Just two weeks ago, as we Jews were enjoying our Passover Seders, we recited a portion of the Passover Haggadah entitled “Vehi She’amda,” which literally translates as, “what keeps us surviving.”
The prayer reads this way:
And this (God’s blessings and the Torah) is what kept our fathers and what keeps us surviving. For, not only one arose and tried to destroy us, rather in every generation they try to destroy us, and God saves us from their hands.
Little did we know how true that statement would be one week later, when, on the last day of Passover, a vile anti-Semitic terrorist walked into the Chabad of Poway, California, during morning prayers, with a rifle, murdering one congregant and injuring others, including the rabbi of the congregation, Yisroel Goldstein.
President Trump clearly and unequivocally condemned the shooting:
However, the predictable blaming of President Trump — arguably the most pro-Israel, pro-Jewish president in American history — for the shooting came swiftly. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) attempted to link the shooter to the president’s rhetoric, implying that he is sympathetic to white nationalists by tendentiously construing his comments during a press conference after the Charlottesville riots in 2017. Leftist site Vox ran an entire piece connecting the Poway shooting to Trump, claiming that anti-Semitic incidents have risen since Trump took office, even though there is no evidence that this horrific incident ties to him in any way. Other leftist politicians, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, former congressman Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), gave lukewarm condolences while simultaneously exploiting the attack to push the political agenda of gun control.
The trend of anti-Semitism, or lack of care for its rise, has been brewing on the Left for a long time. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has tweeted many times against Jews and Israel, has spoken about alleged Jewish dual loyalties, and has downplayed terrorist groups. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) referred to Israel defending itself against Hamas as a “massacre” and has casually chatted with British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, possibly the most anti-Semitic politician in the West — a man who has called Hamas and Hezbollah “friends,” laid a wreath at the grave of an Israeli-murdering terrorist, and more recently, praised an anti-Semitic book containing the anti-Semitic tropes of Jews controlling the world’s money.
Clearly, we shouldn’t blame these specific politicians for the Poway shooting. The shooter is the only person at fault. However, discounting the Left’s anti-Semitic leanings while blaming the most philo-Semitic president in American history for that same anti-Semitism is just willful blindness at best.
This past Thursday was Yom HaShoah, the day we remember the Holocaust. And while President Trump invites Rabbi Goldstein to the White House and embraces him, and the Republican Party acknowledges the Holocaust and the pervasive evils of anti-Semitism, the Democratic Party can’t even bring itself to publicly vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism without whitewashing it into half-heartedly addressing generalized hate.
Want further proof that the crocodile tears from the Left regarding the Poway shooting were, in fact, crocodile tears? Over the weekend, 700 rockets were fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip, killing four and wounding others. The responses from the major players on the Left?
In contrast, here are the responses from the Trump administration:
And it’s not just in the world of government. The anti-Semitic cancer is embedded in the leftist media as well.
Interestingly, just a few days before the Chabad shooting, The New York Times international edition released a vile cartoon that could have easily been taken directly from the the Third Reich itself.
The Times then posted a second cartoon lampooning the American-Israeli relationship.
The publication finally apologized for the cartoon and for the rise of anti-Semitism as a whole, but of course it was half-hearted. The editorial board, predictably, blamed Trump. But it was glossed in niceties and even referenced its own horrible past in covering Jews and Israel.
And a horrible past it has. In 2001, the Times published a piece acknowledging that it willfully buried the Nazi atrocities of the Holocaust to the back pages — to the extent the paper covered the Shoah at all.
But the apology rings hollow. The Times regularly covers Israel with animus and sympathizes with its enemies. For example, it ran a piece after Ilhan Omar’s charge that American politicians only support Israel because AIPAC buys them off titled “Ilhan Omar’s Criticism Raises the Question: Is Aipac Too Powerful?” In its Sunday magazine in March, the Times ran a 12-page piece in support of the BDS movement. Not to mention that the “paper of record” sides with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and does all it can to delegitimize Israel whenever it can.
Another area where leftist anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head is in academia. Today, New York University (of which I am an alumnus) passed a resolution of non-cooperation with the university’s study-abroad program in Tel Aviv. The reason, they state, is that “…access to the program is clearly being obstructed by Israel’s long-standing discriminatory policies of barring entry to Palestinians or persons of Arab descent and Muslim heritage.”
The full statement can be read here, but in effect, NYU is promoting BDS, even if it denies doing so.
It’s pretty easy to see which side of the political aisle most of American anti-Semitism lies.
Luckily though, not all hope is lost for us. The Exodus Movement, a group of Jewish millennials who “reject the hypocrisy, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism of the rising far-left,” is making the case for Jews to leave the Left once and for all.
Very few survivors of Hitler’s atrocities remain, and their stories will soon become those of printed text, photographs, and film. The juxtaposition of these most recent virulent anti-Semitic words and actions today is both frightening and awakening. The words “Never Again” could not be more profound at this juncture in the fate of the Jewish people and of Israel.
It is time for us to remain true to our people, our homeland, and to align ourselves with those who will help us survive as a people. It’s time to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers, who made the exodus from Egypt, in making our Exodus from the Democratic Party once and for all.