At Counter Boycott, we are startled by the recent vandalism at Jewish cemeteries, and bomb scares at JCCs across the country. All available resources should go towards finding the perpetrators and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law. It certainly appears that anti-Semitic incidents have increased in the U.S. during the last several months. However, blaming these incidents on President Trump are misguided. At this point, we have no idea who the perpetrators are. They could be neo-Nazis, Islamists, or even left-wing hoaxers trying to incite hatred against the new administration. Until the criminals are identified we should not point any fingers.
There is no question that Jews have enemies on both fringes of the political spectrum, but anti-Semitism is not a new phenomenon that started once Donald Trump became President. It's been with us for thousands of years. And if we're going to be honest, in the United States, most of the ant-Semitism over the last couple decades has come from the left, not the right. In response to the accusations against Donald Trump, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren stated, "during my time in Washington [as Israeli ambassador], I never encountered right-wing anti-Semitism, but I experienced a lot of anti-Semitism, mainly on campuses. Ask Jewish students in America if they fear anti-Semitism. They do — not from the right, but from the left.”
Michael Oren is right. According to a comprehensive study on the subject by AMCHA Initiative, an organization that fights campus anti-Semitism:
“A survey of U.S. Jewish college students by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law revealed that 54% of surveyed students reported experiencing or witnessing instances of antisemitism on campus during the first six months of the 2013-2014 academic year. Another survey of campus anti-semitism conducted by Brandeis University in the Spring of 2015 found that three-quarters of North American Jewish college student respondents had been exposed to anti-semitic rhetoric, and one-third of students surveyed reported having been harassed because they were Jewish.”
These anti-Semitic campus acts are not being perpetrated by neo-Nazis.
In addition, there is an unbelievable story that has gone unnoticed by the mainstream media. Democrat Congress-woman Jan Schakowski recently shared a stage with a Palestinian terrorist with Jewish blood on her hands--Rasmea Odeh--who was convicted of masterminding a terrorist attack in Israel, and later released in an Israeli prisoner swap deal. Where is the outcry from the ADL and the AJC? Could you imagine if a Republican official shared a stage with a KKK member convicted of murdering black Americans? The national outcry would be swift, and that individual would rightly be shamed into leaving office. But with this terrible incident there is silence. This is unacceptable.
As Israel supporters, we must condemn anti-Semitism wherever it rears its ugly head, and we should be just as outspoken in calling out anti-Semitism on the left as we are to call it out on the right.
The Counter Boycott Team