RISING ANTI-SEMITISM

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

> 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.

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.

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