July 4: Celebrate American values, and reject terror and antisemitism

The rise of intolerance and divisiveness are waging war against age-old values.

Credit: Kevin McCartney/Pexels.
Credit: Kevin McCartney/Pexels.

We celebrate July 4 to honor the core American values of freedom, democracy and equality that have built and shaped our nation. The Jewish community has been an integral part of the American fabric since before the Revolutionary War, etching these foundational values into the bedrock of society. These cherished principles, however, are under threat from hostile activists on the far left and far right, including some who proudly support terrorist organizations and the nations that sponsor them. Those terror groups and countries that openly threaten and attack America also wage war on one of its closest allies: Israel.

While these values have been the underpinnings of American society since it became a nation, the rise of intolerance, divisiveness and antisemitism are constantly waging war against these values. These are a few of many recent examples:

Terrorist flags flown in New York City: ‘Any means necessary’

Anti-Israel activists marched down New York City streets proudly waving flags from terrorist organizationsthe American flag was nowhere to be seen. There were at least four Hamas and three Hezbollah flags, as well as several Palestinian flags. Flags of other terrorist groups and Cuba also were flown. Many protesters covered their faces. This is in stark contrast to supporters of Israel who proudly display Israeli and American flags. The anti-Israel protestors called for a “global intifada by any means necessary,” repeating their usual call for violence against Jews and justifying terrorist attacks against Israelis.

Activists disrupt gay-pride parades: ‘Long live the Intifada’

Many American Jews felt unsafe participating in gay-pride parades this year during June. Calls were made to exclude “Zionists,” often used as a code word to ban Jews. Jewish Pride activists were marginalized by litmus tests to prove their loyalty to anti-Israel causes now woven into the LGBTQ+ doctrine. Many marchers conveniently ignored that gay Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been killed for simply being gay.

Jewish lesbians hosted their own Pride party after feeling excluded from this year’s Dyke March in New York City. March organizers apologized for a social-media post that condemned the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, calling it “a mistake” and stating that “any of our language that is not clearly opposed to Zionism is harmful to all.” The march’s theme was Dykes Against Genocide, one of the many false labels they applied to the Jewish state.

Gay Pride Group for Palestinians
Maia Poet, who survived the terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, at a Seattle Pride event in June 2024. Source: Maia Poet/X.

Notable anti-Israel protests were held in New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. Maia, a 25-year-old American Israeli, is a survivor of Oct. 7 who has worked to build bridges between Palestinians and Israelis. She attended the Seattle Pride event where the group Queers for a Free Palestine chanted, “Intifada, Intifada, long live the Intifada,” while wearing masks and holding Palestinian flags. Maia walked in front of them, holding a sign that read: “Donate your head to Hamas.” A Palestinian friend of hers was murdered for being gay. Jews in London said, “We do not feel safe,” and in Toronto, they also faced the same discrimination.

Hostile governments fuel hate on campus: ‘Trillion-dollar war chest’

The soft war against America and Israel is being waged in many forums, including university campuses. Governments that are hostile to America, including Qatar and China, have attempted to exert their influence on American minds. The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy reported that the Qatari government is using its “war chest of between $500 billion and $1 trillion of assets to exert soft power in the West, including America’s prestigious universities.” Many of these universities were recently the site of abhorrent protests. The Qatari government also uses its TV network Al Jazeera and financial support to community organizations in its soft power campaign against America and Israel.

Black groups support mask ban: ‘The KKK also covered their faces’

Jewish and African-American advocacy groups recently announced joint support for banning face masks in New York used by anti-Israel activists to intimidate American Jews. They launched a campaign called Unmask Hate NY, Enough is Enough. The New York governor and mayor both support a ban. Many anti-Israel agitators cover their faces while intimidating and harassing Jews at university protests, street marches and even in subway cars. Recently, Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Ill.) condemned “masked cowards” for “terrorizing the homes and neighborhoods of our Jewish congressman and Jewish governor.”

Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference, said: “Black communities know all too well that individuals who hide their identities with intent to terrorize, intimidate or harass are a threat to all of our safety. The Ku Klux Klan menaced Black Americans, faces covered, without accountability. We can’t let history repeat itself.”

U.S. Oct. 7 victims sue Iran, Syria, North Korea for supporting Hamas

The ADL and the Crowell & Moring law firm are representing 10/7 American victims in a lawsuit against Iran, Syria and North Korea—all sworn enemies of America. The complaint was filed on behalf of more than 100 plaintiffs in U.S. federal court to pursue justice and damages against the countries that provided material support for the devastating Hamas attack against U.S. citizens in Israel. Congress created the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund with money from sanction penalties to allow American victims of terrorism meaningful relief.

Plaintiff Nahar Neta said: “My mom, Adrienne, was a peace and justice seeker who was active in many civilian efforts to bridge the gap between Jews and Arabs in Israel. It’s important for us to be able to tell our stories so the world can hear how Hamas has terrorized Israel, the Jewish people and many American citizens.” The retired nurse, 66, who treated all patients equally regardless of ethnicity and religion, was brutally murdered after a Palestinian terrorist stormed into her house.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a sworn enemy of America and Israel. Iran provided training, intelligence and hundreds of millions of dollars annually to Hamas. Iranian leaders boasted: “Iran has given Hamas all the support and weapons they need.” North Korea also helped Hamas build its vast tunnel network stretching hundreds of miles underground, and Israel found Hamas weapons with unique North Korean markings. The Syrian government openly supports Hamas and has facilitated arms shipments to Gaza. A Hamas leader stated that long-range rockets “came from abroad—from Iran, Syria and others.” All three countries are U.S.-designated state sponsors of terrorism. An Associated Press article confirmed that Iranian and North Korean weapons are part of the Hamas arsenal.

Points to consider:

  1. Attacks against American Jews are an assault on American values.

America was founded on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, regardless of religion, ethnicity or background. When American Jews are targeted, many feel forced to hide their identity. What begins with the Jews usually does not end with the Jews. Acts of hatred defile the American spirit, which celebrates diversity and the contributions of all communities. American Jews have given their lives defending America in all wars, contributed to scientific and medical breakthroughs that have saved millions of lives, and championed civil rights for all minorities. Protecting American Jews from hate and violence is not only a moral imperative but core to the historic American way of life.

  1. Anti-Jewish attacks have become acceptable in America.

Alarmingly, assaults against Jews have become increasingly normalized in certain segments of American society. A majority of younger Americans, Democrats and independents do not view prejudice against Jews as a very serious problem, and 60% of Jews are reluctant to share their identity because they fear harassment. This troubling trend threatens the safety and security of Jewish communities and erodes the foundation of our multicultural nation. As these hateful actions become more common, they embolden perpetrators and create a climate of fear. This acceptance of antisemitism contradicts the inclusive values America stands for and must be challenged. Bigotry and discrimination have no place in our country.

  1. Subversive foreign funding undermines American independence.

Murky foreign funding of American university programs and institutions and activist movements from hostile governments undermines the very essence of our nation’s independence. Countries like Qatar, an Iranian ally, try to influence students and faculty—a direct threat to supporting American values. The individuals and groups they fund engage in information manipulation. This intrusion comes with ulterior motives that do not align with American interests. Successive generations have fought to ensure America’s independence, crucial for maintaining the principles of freedom and self-determination that define the United States.

  1. Attacking American Jews does not help the Palestinian cause.

American Palestinian activist Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib consistently speaks out against the anti-Israel protestors hurting the Palestinian cause. He recently stated that most pro-Palestine boycotts are “based on disinformation” and condemned the groups flying terrorist flags for “harming and undermining” Palestinians. Attacking American Jews and supporters of the Jewish state does nothing to help Palestinians and detracts from legitimate efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. Pro-Palestinian leaders and vocal activists are spreading hatred and deepening divides. Constructive dialogue and peaceful advocacy are essential to a lasting solution to the conflict.

  1. Iran’s destructive actions negatively impact the finances of American families.

Iran-supported terrorist groups pose a direct threat to the American economy and national security. The Houthis in Yemen continue to attack commercial shipping, driving up shipping costs and therefore the price of goods in America. Attacks by other Iranian proxies—Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza—destabilize the Middle East, making war more likely. This can cause oil prices to rise sharply, also hitting American families in the wallet. Iran’s determined pursuit of nuclear weapons increases security risks and economic uncertainty. Radical Iranian leaders have a history of attacking Americans and their threats cannot be taken lightly.

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