and injured Jews, or their damaged and desecrated property)?
One of the hallmark features of Yom Kippur are the communal sins which we need to repent for. Most Jews focus on what we have done personally towards G-d and towards others. Little thought is given to how we could be better as a community. Or the sins we bear as a community.
However, the communal recitation of the Al Chet, repeated over and over on Yom Kippur is to drive the point home that we are responsible for one another
Incoming freshman Member of Knesset from the leftist, Democratic Union list, Yair Golan, did it again. Golan’s constant delegitimization of his political opponents on the right, smacks of the same delegitimization that tyrants, dictators, demagogues and assorted totalitarians always use, just before the Putsch.
In that regard, he’s right when he said recently, “I’m reminding people that the Nazis came to power democratically, so we have to be careful, very careful, so that radicals with a messianic view won’t exploit Israeli democracy to replace the system of government.” Think “
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, “There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime.” While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.