Explaining Anti-Semitic Violence in New York City

July 23 2019

Commenting on the high numbers of physical attacks on visibly Orthodox Jews— most of which have taken place in ḥasidic areas of Brooklyn—and on the relative indifference of the media and local government, Abe Greenwald writes:

Jews are historically targeted as representatives of whatever group a society most loathes at a given moment. . . . If you want to know what a culture considers most problematic, look at its brand of anti-Semitism. When you have headlines about “white privilege” and “evil white men,” Jews become the epitome of whiteness.

We see this in the recent notion that Jews are perceived as “hyper-white,” according to Mark Winston Griffith from the Black Movement Center. It’s also evident in intersectionality theory—a leftist ranking system of identity grievance that deems Jews essentially too powerful to be a minority worthy of social-justice empathy.

The idea that Jews are a rich, powerful, turbo-white elite is also reflected in the messaging of the country’s most celebrated progressive politicians. Taken as a whole, the [so-called] Democratic Squad’s theory of American villainy says that the United States is racist, greedy, war-mongering, and cruel—and its politics are corrupted by Jewish money. Those who promote collective grievance often make their way around to blaming the Jews. In an age of sanctified victimhood, it’s not so surprising to see a rise in anti-Semitic violence and a lack of interest in doing anything about it.

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories free

Register Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in now

Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Hasidim, Ilhan Omar, New York City, Rashida Tlaib, Social Justice

Understanding the Background of the White House Ruling on Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act

Dec. 13 2019

On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order allowing federal officials to extend the protections of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to Jews. (The order, promptly condemned for classifying Jews as a separate nationality, did nothing of the sort.) In 2010, Kenneth Marcus called for precisely such a ruling in the pages of Commentary, citing in particular the Department of Education’s lax response to a series of incidents at the University of California at Irvine, where, among much elase, Jewish property was vandalized and Jewish students were pelted with rocks, called “dirty Jew” and other epithets, and were told, “Jewish students are the plague of mankind.”

Sign up to read more

You've read all your free articles for this month

Register

Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, U.S. Politics