New York is home to every nationality, political party, and special interest group - which is fine. People have a right to express their views and support them. Unfortunately, many people reject this idea. They think only their opinions matter, and they threaten anyone who disagrees.
This became all too evident as soon as the Israel-Hamas war erupted. Many thousands of pro-Hamas protesters took to the streets of New York and other cities and their behavior was shocking and disgraceful. What could have been a peaceful march looked more like a lynch mob.
Throngs of college-aged youth marched in support of the Hamas terrorist attack, unabashedly spouting horrible anti-Israel and anti-Semitic venom. How could anyone support the massacre of unarmed civilians, rape, and the beheading of children? But they did; some flat out denying the brutality happened and others blaming it on Israel. Among their chants: “Death to Israel,” “Gas the Jews” and the like. To the best of my knowledge, no protest organizer or marcher objected to the anti-Semitism or apologized for it.
A Different America
It’s easy to dismiss the hate because it came from an angry mob or was expressed by riffraff or people high on drugs. Even if so, the root of the problem goes much deeper.
The protesters included many students from the finest universities around the world and their professors – the intelligentsia of American society. We were witnessing in real time not just an angry protest but rather the result of the moral decay that now infects our society.
Some of the protesters in New York were so furious that merely watching them was frightening. There were similar protests in cities and colleges around the country. A professor at Cornell said Hamas’ attack was “exhilarating and energizing.” A faculty member at Stanford made Jewish students in an undergraduate class stand in the corner of the room and told the class, “This is what Israel does to Palestinians.”
New York has been home to its share of angry marches, but the ones we’re seeing now are different. Those held years ago, such as during the Vietnam War, were largely supported by the young who opposed the war. Back then, middle-aged and older people – the “Archie Bunker” types – objected to them and wanted the war to continue.
But young protesters today are openly anti-Semitic and want Israel to be destroyed Ch”v. Despite video proof to the contrary, they denied Hamas had done anything criminal. These days, the people who condemn Hamas are mostly middle-aged and older. Who could have imagined there would be a time when anti-Semitic mobs would roam down the streets of America? What has happened to our country?
The answer is that it’s been changing over the course of years and in front of our faces. Waves of immigrants from countries hostile to both America and Israel have been flooding our shores. The media inflames various groups as being victims and being exploited. And year after year, our colleges and universities turn out a new crop of arrogant, brainwashed graduates who mock our country and its institutions. Should we be surprised that hate and bigotry have become fashionable?
Not Only In America
Many Europeans were dismayed by recent attacks by Muslim extremists in their own countries, prompting French President Macron to declare, “Europe has been shaken.” Now, Macron wants a review of foreigners in France and the expulsion of those with a record of radicalism.
The situation in London is even worse. This month, tens of thousands of leftists marched in support of Hamas. According to an article on Zero Hedge, “The numerous demonstrators are the unfortunate consequences of the UK’s long-standing open immigration policies as well as the ideologically bizarre alliance between leftist activists and Islamic groups.” Although British police have threatened to arrest anyone who voiced support for Hamas, they have neither the training nor the resources to make such large-scale arrests.
Is the West finally waking up to the growing dangers it faces? Possibly. Consider this: Some philanthropists who have given many millions to Harvard and other Ivy League schools have had enough and are closing their checkbooks to them.
A group of more than 700 actors, writers, and others with ties to Hollywood signed an open letter supporting Israel and condemned Hamas’ barbaric attacks.
Even CNN, not a supporter of Israel, acknowledged that “business leaders across the US have expressed outrage and solidarity with Israel after the deadly surprise attack by Hamas.”
The question is whether this pushback is too little and too late. Unfortunately, Hamas and related groups also have many supporters. For example, the Starbucks Union, which works for that company, expressed solidarity with the Hamas murderers. An article on Matzav said: “The solidarity shown by the Starbucks Union is disturbing beyond measure.” Now some are calling for a boycott of Starbucks.
Even more shocking is that on October 18, a group of 149 Democrats in Congress refused to sign a letter condemning Hamas. Why wouldn’t they sign it? Politicians can read the political tea leaves as well as anyone, and in their view, signing would have meant paying a price at the polls. That’s very scary.
Like it or not, the political winds in the US and in other countries are changing quickly. Extremist opinions are steadily gaining support at the expense of the old guard who support traditional American values and alliances. Leftists who have graduated from top US universities are becoming more influential in society and helping to shape new laws and ideas, new budgets, public opinion, and foreign policy. At the same time, opposing them is becoming more difficult because the US is now weaker politically and economically than it has been in decades. All of this is worrisome for Jews.
The posuk in Pirkei Avos advising people to pray for peace in their homeland comes to mind. This is not the only time the Jewish people have faced danger. So let’s remember that Hashem has the power to do anything and everything, and pray that He resolve our tumultuous times quickly.
Sources: bloomberg.com; endoftheamericandream.com; freebeacon.com; hollywoodreporter.com; matzav.com; msn.com; theeconomiccollapseblog.com; zerohedge.com. YouTube: First Post Polki Sharma