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OpinionIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

The terrorizing of the Jews

Pro-Palestinianism has moved beyond normal protest activity.

A pro-Palestinian rally in Bangladesh on Oct. 13, 2023. Credit: Abazizfahad via Wikimedia Commons.
A pro-Palestinian rally in Bangladesh on Oct. 13, 2023. Credit: Abazizfahad via Wikimedia Commons.
Yisrael Medad
Yisrael Medad is a researcher, analyst and opinion commentator on political, cultural and media issues.

It is time that the Jewish establishment infrastructure worldwide—and Israel’s government, in particular—recognizes that at this time, the “pro-Palestine resistance” campaign we now witness seeks to terrorize Jews. It is not the “normal” type of antisemitism that we have studied, polled and prepared for. It is the extension of the war of extermination against Israel by eradicating the support of the Jews, and their allies, for the State of Israel.

In a recent tweet I saw, Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll expressed her understanding of the feeling of pain and empathy for children in the Gaza Strip but asked how attacking Jews in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, London and elsewhere is an acceptable expression of that pain. For her, it’s “blatant antisemitism.” But it is more than just hate.

Of course, the main line of defense of those promoting and justifying the Hamas “resistance”—from Nerdeen Kiswani of Within Our Lifetime, to Peter Beinart who spawned IfNotNow, to Max Blumenthal and Ashon Crawley, a member of Black for Palestine, a “cross-movement solidarity” network—is that their anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. They’ll point to the Neturei Karta attending their marches in Brooklyn, N.Y., or attending conferences in Iran. They’ll draw attention to Jewish academics publishing anti-Israel op-eds in The New York Times or The Washington Post. But Jews know better.

The American Jewish Committee’s 2023 report of the State of Antisemitism in America found that 93% think it is a problem, and 63% think American Jews feel less secure, even though 79% who did suffer an incident did not report it. More importantly, some 70% have in the past 12 months avoided publicly displaying items that might identify them as Jewish; dodged certain places or events out of a concern for their safety; or have refrained from posting online content that would reveal views on Jewish issues out of fear.

There we have it. Jews are afraid. The terror campaign, seemingly, is succeeding.

Jews may be afraid of assembling outside of or going into a synagogue not because they’ll be accused of praying to a different wrong God, but because they are pro-Israel and thus accused of being a “war criminal.” They’ll be afraid of inviting a speaker to a campus student event because they might be accused of being Zionist or watch other students pour fake blood on the quadrant, like was done at Columbia University and chant: “We don’t want two states. We want all of it.” And they’ll be afraid of attending a museum exhibit not because the artist is, perhaps, too avant-garde, but because a crowd will be there with banners and shouting “from the river to the sea.” They’ll be fearful of going to a cancer clinic or a hospital because a crowd might be outside yelling, “Intifada!”

Pro-Palestinianism has moved beyond normal protest activity. As the columnist Caroline Glick noted: “New York is turning into a Nazi city. Can’t go to MOMA, can’t walk down the street, can’t get to the airport, can’t go to school or get a coffee without being assaulted by Nazi goon squads who hate Jews and want to banish them from public spaces.”

Jews aren’t poisoning wells but, as is claimed, they are supporting the starvation of Gazans. Jews aren’t baking matzah with the blood of Christian children, but Israeli humus will be removed from college dining halls. Jews are not killing Christ, but they are supposedly committing genocide.

An ancient Jew-hatred that was based on religion, and eventually led to pogroms and a racialist prejudice that culminated into a Holocaust, has now been phased into ideological and intersectional revolutionary intimidating low-density violence. Calls such as “Death to the Zionist state” have become normative.

Unlike much of the previous centuries, Jews have become prominent champions of Palestine. Four years ago, I wrote here that “progressive Jews … have expressed support for a movement that promotes the trope that ‘Israel is an apartheid state,’ and it engages in a ‘genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.’ These Jews lend themselves to the mortiferous targeting … of fellow Jews … a moral collapse of sinister proportions.”

And I added there, relating to Jewish progressives: “In lending their support to the radical movements, we witness rampaging through America’s streets … increase … the probability of … physical attacks on Jewish institutions as well. Physical attacks on Jews is the next stage.”

They have become complicit, as I foresaw, in the injury and damage being done now.

Whereas protest was a legitimate action, we now have pressure. And when previously, the object of protest was to convince others of the justice of a cause and highlight it, we now have threatening moves such as surrounding a parliamentarian’s private home, when his children were with him, until 9 p.m. and loudly accusing him of genocide.

The transformation of pro-Palestine propensity in its current stage into a global revolutionary character is particularly ominous. Whereas previously they played to liberal values, now they have mutated into revolutionary mode, and the element of violence has become more acceptable, at least in their own eyes and those of their supporters. Their excitement becomes enthrallment and allows them to berate, frighten, and eventually, to become rationally and logically unhinged as to their politics and their actions.

What we are observing is a sensual paroxysm of power akin to the thinking of Michel Foucault, who in his 1975-76 lectures at the Collège de France (p. 260) spoke of a society’s “paroxysmal point.” For Palestinian proponents, Hamas’s “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation has unleashed their transmutation into emotional and psychological pleasure.

The worst, I fear, is yet to come.

To recall the words of Maximilien of Robespierre: People “do not hand down sentences, they throw thunderbolts; they do not condemn kings, they drop them back into the void.”

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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