Identity Politics Enables Anti-Semitic Violence. Enough

Identity Politics Enables Anti-Semitic Violence. Enough

How much more Jewish blood must be spilled before ending the violence against Jews becomes an end inherently worth pursuing?
Erielle Davidson
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Yesterday evening marked the seventh night of Chanukah. It also marked the ninth anti-semitic attack since the Jewish holiday began last week. According to authorities, at least five people were stabbed Saturday evening during a Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony at a rabbi’s home in the New York City suburb of Monsey.

A man allegedly used a machete to stab five people, with two reportedly in critical condition. According to reports, the attacker attempted to break into the synagogue next door to the rabbi’s home, but the doors were swiftly barricaded. It will be telling to see how this particular attack is covered within the mainstream press, and by regional and national Democrats who have shown an antipathy to addressing antisemitism if it comes from actors with whom they generally sympathize.

When it came to discussing the recent shooting at the Jersey City kosher supermarket by two Black Hebrew Israelites, reporting was startlingly sparse on the particulars surrounding the murders. As Bethany Mandel of Ricochet noted, many key details appeared purposely omitted, including but not limited to, the fact that video footage suggested the perpetrators’ initial target was a school full of Jewish children; that the perpetrators had a significant amount of ammunition; and that videos taken after the attack revealed many in the neighborhood blamed the Jews for the attack. Even following the killings, I am not sure if even one media outlet reported on the fact that a school board member in Jersey City, referring to Jews as “brutes,” essentially defended the murders as a natural response to too many Jews moving into the area.

The “social justice” arena in the United States, where most issues related to racial discrimination get siloed, is occupied primarily by those on the left. Thus, the growing problem is now groups traditionally in the business of confronting hate are less interested in doing so if they are unable to attribute the Jew-hatred to Trump or Republicans. If that anti-semitism is emanating from corners traditionally occupied by the left, the advocacy figures and media talking heads show an alarming and frankly disturbing indifference.

Nothing evinces this indifference more than a recent interview with Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City. When questioned about the attack on the Jersey City kosher supermarket earlier this month, Mayor de Blasio ignored the motivations of the perpetrators, who belonged to a radical left-wing fringe group known as the Black Hebrew Israelites. Instead, he deflected in a bizarre maneuver, opting to discuss the scourge of white supremacy and private militias. It’s important to talk about the far-right, but it’s also critical to talk about the far-left, particularly when those carrying out a slew of recent attacks are of such ilk.

Furthermore, there is also a race element to these attacks against Jews that has made the racial-hierarchy-obsessed left struggle to address the problem with any teeth. The vast majority of hate crimes committed against Jews in New York City have been carried out by people of color, and early reports alleging the identity of the recent murderer reveal the current attack may be no exception. This pattern presents a true problem for the left. As my colleague David Marcus has written, “The notion that hatred is harbored by some in the black community towards Jews does not comport with their hierarchies of oppression.” And indeed, the left, in all its racial obsession, has picked favorites. And they didn’t choose the Jews.

Following De Blasio’s announcement a few days ago that he would be increasing police presence in Jewish areas, leftists rushed to Twitter, condemning the move, alleging that heightened security for Jews marginalized people of color. But this reaction reveals the precise poison of identity politics. There is a hierarchy of victimhood established within the Marxist framework of identity politics, and according to the sheepish left, Jews do not rank high enough on the victimhood totem pole to deserve increased protections, when compared to other minorities. Identity politics is racial reductionism that should nauseate and disgust every decent human being, including our supposed moral betters in the media who continue to remain obvious practitioners of it. And Jews are dying because of it—namely, because identity politics demand that violence against Jews be ignored in favor of “protecting” other minority groups. This type of selectivity actually worsens racial relations rather than improving them.

The left has spent the last three years marketing itself as having seized the moral high ground on tackling Jew-hatred, which may explain why their recent anger towards Trump’s Executive Order a few weeks ago, designed exclusively to combat antisemitism on college campuses, was particularly virulent. The mask has slipped, and for the left, battling antisemitism has become a means towards eviscerating the right, rather than a noble end in and of itself. I am curious how much more Jewish blood will need to be spilled before ending violence becomes an end inherently worth pursuing.

A pervasive notion persists in American academic circles, and within the American media, that progressive anti-semitism simply doesn’t exist – or worse still, that remaining faithful to the hierarchy of oppression within the schema of identity politics is more important than Jewish life. This thought pattern, which continues to rot the brains of those on the left and of their compatriots within the US media, is not only vile but possibly fatal for Jews. Enough.

My prayers are with those families and communities who have watched their loved ones suffer.

Erielle is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA).
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