Diagnosing – and Misdiagnosing – the rise in Anti-Semitic Attacks In New York

In the last few days, several people in the Progressive media have tried to explain the rise in anti-Semitic attacks, particularly in New York City.  Many seem irresistibly drawn to blaming it on Trump or even on the victimized Jews. They are wrong, of course, but even those who struggle towards a correct answer are still blind to the Progressive elephant in the room.

Some media figures have acknowledged that the perpetrators are neither Trump supporters nor white supremacists. Still they cannot bring themselves to trace the problem to the minority community. For example, Elad Nehorai acknowledges that “the vast majority of the perpetrators over the last two weeks have been black,” but says there’s insufficient data to explain why.

John Sexton rightly calls that a dodge. “[I]n New York, the desire to avoid drawing conclusions has been so powerful that the media for the most part hasn’t even been willing to connect the dots in any way at all.” Sexton observes too that the media have no problem at all connecting the dots when the attacker is a white supremacist.

Others in the media, though, having reluctantly acknowledged that blacks are perpetrators, have moved beyond Trump blaming and are looking at different explanations. Jane Coaston of Vox , for example, notes the toxic anti-Semitism that’s emanated for decades from the Nation of Islam:

Many of these conspiracy theories heard today can be traced to a 1991 book published by the Nation of Islam, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. The book falsely argued that Jewish people were the real force behind the slave trade, and a third volume of the book even stated that Jewish people were secretly responsible for the 1920s rise of the Ku Klux Klan, a famously anti-Semitic hate group.

University of Chicago Dean David Nirenberg, in an interview in the New Yorker, sees the rise in anti-Semitism as a legacy from the ancient practice of Jewish scapegoating that pervaded the medieval Christian world. He too is correct, up to a point.

What both Coaston and Nirenberg leave unstated is a fundamental point: namely, that anti-Semitism is not just infecting urban blacks or Muslim legislators.  Instead, it has been growing perceptibly in the Progressive movement as a whole. To the extent urban blacks tend to be Progressive, their hatred is a microcosm of a growing anti-Semitic political movement.

Historic anti-Semitism arose in large measure out of the scapegoating problem Dean Nirenberg identifies. Local Jewish populations were invariably a minority in other lands and they kept themselves separated from the general population. As such, they were primed to be scapegoats for societal ills, just as Christians had been scapegoats in ancient Rome in the first three centuries anno domini.

By the Medieval era, Jews were forced into only a few professions, including finance and money lending. Influential people indebted to Jewish moneylenders often instigated pogroms as a way to extinguish their debts. It was no coincidence that historic anti-Semitism started to diminish in 17th century Europe with the rise of modern banking and finance.

Today's anti-Semitism is different. It began with Marxism and, after an appalling interval in the land of German fascism, it took root in socialism's Western offspring, Progressivism. To the extent socialism sought to replace both the family and traditional morality with centralized state control, it has hated both Judaism and Christianity because both provide a God-given moral basis for ordering society. As a double-whammy for the Jews, Marx, the son of a Jewish convert, was a self-loathing Jew who inextricably bound Jews to socialism’s nemesis: the free market. And with those socialist roots, you have both the war on Christianity in the West and the anti-Semitic “Cobynization” of  Britain’s Labor and the American Democrat Party.

The Left has seen Islam as an ally in its war. Although it no intends to follow Islamic precepts than it does Judeo-Christian ones, it operates on the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Part of this alliance means tolerating, or even embracing, Islam’s virulent, doctrinal hatred for Jews.

Given this, it’s ironic that American Jews continue to be among the most ardent Progressives in America. Even as blacks are embracing the #Brexit movement that Candace Owens, Kanye West, and other prominent blacks spearhead, Progressive Jews are remarkably resistant to a #Jexodus.

If America is to address the anti-Semitic attacks on New York Jews (or Jews anywhere else that Leftism reigns supreme), it must do more than address Islam's virulent anti-Semitism or the rag-tag remains of pre-modern Christian anti-Semitism. While both those are factors, the problem is much larger and goes to the core of the Progressive movement. Conservatives, both Jewish and non-Jewish, need to call that out.

In the last few days, several people in the Progressive media have tried to explain the rise in anti-Semitic attacks, particularly in New York City.  Many seem irresistibly drawn to blaming it on Trump or even on the victimized Jews. They are wrong, of course, but even those who struggle towards a correct answer are still blind to the Progressive elephant in the room.

Some media figures have acknowledged that the perpetrators are neither Trump supporters nor white supremacists. Still they cannot bring themselves to trace the problem to the minority community. For example, Elad Nehorai acknowledges that “the vast majority of the perpetrators over the last two weeks have been black,” but says there’s insufficient data to explain why.

John Sexton rightly calls that a dodge. “[I]n New York, the desire to avoid drawing conclusions has been so powerful that the media for the most part hasn’t even been willing to connect the dots in any way at all.” Sexton observes too that the media have no problem at all connecting the dots when the attacker is a white supremacist.

Others in the media, though, having reluctantly acknowledged that blacks are perpetrators, have moved beyond Trump blaming and are looking at different explanations. Jane Coaston of Vox , for example, notes the toxic anti-Semitism that’s emanated for decades from the Nation of Islam:

Many of these conspiracy theories heard today can be traced to a 1991 book published by the Nation of Islam, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. The book falsely argued that Jewish people were the real force behind the slave trade, and a third volume of the book even stated that Jewish people were secretly responsible for the 1920s rise of the Ku Klux Klan, a famously anti-Semitic hate group.

University of Chicago Dean David Nirenberg, in an interview in the New Yorker, sees the rise in anti-Semitism as a legacy from the ancient practice of Jewish scapegoating that pervaded the medieval Christian world. He too is correct, up to a point.

What both Coaston and Nirenberg leave unstated is a fundamental point: namely, that anti-Semitism is not just infecting urban blacks or Muslim legislators.  Instead, it has been growing perceptibly in the Progressive movement as a whole. To the extent urban blacks tend to be Progressive, their hatred is a microcosm of a growing anti-Semitic political movement.

Historic anti-Semitism arose in large measure out of the scapegoating problem Dean Nirenberg identifies. Local Jewish populations were invariably a minority in other lands and they kept themselves separated from the general population. As such, they were primed to be scapegoats for societal ills, just as Christians had been scapegoats in ancient Rome in the first three centuries anno domini.

By the Medieval era, Jews were forced into only a few professions, including finance and money lending. Influential people indebted to Jewish moneylenders often instigated pogroms as a way to extinguish their debts. It was no coincidence that historic anti-Semitism started to diminish in 17th century Europe with the rise of modern banking and finance.

Today's anti-Semitism is different. It began with Marxism and, after an appalling interval in the land of German fascism, it took root in socialism's Western offspring, Progressivism. To the extent socialism sought to replace both the family and traditional morality with centralized state control, it has hated both Judaism and Christianity because both provide a God-given moral basis for ordering society. As a double-whammy for the Jews, Marx, the son of a Jewish convert, was a self-loathing Jew who inextricably bound Jews to socialism’s nemesis: the free market. And with those socialist roots, you have both the war on Christianity in the West and the anti-Semitic “Cobynization” of  Britain’s Labor and the American Democrat Party.

The Left has seen Islam as an ally in its war. Although it no intends to follow Islamic precepts than it does Judeo-Christian ones, it operates on the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Part of this alliance means tolerating, or even embracing, Islam’s virulent, doctrinal hatred for Jews.

Given this, it’s ironic that American Jews continue to be among the most ardent Progressives in America. Even as blacks are embracing the #Brexit movement that Candace Owens, Kanye West, and other prominent blacks spearhead, Progressive Jews are remarkably resistant to a #Jexodus.

If America is to address the anti-Semitic attacks on New York Jews (or Jews anywhere else that Leftism reigns supreme), it must do more than address Islam's virulent anti-Semitism or the rag-tag remains of pre-modern Christian anti-Semitism. While both those are factors, the problem is much larger and goes to the core of the Progressive movement. Conservatives, both Jewish and non-Jewish, need to call that out.