Defunding the Police Puts Jews in Danger

July 8, 2021 | Hannah Meyers
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While Jewish groups such as the Antidefamation League have imbibed the progressive orthodoxy that every shooting of a black person by police—whether justified or not—is an instance of “systemic racism,” such an analysis, argues Hannah Meyers, does not comport with the facts. Moreover, Meyers writes, the policies that follow from this orthodoxy, which involve the defunding, abolition, or severe handicapping of police departments, will undermine public safety for all Americans—and in particular the safety of Jews:

[T]he de-policing movement has . . . made Jews more vulnerable, since partnerships between Jewish communities and police departments are critical to preventing and punishing anti-Semitic assaults—long the leading category of hate crime in New York Police Department (NYPD) data (other than during the first quarter of 2021, when anti-Asian assaults assumed that distinction). In 2019, the NYPD reported 252 anti-Semitic incidents; in 2020, it made 102 hate-crime arrests; and, in the first quarter of 2021, the NYPD made 38 hate-crime arrests. As of last week, hate crimes were up 122 percent over 2020, and in June alone, hate crimes rose by almost 250 percent. Of the 832 hate-crime incidents reported by the NYPD since 2019, 406 were committed against Jews.

Law enforcement is also on the frontlines protecting Jews from major terrorist organizations and low-level extremist groups that target them. . . . Between 1992 and 2011, eight out of eighteen Islamist plots to attack New York City targeted Jewish institutions or Jewish people in New York. White supremacists have killed twelve American Jews since 2018 and continue to plot attempts that law-enforcement bodies, like the NYPD’s Racially and Ethnically Motivated Extremism team, ferret out and quash.

The fantasy that the key to public safety is being kinder to criminals—rather than kinder to the victims of crime—not only sacrifices the physical resources that police need to keep Jews safe. It’s coming back to bite them.

And so it already has. No matter how many synagogues fly Black Lives Matter (BLM) banners, Jews are lumped together with police in this morality play. Jewish students on campuses have been ousted from BLM-aligned groups on the grounds that supporting Israel makes them intrinsically racist. And that was only a preamble to the nightmare of the last few weeks: Israel widely depicted in America as the racist cop, hated and condemned regardless of the law or the spuriousness of allegations of racism and brutality. The stage was set for the recent violent attacks on Jewish pedestrians in Manhattan and outdoor diners in Los Angeles—and for members of Congress to pile on.

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