Dear America: Antisemitism Murdered 11 Jews Today, Not Trump’s Presidency
As I’m writing this, it is so hard to contain my rage and sadness. Today, the American Jewish Community has suffered what might be the worst attack on us in recent history. My heart aches at the fact that these could have been little children sitting next to their mothers and fathers. What is supposed to be a holy day to the Jewish people was beyond disturbed and desecrated. And what truly breaks my heart is how real antisemitism is. Better yet, I’m enraged at the fact that the same people who fight for justice cosign the hatred and exploit our tragedy when convenient.
Jews were easy targets before Trump and the existence of Western civilization
Contrary to common blissfully ignorant beliefs, Jews have always been a target for extermination. Way before the Holocaust, we were expelled from Spain and murdered in masses for simply being Jewish. Before Jesus was even a thought, our Holy Temple was destroyed by the Romans to spite us. Keep in mind that Judaism existed way before Islam and Christianity. And since our birth as a nation, we were a target. Antisemitism is ancient, not something new.
Not only are American Jews targets, but Jews all over the world too. While Obama was president, there was a massacre of French Jewish patrons at a Kosher shop. Yet, to America’s most adored president, they were just “some folks in a deli”. Our cemeteries were desecrated and our community centers threatened nationwide, and to us, it’s not a surprise. If we rewind back to the 50’s, white supremacists tattooed swastikas on their heads and worshipped Hitler as a G-d. All before Trump was ever a thought on people’s mind, ever.
Believe it or not, your disregard for antisemitism also enabled an attack like this.
While most of society is fighting against racism, sexism, and Islamaphobia, they tend to forget the Jews. In fact, many people who fight for social justice enable antisemitism and cosign it. About a year ago, the Chicago Dyke March unapologetically removed two participants for holding a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the middle. It was deemed “triggering” for participants because of course, the existence of a Jewish state is a problem. The flag wasn’t even an Israeli flag. But, they defended their actions justifying them with a severe discomfort with what implied something political when it wasn’t. Let that sit with you if you are intelligent enough to read between the lines.
And on the subject of cosigning antisemitism in powerful movements, let’s address the Women’s March. While millions of women around the country marched for their rights, they didn’t realize that an anti-semite had a major influence in the leadership. The likes of Tamika Mallory, one of the leaders, embraced and defended her affinity for Louis Farrakhan, a man who refers to Jews as the “synagogue of Satan” amongst other horrible things. Yet, why would a movement fighting for equal rights willfully cosign antisemitism? Were we not important then either?
Of course, there are so many more examples of America cosigning antisemitism, but that will be left for another article.
At the end of the day, our tragedy is not yours to politicize.
I understand completely that gun control issues are a major factor in every massacre that has ever occurred in America. However, when people have been silent and indifferent towards antisemitism, it’s suspect that they come out now and plead for better gun laws. Where were these people when there had been countless stories of Jews being attacked in America and worldwide? Is it only convenient when an attack involves a gun?
Better gun laws may have prevented a tragedy like this amongst others, but they will never demolish antisemitism. Even with better background checks and mental health screenings, an antisemite will always find his way. Would a racist without a gun suddenly stop being a racist because he couldn’t get one? No. At the end of the day, one filled with hatred will always be filled with hatred.
What happens from here?
That was a rhetorical question. It’s already known what will happen from here. All of the outraged in America will forget that eleven Jewish people died and that antisemitism is a threat. Instead, the conversation will become about gun control and how Trump is to blame for this. Meanwhile, the root of the problem stays unfought while the rest of society continues to fight against all things not antisemitic.
However, for the Jewish people, this is what makes us stronger and more unified than ever. When eleven people died today, that was a piece of the collective Jewish soul taken from us. They aren’t simply people but brothers and sisters of a peoplehood that has stood strong since the Babylonians. Tonight, I’ll be thinking of the eleven ones who died. May their memory be for a blessing and their death not ever in vain. Amen.