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The Antisemitism Pandemic

For the first time in over a year, many of us now feel like we can see around the bend of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, most especially that many of our children can get vaccinated, and that we can safely get together with friends, and family members, our sense of relief has grown. Light is emerging from around the corner. The plague that upended our lives appears to be ebbing. Just as we wearily begin to emerge from the shadow of this plague, another grows in ferocity.

Antisemitism has once again emerged with a renewed strength that caught many off guard. Whereas several years ago we saw its ugliness, and violence, emanating from the right, now it confronts us from the left. Let me be clear. Anti-Zionism easily morphs into violent antisemitism. Hatred of Israel quickly becomes antisemitic. The evidence lies before us—be it at a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles or a synagogue in New York. It is now especially incumbent upon those who call themselves liberal, progressive or Democrat to call out the antisemitism growing from within their ranks.

People always prefer to say, “Look at how bad they are,” rather than “Look at how we have gone wrong,” or, “Look at what we have allowed to fester.” People always prefer to point accusatory fingers at those who stand on the other side of the aisle while making excuses for those who share their political commitments. This is not how we must reckon with such a plague. Call out those who traffic in antisemitic tropes. Make clear that these most recent attacks on Jews, and Israel, are irreconcilable with liberal, progressive and Democratic values. This is what is called for at this moment and in this hour.

Of course, there are legitimate criticisms of Israel’s policies and Israel’s government...