Let me be clear - Antisemitism in America is beyond out of control.
The levels of hatred directed at Jews, anti-Israel and anti-Zionism bias have never been higher in this writer's lifetime than they are today.
This writer also thinks, no - knows, it’s time to take a different approach and to go on the offensive.
In June of 2019, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) reported that hate crimes in Gotham surged 68% - from 2018 to 2019.
- Of the 184 hate crimes reported in 2019, 60% of the hate crimes targeted Jews.
- Of the 111 hate crimes reported in 2023 through March 31st, 60 of them or 54% were committed against the Jewish community.
Robert Kraft’s recent national antisemitism campaign reported that while Jews make up only 2.4% of the American population, we are victims of 55% of religious based hate crimes in the United States.
These numbers are in line with the hate crime statistics in the Empire State's largest city.
Unfortunately, the situation hasn’t improved since 2019 if anything, it’s gotten far worse.
From the streets of New York to Philadelphia to Miami to Los Angeles - to social media platforms - to the halls of Congress - Jews are being targeted because of our religion!
- We are harassed because of our values and support for Israel.
- We are physically attacked at record levels.
The monsters who come to kill Jews in our shuls or draw swastikas on our playgrounds, schools and community centers; or those who spew vile hatred for the State of Israel while accusing Jews of having "dual loyalties" have a unified approach.
Yet, we as Jews don't seem to have a unified message against antisemitism, and that's combined with an ostrich strategy that many leading Jewish organizations engage in.
Ostrich strategy being that of choosing to ignore what’s happening around the country and not utilizing their powerful platforms to raise awareness and to fight back against the Jew haters.
This writer recalls a situation in his hometown of Philadelphia, in 2017, when someone spray painted "F**k the Jews, Die Now" on the sidewalk of a popular public park.
I saw it, immediately snapped into action by taking a photo, posting that photo on social media, calling on city officials to clean it up immediately, as well as to utilize cameras to find the monster(s) who traffic in antisemitism.
After doing this, I received a phone call from the local executive director of a Jewish non-profit and the gist of the call was me getting yelled at for taking a public approach to this instead of just quietly resolving it and moving on.
I wanted my fellow Philadelphians to know what antisemitism looked like, this non-profit didn’t want that!
I will never forget that 2017, when a fellow Jew was telling me to pipe-down about raising awareness about antisemitism.
Ostrich strategy doesn't work, on or with anything. It consistently fails, every time.
This writer doesn't personally care if you are on the right or the left, Sephardi or Ashkenazi, Observant or non-Observant.
If you are Jewish, you’re Jewish and you need to step up to the plate to fight back against antisemitism nationally.
We must unite as Jewish-Americans in the fight against antisemitism, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and the toxic anti-Israel climate on college campuses around the country, as well as in the halls of Congress.
When those with hatred in their hearts toward Jews walk into a shul to murder us, they don't care about our age, or our political beliefs.
They are coming after us because we are Jews. It's that simple.
It should be "that simple" for us as Jewish Americans to unite together with one voice to condemn and combat antisemitism everywhere.
We must push back against elected officials who think that it's appropriate to loosely use terms like "concentration camps" and "Never Again" or those who label Israel as an "Apartheid Nation."
We must condemn and confront individuals such as Rep. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, D-Minn., who choose to question the dual loyalty of Israeli-Americans and Jewish-Americans, but not people of any other heritage in America.
Why doesn’t Rep. Omar accuse Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans and Chinese-Americans, and others, of possessing a dual loyalty?
We must condemn and confront individuals such as Rep. Rashida Harbi Tlaib, D-Mich., who openly advocate for boycotts against the State of Israel.
When individuals support a movement that boycotts the world’s only Jewish nation while ignoring the vast human rights abuses from many other countries globally, that's antisemitism.
We must come together with one voice to loudly proclaim that antisemitism has no place in American politics. Full stop. We need to shift from defense to offense.
In my new role as the Executive Director of CASEPAC, I will be leading the charge to go on offense both behind the scenes and out in front in the media.
The time is now for a different approach to combating antisemitism in Congress - one that takes the fight directly to the doorsteps of anyone who traffics in antisemitism and to hold them accountable in the media for their words and actions.
I say again, the time is now to double down on our efforts and to fight harder than we ever have before. Our future is at stake.
The stakes have never been higher and our efforts have never been more needed like they are today. We can no longer afford to hesitate.
Bryan E. Leib is the Executive Director of CASEPAC, the nation’s only Political Action Committee dedicated to combating antisemitism everywhere. He is the former Executive Director of the Iranian Americans for Liberty and a former GOP Congressional Candidate. He tweets at @BryanLeibFL. Read More Bryan E. Leib Reports — Here.
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