“It is undeniable,” writes Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, “that hatred of Israel foments hatred of Jews,” and that “attacks on Israel lead to attacks on Jews.” Yet, he laments, many Jews are unwilling to recognize these causal connections:
I spend so much time emphasizing the anti-Semitism of the hard left not because I believe that the anti-Semitism of the extreme right is any less pervasive or dangerous. But I am a liberal rabbi leading a Reform synagogue composed of mostly liberal Jews. And in my view, many liberal Jews are misled by the high-sounding rhetoric of anti-Zionist students, liberal professors, thought leaders, influencers, and media and social-media personalities.
For some, the term “social justice” now means that Israel is somehow to blame for racism in American police departments. Even our own Jewish concept of tikkun olam—repairing the world—has been co-opted and distorted by some Jews to virtue-signal their moral purity. Twenty-two percent of American Jews—one in five—believe that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians, according to a recent study by the Jewish Electorate Institute.
Threats to destroy the Jewish state are threats to destroy the Jewish people. When they shout, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” they mean “destroy Israel.” “Free Palestine” for them does not mean coexistence with Israel. It means Palestinian existence without Israel. Ask them. They don’t hide it. They simply rely on your ignorance and naïveté because they spout words that sound progressive to you: human rights, civil rights, indigenous rights, anti-racism, anti-apartheid, anti-colonialism. For them, it is nefarious Jewish power centrally organized by Israel and supported by world Jewry, standing in the way of peace, prosperity, liberation, and justice.
We should reflect deeply on our withdrawal from Afghanistan. The lesson of Afghanistan for the Jews—a lesson we should have learned a thousand times—is that if you want to survive, you need to rely on yourself. You cannot subcontract your defense and protection to anyone, least of all to faux human-rights activists and their deluded supporters who sit in ivory towers: intellectuals who write and think all day, who preen with academic arrogance, but are incapable of understanding what is really going on in people’s hearts. Preoccupied with their shallow self-righteousness, they ignore even basic human emotions, motivations, and drives; bleeding hearts who have no heart for bleeding Jews.
Read more on Tablet: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/antisemites-ammiel-hirsch