“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Dealing with antisemites is often quite like being Alice in Wonderland. The playing field is in constant flux. Rules change. Seeming enemies find common ground. Every time we call out a bad play the referee comes out with a brand new playbook.
Part of the game is to point out the other side’s antisemitism. The Jews are left in the middle trying their best to stop the hate in this crazy game of keep away. The antisemitism is allowed to soar back and forth over our heads but we are not allowed to interfere with the ball.
Sometimes someone will try to explain to us what antisemitism is so that maybe we’ll stop interfering with their game. Linda Sarsour has tried to tell Jews what antisemitism is along with many other lower profile people. It usually defined by them as not whatever they are engaged in and it is always found on the opposing team. It’s almost always never as hateful as we think. We’re too sensitive. Time to let go of the past!
We can almost be sure that the fringe of the fringe of Jews will be brought out as examples whether they be Naturei Karta or JVP. They will point and say “See?!” , Jews agree with us. No matter that they are such a tiny minority of the Jewish people with views that go against normal decency, the fact is that they have their Jewish supporters and hell, it’s not like they really care what the vast majority of Jews have to say.
I feel like I am sitting at the Mad Hatters tea party when people deny that antisemitism is antisemitism. The chorus of ‘It’s criticism of Israel and that’s not antisemitic” is so loud people can’t hear anything else. It’s how Progressive Fundamentalists are framing the Ilhan Omar debacle. She tweeted about Israel hypnotizing the world, she made AIPAC seem all powerful, she said American politicians have been bought by Israel supporters and she accused American supporters of Israel as being disloyal to the US. None of those comments was about an Israeli policy. None. But gaslighting is an effective way to silence Jews.
The cherry on the cake served at this Mad Hatter tea party came when Democrats decided a resolution against antisemitism was warranted. It should not have been a hard statement to make and yet in the end as my FB friend Ian R Lobell put it, “When faced with antisemitism, suddenly the Left was #AllLivesMatter.
The only thing I know for sure is that I will respond to antisemitism. Silence has never been a friend when it comes to baseless hate. We remember.