It’s truly amazing how often we are forced to write and speak out against leftist anti-Semitism these days. This time, the underlying offense transpired at a public library in Highland Park, New Jersey — a town with a large Orthodox Jewish presence.
According to MyCentralJersey.com, Iranian-American author and former Rutgers professor Golbarg Bashi was scheduled to read her book — which attempts to teach the alphabet to youngsters by employing Palestinian-Arab concepts and culture — on May 19 at the Highland Park Public Library. The event was eventually postponed, pending a town board of trustees meeting in June.
Members of Highland Park’s Jewish community are campaigning to keep the book out of the library, according to a local ABC station. “It’s a symbol, it says that it’s OK to have books that teach little children to hate,” said Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Beth-El in Edison, an adjacent town. “It’s being used to teach little children about how great the Palestinians are and we should murder the Jews, that’s the bottom line.”
Bashi claims that the book is just meant to teach about Palestinian-Arab culture, but the author has an unusual way of proving that her book does not dabble in casual anti-Semitism. In the alphabet learning book, Bashi’s choice for the letter I was “intifada,” the word used to reference multiple waves of Palestinian-Arab terror over the last three decades — most recently the Second Intifada, which resulted in the murder of over 1,000 Israeli Jews and the maiming of countless others.
Interestingly, Bashi simultaneously admits that, for her, the enemy is not Jewry but the fig leaf of “anti-Zionism.”
“American librarians have allowed a group to break the First Amendment — a violent group. Zionists based in that neighborhood,” Bashi brashly claims. “People who adhere to the ideology of Zionism. It is very important between Judaism and Zionism. These are two different things.”
But in reality, they are not two separate things. The “anti-Zionism” fig leaf of an excuse is just today’s thinly veiled version of Jew-hatred, updated in modern times so as to be conveniently blamed on the fact that Israel exists.
But Bashi espouses the wild, vile belief that Zionists are violent and intifadas are justified. Murdering thousands of Jews is somehow not about anti-Semitism. And anti-Semitism apparently didn’t exist before Israel came into being 71 years ago.
Predictably, much of the Left is defending Bashi — most notably Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a leftist activist organization that also supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) against Israel. Calling JVP an “anti-Zionist” group, Bashi said she was invited to read the book by the event’s organizers, the JVP chapter for central New Jersey.
However, this is hardly the first time a Jewish leftist group has played defense for an anti-Semite. As Jordan Schachtel writes at Conservative Review, “Bend the Arc,” a similar leftist organization that also supports BDS, defended anti-Semitic congresswoman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for her grossly distorted and misleading comments last week on how her Palestinian-Arab ancestors helped provide a “safe haven” for Jews after the Holocaust. In reality, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, collaborated with Hitler and backed the idea of also bringing his “Final Solution” to the Middle East.
It is astonishing how so many American Jews will continue to line up to defend the very people who despise them.
We, as Jews, must wake up. Leftist anti-Semitism and overt pro-Palestinian sympathizing have never been more blatant. The sooner Jews leave the Left, the better.