For those who have not been paying attention, there’s a triple threat to Jewish people across the world today. Neo-Nazis, Islamists, and left-leaning Westerners make up the triad of hate.
Of course Israel is surrounded by its enemies in the Middle East, as it always has been. The rockets being fired into Israel by Hamas is only the latest immediate conflict. No surprise that Islamic terrorists want to see Israel destroyed. Also, no big shock that Neo-Nazis want to rid the world of Jews. What is more disturbing, however, is the progressive left in Europe and yes, in America, that has joined forces with these other two.
Recently a demonstration in Frankfurt against Israel’s response to Hamas erupted into violence, with protesters tossing stones at the police. About 2,500 protesters appeared in downtown Frankfurt, screaming “God is great,” and slogans such as “freedom for Palestine” and “children-murderer Israel.” Eight police officers were injured.
German media reported that after the protests, groups sought to target Jewish institutions. The Frankfurt police said Jewish institutions would be protected. It is unclear if the goal was to physically attack the institutions or just protest in front of them.
As reported by the Rundschau, a Frankfurt newspaper, student organization Left-SDS, Islamists and some members of the Neo-Nazi group National Socialists Rhein-Main attended the anti-Israel protest. Flags from Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Hamas were on display at the protest. Banners compared Prime Minister Netanyahu with Adolf Hitler. Supporters of Assad’s regime were also present at the protest.
In a bizarre act of cooperation, a German journalist and publicist reported on the website of the weekly Jungle World that Frankfurt’s police allowed the demonstrators to use a police vehicle and loudspeaker to blast anti-Israeli slogans. According to a police statement, the authorities allowed the use of their equipment in order to deescalate the situation. The Jungle World article sarcastically titled its account, “The Police, Friend and Helper.”
In France a firebomb was hurled at a synagogue near Paris, part of a string of anti-Semitic incidents in Western Europe coinciding with Israel’s assault on Hamas in Gaza. In a separate incident, a man described as having a Middle Eastern appearance assaulted a Jewish 17-year-old girl on a Paris street near the Gare du Nord train station.
Meanwhile, here in the good old USA, anti-Semitism is on the rise on college campuses from coast to coast. Over the last several years, Jewish students on campuses across the country have been physically, emotionally, and intellectually harassed, intimidated, threatened, and bullied, not only by their fellow students but also by some of their professors.
A couple of months ago Tammi Rossman-Benjamin wrote the following in The Independent Sentinel, “Anti-Israel student activists at the University of Michigan last month hurled death threats at Jewish student council members. At University of California, Berkeley, a Jewish girl holding an ‘Israel Wants Peace’ sign was ramrodded with a shopping cart by the head of Students for Justice in Palestine.”
“At Harvard University, the Palestine Security Committee frightened Jewish students by placing mock eviction notices on their dormitory rooms. At Northeastern University in Boston, Students for Justice in Palestine vandalized a menorah and disrupted Jewish events. At San Francisco State University this past fall, the General Union of Palestine Students hosted an all-day event where participants could make posters and t-shirts that said, ‘My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers,’ meaning Jews. And just last week, at New York University, pro-Palestinian students slipped “eviction notices” under the doors of 2,000 undergrads, scaring Jewish students and parents.”
According to Rossman-Benjamin there are two sources for this anti-Jewish sentiment. “The first major source for anti-Jewish sentiment on campus is members of radical Muslim and pro-Palestinian student organizations. For more than a decade, these groups have sponsored speakers, films, exhibits, and guerrilla theater that engage in discourse or use imagery and language considered anti-Semitic by the U.S. State Department.”
“These student groups have also been responsible for aggressively confronting students at pro-Israel events and threatening, physically harassing, and assaulting Jewish students. Over the past couple of years, the groups have also promoted campaigns to boycott Israel or companies that do business with Israel.”
“The second source of anti-Israel sentiment on campus is faculty. In classrooms and at departmentally sponsored events, faculty members have advanced lies and distortions about Zionism, Israel, and Jews, and advocated the elimination of the Jewish State. …these professors have wrapped themselves in the mantle of academic freedom, making it very difficult to challenge.”
Between Islamists, Neo-Nazis, and the left, once again the Jews are surrounded. 2014 is not an easy time to be Jewish. Was there ever?