Heed American Jewish Committee CEO: Antisemitism "Will Destroy The Democratic Fabric Of Society"
Last week the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism (CISA) hosted David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, who for 30 years has worked to defend the Jewish people. ('AJC is the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, with unparalleled access to government officials, diplomats, and other world leaders.')
His lecture on “The Rise of Global Antisemitism: A Front Line View" reinforced the message we at TheJ.ca - "noisy individuals", according to the antique local Jewish media - have been broadcasting online and presenting on this website: there is a need for Jews in Canada to change course and confront, rather than ignore, the incursions of antisemitism and anti-Israel hate that rears its head daily.
When stationed in Europe, Harris met with political and social leaders and realized they were either in denial or complacent. He had to “waken them up to the menace ... (to) the larger problem that the kind of life we want to live—“our democratic and pluralistic way of life”—“is under attack. We are all in the same boat.”
Whether from the far Left, the far Right, or Jihadists, Harris warned “Left unchecked, it will metastasize and destroy the democratic fabric of society.” When critics "single out only one nation on the planet (Israel)" and "ignore the Balfour Declaration, and the UN partition plan - what`s going on here?"
Harris also raised the issue of iconic American radical Muslim Linda Sarsour. "When Linda Sarsour is an open advocate for BDS" and uses it to attack Israel "something is going on ... I don`t take very seriously (her) tears for Pittsburgh."
Response to Sarsour's recent appearance at a Winnipeg panel revealed a definable split in our community, between respected, committed supporters of Zionism - the right to a Jewish homeland - and a fringe rump of fact-distorting Jewish and other marxists. They got on the radar of the modern day storytellers in corporate newsrooms seeking so-called balance for their filings. What we learned was that perhaps 3% of our community are Israel-hating Jews who assure that Sarsour is not an antisemite, a lie no self-respecting Jew could ever repeat but which the Social Planning Council gladly did. Various other antisemites and Israel-haters then leveraged media reports about 'Jews who approve of Sarsour' to use as propaganda. (No media ever mentions those sought out for "balance" are 3% and the other side is 97%.)
This weekend Israeli writer Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll created a thread on Twitter about the frustrating explosion of this phenomena on social media:
"A thread on Jews who crap on Israel & other Jews: I've watched it for a while but I haven't said much. Mainly because of all wars, civil wars are the worst. And I'd rather hold my peace than join in a battle with my siblings. But its getting so bad that I cannot keep quiet"
"... The damage caused by the initial post, the shares, the fodder given to antisemites --"see, she says it and she's a Jew!" is incalculable. And you're frauds, because if you REALLY wanted to make change, you'd volunteer, contribute & support the orgs & ppl making that change."
"Your self aggrandizing, vomitus screeds are vile precisely because you go after your own people while ingratiating yourself to those who hate us. You give them weapons and tools and you legitimize their hate with your own vitriol, while protecting your own tuchus & exposing ours".
"I was silent. But I won't be anymore. You've chosen your positions and placed yourselves with our enemies. You don't see us as your people. It breaks my heart, but I won't bear that burden and standard when you've cast it off long ago."
Harris was quoted as saying, "there are people who are awake [to antisemitism] but there are people who are still asleep. I`m still shocked about how many Jews are still asleep."
The threat to our Jewish future is not only from without, but from within. For us to survive, as both David Harris and Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll have concluded, sleeping - or silence - is not an option.
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