May 1, 2019
A delayed reckoning.
After the synagogue shooting in California last weekend, there has been much public discussion of, and “reflection” on, anti-Semitism, but very little about those attacks on Jews that, if far less deadly, are far more common. Abe Greenwald writes:
These moments of reflection aren’t about rooting out anti-Semitism. They’re about saving rotten reputations and about the political uses of tragedy. Which is why we hear virtually nothing about one particular mode of violent Jew-hatred that’s on the rise: anti-Semitism in African-American communities.
Much of this has taken place in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. According to the New York Police Department, assault and robberies on Jews in Crown Heights went from two in 2017 to ten in 2018. The attackers tend to be African-American, and they sometimes yell out anti-Semitic slurs. There have been at least three such attacks so far this year. You can see a lot of this violence in recovered surveillance footage, but not much of it makes it to the front pages of major newspapers. . . .
These incidents aren’t talked about much because they have no political utility. There’s no fake soul-searching because the attacks have nothing to do with Israel. And there’s no finger-pointing because they have nothing to do with Donald Trump and [so-called] “white nationalism.” . . .
Meanwhile, everyone’s favorite new moderate, Pete Buttigieg, just earned his official Democratic presidential-candidate badge by going up to Harlem to get the nod from the mellowing elder statesman of black anti-Semitism, Al Sharpton. Any genuine reflection on the left would surely end the ritual of seeking blessings from a man who said, in in the wake of a murderous pogrom in 1991, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” But Democrats still stand in line every four years to kiss his ring.