The rise of far-left Democrats such as Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez testify to why American Jews are increasingly worried.
What American Jews need to see now is the Democratic Party’s leadership confronting “the Squad” for its consistent antisemitism. We also need to see law enforcement aggressively investigate hate crimes committed against Jews. Most important, we need to know that this round of incitement against America’s Jews will be the last one.
Because there is a war being waged on Jews, not only on the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv but also in London, Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, and New York.
While Jews in Israel were victim to Hamas rocket attacks during the recent 11-day conflict, Jews in cities worldwide have been victim to harassment and violent assaults by Palestinian-supporting mobs. During previous conflicts in Israel, we witnessed this intimidation of Jews in European cities. The fact that American Jews are now finding ourselves targeted is a newly horrific phenomenon. One that begs the question: What has changed to bring this brand of Jew-hatred to American shores?
In New York City, a caravan of cars draped in Palestinian flags drove through the heavily-Jewish Diamond District last week, verbally harassing passersby and throwing fireworks into crowds. In a separate incident last week, a Jewish man wearing a yarmulke in Times Square was attacked by a mob and left hospitalized. A suspect, Waseem Awawdeh, has been arrested in that case.
In Los Angeles, also last week, a keffiyeh-clad mob waving Palestinian flags drove through Jewish neighborhoods shouting antisemitic slurs and attacking Jews they encountered. Thankfully, the Los Angeles Police Department has made one arrest. In a separate event in L.A., a visibly Jewish man is seen on cameras being “chased by a caravan of Palestine supporters.”
The Squad bears some responsibility.
In February 2019, one month after being sworn in, Omar tweeted that congressional support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins,” leveling a classic antisemitic trope of Jewish money and control of the U.S. government.
The Squad, its supporters, and violent Palestinian demonstrators fit the criteria set by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism. Examples under the IHRA definition include: “applying double standards (to Israel) by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation,” “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor,” and “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.”
Since the recent conflict in Israel began, Tlaib repeatedly tweeted that Israel is an “apartheid” state. She did so despite the fact that all Israeli citizens, whether Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, have equal rights under Israeli law. Omar accused Israel of committing an “act of terrorism” by defending Israeli citizens and population centers against the actual terrorists of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Tlaib, AOC, and their fellow Rep. Cori Bush tweeted, “Apartheid states aren’t democracies.”
Forgive us, then, when we say that the Squad’s denunciations of antisemitism are too little, too late.