The wave of anti-Israel activity around the world in the wake of the deadly Hamas attacks last month, aided by “useful idiots” and the media, exposed the underlying antisemitism that never went away, an Israeli-Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist said on Tuesday.
“The fact is that real latent antisemitism has always been there and is always lying beneath the surface,” Sylvan Adams said in an interview with JNS. “Islamic antisemites are being aided by useful idiots in the West, including self-hating Jews quick to criticize.”
Adams, 65, made aliyah in 2015 and has worked to serve as an unofficial ambassador by presenting the story of “the normal” Israel to the world over the last decade.
Two-faced Western leaders
In the interview, he blasted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former U.S. President Barack Obama for “playing both sides” in a conflict of “good vs. evil and civilization against barbarism” due to a mixture of political expediency and weak morals.
“They want to have it both ways and say, ‘Yes, but,’ but there is no but,” Adams said, referring to the leaders’ two-sided stance on the war against Hamas.
Trudeau has urged Israel to stop “this killing of women, of children, of babies” in the Gaza Strip, and said “the price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians, while Obama has said that “you have to admit nobody’s hands are clean,” citing the “occupation.”
“Trudeau has to face the music of his own electorate and not alienate voters, while Obama acted true to his style of playing both sides without taking the moral position,” Adams said.
Five minutes of sympathy
The philanthropist also expressed dismay over the way the war was being reported in the mainstream media, adding that it exposed the weakness in the Jewish world over messaging on social media, where most young people get their news, and where Israel needs a better strategy.
“We had our five minutes of sympathy” after terrorists murdered 1,200 persons in Israel on Oct. 7, he said. “I actually thought it would last 10 minutes this time.
“Everything is upside down. Up is down and down is up. We are living in 1984 George Orwell at a time when the younger generation is very susceptible to false propaganda put out by Hamas and gobbled up by the media.”
Top-to-bottom in academia
Adams said that Ivy League universities in America need to do a “top to bottom” cleaning following the virulent anti-Israel demonstrations that have taken place at campuses nationwide, including some with openly jihadist rhetoric.
“Why are we sending our kids to these institutions if they have been so politicized with foreign money pouring in?” he asked. “Is this the kind of education you want your kid to get?
“This is a real dilemma for families now,” he said.
Two of his children live in the United States while two remain in Canada.
Unity and challenges
The billionaire, who has worked to change Israel’s image among non-Jews through high-profile sports and cultural activities, said he remained convinced that his message has reached the majority of people but that it has been temporarily drowned out by the intense conflict and propaganda effort at play.
He cites his work with Save A Child’s Heart, an Israel organization that provides lifesaving cardiac care at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon for children from developing areas, including the Gaza Strip and Muslim-majority countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations.
“Of course we will continue to bring in kids from Gaza for treatment,” Adams said. “We will continue to practice our moral principles. One day the war will be over and people can see we are a force for good.”
He said that while his projects planned for the fall were frozen due to the war, he remained hopeful that something good would come out of this major exposure of latent antisemitism around the world.
Internally, he cites two positive developments in the Jewish World, the all-time high interest in Jewish education in the Diaspora and the unity of the nation in Israel.
“People are returning to their roots because they realize we are being threatened,” he said. “It was a lesson we need to learn over and over again.”
Adams remains hopeful regarding the challenges Israel faces.
“We have always managed to overcome,” he said. “It is an unfinished project.”