A Rabbi shot in the hand, an 8-year-old girl who moved from Sderot and her 32-year-old uncle visiting from Israel, a mother with a 22-year-old who shielded the Rabbi with her body: are these the victims of the right or the left. He was a teenager, 19, with the freedom to carry an automatic rifle with pure hatred of a people because of propaganda online with a clear right-wing ideology and a fan of New Zealand anti-Muslim killer. He radicalized online, on Facebook and Twitter. These companies cannot take down that hate because it originates from the base of the President. It originates from people like Congressman Jim Jordan, a well-known anti-semite.
I look on twitter and who do we focus on? New York Times cartoon, a barely literate Congresswoman Omar and Congresswoman Rashid. These are people also hated by the same killers. This killer would have killed Omar and Rashid as he was moved by the writings of the New Zealand killer.
We confuse the antisemitism of the left and of the right as the same thing, they are not. The antisemitism of the left is easy to spot, it is anti-Israel and confuses all Jews for supporters of Israel. They say they have no qualms with Jews, they clearly lack the understanding that being Jewish can be a religion and ethnicity, that Jews are also Semitic and that Jews come from Israel and that we are not colonizers but returning refugees. BDS and left anti-Israel activists say they have no issues with Jews living anywhere but in Israel.
The far-right ideologues are the opposite, they are fine with Jews living in Israel but nowhere else. They are fine with Jews living in Israel but having no power or influence. The difference between the methods of the left and the right are stark. Whereas the left leave leaflets and protest and boycott in a peaceful manner, the right takes out arms and attacks with deadly force. But just as the people in America are confused by the rhetoric, confused by the ethnic and religious duality of Jewish people, confused by the ignorance of the lack of information, in the same way, are Americans of all creeds and religions confused by the differences in the two hateful ideologies.
The difference is important. To Israel, the threat is from the left as it funds and supports terrorism. To diaspora around the world, the threat is from the right that has tried to purge the Jewish refugees from their midst since their exile from Israel by Romans 2000 years ago.
I repeat, the differences are important and Jews and all who fight for equality and respect in the United States must understand them, must understand who and where and how is attacking them to battle them in the legal arena and in the press. By treating them as one and the same, we will continue to fail on both fronts because if we call them one and the same, both will have the ability to deflect an attack.
“Never Again” has lost its meaning. From Israel to Pittsburgh to San Diego, the prayer hall where I put a kippa and a tallit, “Never Again” has become Again and Again. If we want to stop the next time, we must learn from the past, we must stop saying and doing the same failed actions, and defend ourselves from these threats. Defense from a knife is different from defense from a gun. Let’s know when to use which defense, so that we can say Never Again, and mean it. We must demand action from the left on Israel and from the right on antisemitism. Action like re-instating the DOJ task force monitoring and prosecuting the white supremacists that Trump and Sessions dismantled. We must all as a united force monitor events and demand specific actions to ensure they do not happen again. Empty words will no longer do. Empty words will not do help the Rabbi, nor the 8-year-old girl, nor her uncle, nor the 22-year-old daughter without a mother. If we say “Never Again” we must mean it and act on it.