There is no question that Jews are now being targeted for killing right here in America, with the latest attack, in Jersey City, New Jersey, being branded as an antisemitic hate crime.
Let’s stop for a moment and look back over the last 15 months.
October 27, 2018. A white supremacist kills 11 Jews during Sabbath services in a Pittsburgh synagogue, wounding 7 others.
April 27, 2019. A Presbyterian Christian, concerned that the Jews are destroying the white, European races, opens fire during Sabbath, Passover services in a synagogue in Poway, California, killing 1 and wounding 3 others.
December 10, 2019. Two shooters, both of them black, one male and one female, target a kosher grocery in Jersey City, New Jersey, resulting in 4 fatalities. The male shooter has alleged ties to the antisemitic, racist group called the Black Hebrew Israelites.
There is no denying the pattern.
As the tide of antisemitism rises in America, Jews are being targeted for murder.
The Pittsburgh shooter proclaimed that “All Jews must die!”
The Poway shooter wrote a manifesto outlining the guilty of the Jewish people. Much of it could have been taken out of the pages of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as well as borrowed from the screeds of “Christian” antisemites throughout history.
As for the Jersey City shooter with alleged ties to the Black Hebrew Israelite cult, his antisemitic views have been revealed, with his nearly illegible “manifesto” claiming that his murderous acts were “God’s will.”
In the words of Mayor Steve Fulop, who comes from a family of Holocaust survivors, “There is no question that this is a hate crime. And anti-Semitism should be called out aggressively and firmly — immediately — for what it is.” (More fully, see his twitter feed.)
And to the shock of the local Jewish community, when speaking with local blacks after the shooting, they were greeted with anger and disdain rather than sympathy.
One spoke of “Jewish shenanigans.” Another said if it was Jews being shot, it was a good thing. (For the actual video footage, see here.)
And none other than Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweeted in response to the shooting, “This is heartbreaking. White supremacy kills.” (Her tweet, which has now been deleted, included a picture of one of the Jewish victims, just 24 years old.) What on earth was she thinking?
More chillingly, and certainly with more evil intent, a post on the Black Hebrew Israelite Facebook page reads, “Hebrew Israelites attack fake jews it must be the End Times usually when the end is near our people start to rise up and go after the real enemy.”
As for the reference to “fake Jews,” it is commonly found in the writings of antisemites, who claim that today’s Jews are not really Jews.
According to Black Hebrew Israelites, they are “Edomite devils” and “Khazar liars.”
And evangelical newscaster Rick Wiles says this about the State of Israel today: “It’s fake! It’s populated by fake Jews who speak a fake Hebrew language. It’s not from God.”
Such notions go back to misinterpretations of New Testament verses, alleging that Jews who do not believe in Jesus are not really Jews but are rather the synagogue of Satan, whereas a true Jew is one circumcised in heart. These views also go back to historical myths. (For refutation of all this, see here.)
Not surprisingly, the Poway shooter cited similar verses and concepts in his Jew-hating manifesto.
The bottom line is that the tide of antisemitism is rising in America (and, needless to say, Europe and worldwide), and the potential consequences are deadly. And my reason for highlighting whiteness and blackness in this article was to reinforce the fact that Jew-hatred is universal.
It transcends race and religion and ethnicity. It is truly demonic, and it is dangerous.
It also transcends fractured relationships in greater New York between black communities and Orthodox Jewish communities. Those tensions have existed for several decades, and efforts are being made to ease those tensions.
But we’re talking about much more than fractured relationships and community tensions.
We’re talking about blaming Jews for the murder of Jews. We’re talking about justifying the cold-blooded slaughter of Jews on our soil. We’re talking about the notion that Jews somehow deserve to be killed.
In order to combat this, there are four things we can all do.
First, we identify and renounce antisemitism wherever we encounter it. Name it, address it, and call it out.
Second, we do our best to educate, separating fact from fiction. (For example, it’s one thing to have an honest discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or to disagree passionately about our religious beliefs as Christians or Jews or Muslims. It’s another to demonize Israel and/or the Jewish people.)
Third, we show solidarity with the Jewish community, making clear that they are not alone.
Fourth, we pray for God’s intervention.
In the end, only His hand can push back this deadly rising tide.