RISING ANTI-SEMITISM

August 14, 2019 at 4:30 am

From growing acts of violence in Brooklyn to deadly attacks in Pittsburgh and California, Jews are increasingly becoming the targets of hate. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, one of the country’s most prominent Jewish voices, is here with his insight and perspective.

Aired on May 14, 2019 and August 13, 2019.

Transcript Print

>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME "TO
METROFOCUS."
THE TREE OF LIFE SHOOTING IN
OCTOBER OF LAST YEAR CLAIMED 11
LIVES THE WORST ACT OF
ANTI-SEMITIC VIOLENCE IN
AMERICAN HISTORY.
THE ATTACK ON THE SYNAGOGUE IN
SAN DIEGO ON APRIL 27th CLAIMED
THE LIFE OF LORI KAY.
2018 SAW MORE THAN 1800 RECORDED
ATTACKS AGAINST JEWS AND JEWISH
INSTITUTIONS, THE THIRD HIGHEST
SINCE THE '70s.
IN NEW YORK, NYPD STATISTICS
CONFIRM THAT THE NUMBER OF HATE
CRIMES AGAINST JEWS ARE UP
NEARLY 40% FROM 2016.
AND SO TODAY JEWISH LEADERS ARE
LEFT TO CONFRONT A NEW NORMAL
AND TO QUESTION THE CAUSE OF THE
RISE IN HATE.
JOINING US NOW TO SHARE HIS
PERSPECTIVE IS ONE OF THE MOST
PROMINENT JEWISH VOICES IN THE
COUNTRY.
RABBI, THOANKS SO MUCH FOR
JOINING ME.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> ANTI-SEMITISM IS CLEARLY ON
THE RISE ACROSS THE WORLD, NOT
JUST IN THIS COUNTRY.
LET'S FOCUS ON THIS COUNTRY.
WHAT'S CAUSING THIS RISE IN
ANTI-JEWISH HATE?
>> THERE'S ANTI-SEMITISM OF THE
LEFT AND THE RIGHT.
THE ANTI-SEMITISM FROM THE LEFT
IS WHAT WE'RE SEEING FROM
CONGRESSWOMAN OMAR WHO WILL
SPEAK ABOUT IT OPENLY, AK ECCIN
US OF DUAL LOYALTY.
ON THE EXTREME RIGHT YOU HAVE
THE RISE OF NEO-NAZI FASCISTS
WHO HAVE ALWAYS HATED JEWS.
OF COURSE, HITLER AND THE WHITE
SUPREMACISTS WERE WHITE
NATIONANATIONAL
IST FA FASCISTS.
IF SOMETHING BAD IS HAPPENING
IT'S ALWAYS BECAUSE OF THE JEWS.
WE IN THE COMMUNITY WERE HOPING
THAT 70 YEARS AFTER THE BIGGEST
MASS MURDER IN THE WORLD THAT
THE GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS WOULD
HAVE BEEN AWAKENED TO THE
DANGERS OF ANTI-SEMITISM .
BUT INSTEAD IT SEEMS THAT WE'RE
BEGINNING TO FORGET THE HORRORS
OF THE HOLOCAUST AND AN
ANTI-SEMITISM IS COMING BACK.
>> SOME PROGRESSIVES BELIEVE
THEY WERE GIVEN A GREEN LIGHT BY
PRESIDENT TRUMP.
JOY BEHAR JOINED TRUMP FOR THE
SAN DIEGO ATTACK, SAYING THIS,
QUOTE, HE GIVES DOG WHISTLES
CONSTANTLY TO THESE PEOPLE,
WHITE NATIONALIST.
ADDRESSING HIM DIRECTLY SHE SAYS
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR
ACTIONS MR. PRESIDENT YOU ARE
THE CULPRIT.
DO YOU AGREE?
>> SHE'S ABSOLUTELY WRONG HERE.
THE SHOOTER IN SAN DIEGO PUBLISH
ADD MANIFESTO OF OF HOW MUCH HE
HATES TRUMP.
HE'S BEEN THE MOST PRO ISRAEL
PRESIDENT.
SO HOW COULD SHE POSSIBLY SAY
THIS GUY LIKED TRUMP.
THE MAN SAID HE HATED TRUMP.
THE PITTSBURGH SHOOTER SAID
TRUMP IS CONTROLLED BY JEWS, HAS
BEEN TAKEN OVER BY JEWS.
WHEN IT COMES TO CHARLOTTESVILLE
THE PRESIDENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN
MUCH MORE CONDEMNATORY OF WHITE
NATIONALISTS.
HE DEVOTED MAYBE 10% OF THE
STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH TO
CONDEMNING ANTI-SEMITISM.
HE HAS REALLY STOOD WITH ISRAEL.
I DON'T THINK THAT'S A FAIR
CRITICISM.
I THINK WHAT'S CERTAINLY TRUE IS
THAT WHITE NATIONALISM IS ON THE
RISE IN THE UNITED STATES.
BUT YOU CAN'T SEPARATE THIS FROM
THE PROGRESSIVE.
HATRED OF ISRAEL IS BECAUSE IT'S
THE JEWISH STATE.
THERE'S NO OTHER WAY TO EXPLAIN.
>> WE'LL GET TO THAT IN A SECOND
BUT LET'S GO BACK TO PRESIDENT
TRUMP'S ALLEGED CONNECTION TO
THE RISE IN WHITE NATIONALIST
ANTI-JEWISH HATRED.
DAVID DUKE AFTER CHARLOTTESVILLE
PRAISED THE PRESIDENT AND IT'S A
FACT THAT RICHARD SPENCER A
WHITE NATIONALIST NEO NAZI
LITERALLY YOU SEE A VIDEO OF HIM
HEILING TRUMP.
>> THESE ARE VILE WRETCHED HUMAN
BEINGS.
I DON'T THINK IT'S FAIR TO MAKE
GUILT BY ASSOCIATION.
DAVID DUKE IS ENDORSING
CONGRESSWOMAN OMAR'S HATRED OF
THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS CONDEMNED
WHITE NATIONALIST VOCIFEROUSLY
EVER SINCE CHARLOTTESVILLE.
IF WE'RE GOING TO CRITICIZE
WHERE IT'S WARRANTED, THEN WE
HAVE TO OFFER PRAISE WHEN IT'S
WARRANTED.
TO CONNECT HIM WITH PITTSBURGH
OR CALIFORNIA IS AN ABSURDIABSU.
THESE PEOPLE HATE TRUMP BECAUSE
OF HIS CESSATION OF THE
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY WHEN IT
USES THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER MONEY
FOR POLICY WHICH MURDER JEWS.
I COULD GO ON.
THE PRO ISRAEL COMMUNITY FEELS
VERY GRATEFUL TO PRESIDENT
TRUMP.
JOY BEHAR SHOULD BE COGNIZANT OF
THE FACT THAT THE PEOPLE SHE'S
SAYING ARE REALLY VICTIMS HAVE
TODAY WITH HIM.
I W
HE HAS A JEWISH DAUGHTER AND
JEWISH GRANDCHILDREN.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT
ANTI-SEMITISM ON THE LEFT.
THIS IS AN ARGUMENT THAT BEARS
SOME THOUGHT.
MANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
ACCUSED OF BEING ANTI-SEMITIC,
THEY DO WE'RE NOT ANTI-SEMITIC,
WE'RE AGAINST THE POLICIES OF
THE JEWISH GOVERNMENT,
PARTICULARLY THIS JEWISH
GOVERNMENT.
WE ARE SUPPORTERS OF THE
PALESTINIANS.
THERE ARE A LOT OF ISRAELS WHO
HAVE THAT POSITION.
THEY ATTACK THE GOVERNMENT, THEY
ATTACK THE GOVERNMENT'S POSITION
BUT THEY'RE OBVIOUSLY NOT
ANTI-ISRAEL.
HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?
>> OF COURSE THERE ARE ISRAELS
THAT ARE CRITICAL OF THE
GOVERNMENT.
ISRAEL IS LIKE AMERICA.
IT SHARES WESTERN DEMOCRATIC
VALUES, FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
LET ANYONE IN THE PALESTINIAN
AUTHORITY TRY TO CRIT
CRITICIZE ABASS.
>> PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY AND
OUTSIDE OF ISRAEL CONDEMN THE
POLICIES OF THE ISRAELI
GOVERNMENT.
DON'T THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO
THAT WITHOUT BEING LABELED
ANTI-SEMITIC?
>> OF COURSE.
THIS IS WHERE IT CROSSES THE
LINE FROM LEGITIMATE CRITICISM
OR ISRAEL INTO ANTI-SEMITISM,
IT'S VERY ISRAEL IS CONSTANTLY
SELECTED AS THE ONLY COUNTRY YOU
CRITICIZE AND YOU EXAGGERATE THE
CRITICISM.
IF PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN
PALESTINIAN RIGHTS WHY AREN'T
THEY CONTESTING THE FACT THAT I
CAN'T SAY ARAFAT DIED A
BILLIONAIRE.
HE WAS ELECTED TO A FOUR YEAR
TERM.
HIS 14th YEAR HE HAS DEMOLISHED
ALL DEMOCRACY.
HE JAILS ALL THESE EDITORS.
HIS SONS ARE WORTH HUNDREDS OF
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS HAVING
CORNERED THE CONSTRUCTION
MONOPOLY, CIGARETTE MONOPOLIES.
WHAT ABOUT IN SYRIA WHERE WE
DON'T HEAR ABOUT IRAN, ISRAEL'S
GENOCIDAL FOE PROPPING A REGIME
WHICH IS GENOCIDAL IN NATURE.
500,000 MUSLIMS HAVE BEEN GASSED
TO DEATH AND YET THEY SEE ISRAEL
AS A GREATER EVIL.
THAT'S ANTI-SEMITISM.
IF YOU SEE ISRAEL AS A GREATER
EVIL FOR THE ABUSE OF ARAB'S
RIGHTS THEN BASHAR AL ASSAD,
THEN YOU'VE GOT SOMETHING WITH
THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
YOU'VE GOT A BEEF WITH THE JEWS
THAT YOU JUST CAN'T CONTROL.
HAMAS ENGAGES IN KILLING OF
PALESTINIAN WOMEN WHO JUST HAVE
BOYFRIENDS.
HAMAS MURDERS GAY LGBT
PALESTINIAN HOMOSEXUALS.
ALL OF THIS IS WELL DOCUMENTED.
ANTI-SEMITISM IS WHERE YOU PICK
ON ISRAEL CONSTANTLY, YOU VILIFY
ISRAEL, YOU DEMONIZE IT.
WHY ARE THESE SAME PEOPLE
CONDEMNING AN OCCUPATION WHERE
80% OF ALL BIBLICAL EVENTS TAKE
PLACE, WHICH ISRAEL CONCURRED
FROM JORDAN WHICH HAD SEIZED IT
ILLEGITIMATELY IN 1947.
WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE USING
iPHONES?
CHINA HAS BEEN OCCUPYING TIBET
SINCE 1951.
THE TALL
THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT RUSSIA'S
OCCUPATION OF CRIMEA.
I COULD GO ON.
WHERE ARE THE U.N. CONDEMNATIONS
OF THOSE COUNTRIES?
ISRAEL IS PICKED ON, SINGLED
OUT, DEMONIZED NAP'S
ANTI-S
ANTI-SEMITISM.
>> WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE
CLEARLY ANTI-SEMITIC CARTOON
THAT APPEARED IN THE "NEW YORK
TIMES"?
>> I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT I'M
LIKE UNSHOCKABLE.
YOU KNOW, I'M A 52-YEAR-OLD
RABBI WHO HAS BEEN A RABBI FOR
TL
FOR 30 YEARS.
I WAS A RABBI AT OXFORD
UNIVERSITY, I'VE LIVED IN
AUSTRALIA.
I THOUGHT I WAS SHOCK PROOF WHEN
IT CAME TO ANTI-SEMITISM.
I LOVE THE "NEW YORK TIMES."
I READ IT EVERY DAY.
I WAS SHOCKED.
I LOVE THAT IT'S A QUALITY
PUBLICATION BUT ITS DEMONIZATION
OF ISRAEL TRANSCENDS JUST ONE
CARTOON.
HOW DID IT SLIP BY THESE
EDITORS?
THE "NEW YORK TIMES" WON'T EVEN
TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY.
THEIR ARGUMENT IS WE'RE
INCOMPETENT.
IT WAS ONE EDITOR MAKING A
DECISION WITH NO OVERSIGHT.
YOU'RE THE WORLD EAST MOST
TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE AND YOU'RE
TELLING US YOU'RE INCOMPETENT,
THAT'S YOUR DEFENSE?
HE SAID THAT EDITORIALS OF THE
"NEW YORK TIMES" HAVE SO
DEMONIZED ISRAEL FOR SO LONG
THAT THE EDITORS ARE BEGINNING
TO THINK THESE KINDS OF CARTOONS
CAPTURE THE TRUE SPIRIT OF
ISRAEL AND THERE HAS TO BE A
COMPLETE REVAMPING OF THE "NEW
YORK TIMES" EDITORIAL POLICY AND
HOW THEY REPORT THE NEWS ABOUT
ISRAEL BECAUSE IT'S SO BIASSED.
>> WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THIS?
HOW DO WE TURN THIS RISING HATE
AGAINST JEWS AROUND IN THIS
COUNTRY?
>> ONE OF THE GREAT HONORS OF MY
LIFE WAS MY FRIEND WHO DIED ON
JULY 2nd, 2016.
HE WAS FAMOUS FOR SAYING THAT
WORSE THAN HATRED IS
INDIFFERENCE.
HOW DO WE TURN IT AROUND?
BY NOT BEING INDIFFERENT.
WE LEARNED 70 YEARS AGO WE NEED
TO FIGHT FOR OURSELVES.
IT IS U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS TO
PROVIDE PROTECTION FOR SINY
SYNAGOGUES AND MOSQUES AND
CHURCHES OR PLACES OF WORSHIP.
THERE WAS HORRIBLE SLAUGHTER OF
50 MUSLIMS IN NEW ZEALAND AND I
WAS THERE THE DAY BEFORE IT
HAPPENED BY THE WAY.
THEY'RE ALSO TARGETS.
SECONDLY WE IN THE JEWISH
COMMUNITY NEED TO STAMP OUT
ANTI-SEMITISM WHERE IT REARS ITS
HEAD INSTEAD OF SAYING IT'S NOT
A BIG DEAL.
IT IS A BIG DEAL.
AS THIS BECAME MORE AND MORE
SEVERE, YOU KNOW, BANNING JEWS
FROM CERTAIN PROFESSIONS AND
THEN CULMINATING THE NIGHT OF
BROKEN GLASS AND THOUSANDS OF
PEOPLE MURDERED, THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY KEPT ON
SAYING HITLER -- THERE IS NO
GETTING BETTER.
THIS STUFF DOESN'T GET BETTER
UNLESS YOU OPPOSE IT.
AND UNFORTUNATELY WE IN THE
JEWISH COMMUNITY ARE ONCE AGAIN
FACED WITH THAT BATTLE AND WE
HAVE TO MAN UP AND OPPOSE IT.
THERE'S NO OTHER CHOICE.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING
US TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THIS VERY
IMPORTANT SUBJECT.
>> THANK YOU.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019