The New Anti-Semitism
“Anti-Semitism is hostility towards or prejudice against the Jewish people.”
We are fortunate to live in a community which is populated by tolerant people who are overwhelming not anti-Semitic, or for that matter, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT or any other group or religion. In the past, anti-Semitism was assumed to be the province of the radical right, but no more. Nationally there does seem to be a growing tolerance for anti-Semitism on the progressive left.
Let’s examine hate crimes. Using the latest FBI Uniform Crime Reports (2017) on hate crimes, it shows there were 938 hate crimes reported against Jews, 273 against Muslims, and 213 against African Americans. Adjusting for 100,000 population, you get rates of approximately 13.8 against Jews, 7.9 against Muslims and 4.6 against African Americans. Every year, the FBI strives to get more police agencies to report, and in 2017 an additional 995 did. Considering we are a nation of over 327 million, hate crimes are rare, but Jews are attacked at the highest rate. Crimes against Muslims dropped slightly from 2016.
Locally, LBPD reported that in 2017 there were two hate crimes reported to the FBI. One involved four Muslim women who were “covered” and reported eggs were thrown in their vicinity from a moving vehicle while seated at Urth Caffé. The assailant said nothing.
And an African American Republican man was participating in the “America First” protest at Main Beach where a homeless white male who did not like his political views assaulted him. The incident was captured on camera by several news outlets. The suspect was identified and arrested for battery with a hate crime enhancement.
There were no Laguna Beach hate crimes reported in 2018.
The Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement is growing at American colleges and universities. This movement claims it’s not anti-Semitic, but looking at its website, it’s hard to believe it’s merely protesting the treatment of Palestinians. Their unstated goal is making Israel a pariah state. Israel’s Arab population is about 81 percent Muslim. Arabs in Israel have equal voting rights as Jews—it is one of the few places in the Middle East where Arab women may vote. Arabs currently hold 10 seats in the Knesset.
The U.S. House of Representatives has two controversial, arguably anti-Semitic, representatives. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Omar tweeted that support for Israel was all about the “Benjamins” and said that pro-Israel activists were pushing “for allegiance to a foreign country”—a remark that critics in both parties said played into the anti-Semitic trope of “dual loyalty.” That was met with a resolution condemning all hate but not specifically calling out the Congresswoman for her anti-Semitic remarks. This is the same congresswoman who said of 9-11, “Some people did something on 9-11.” For a defense of the congressperson’s remarks, made to a CAIR banquet, see an LA Times article by Michael Hiltzik, which bashes CNN for its coverage of the congressperson’s remarks. The reader can decide if it’s convincing. Speaker Pelosi could not get her caucus to vote on a simple resolution condemning anti-Semitism and Omar. Pelosi had to negotiate with very left members for a resolution condemning just about everything, yet contained no mention of Omar who then voted for it.
Then there is Congressperson Rashida Tlaib. She said she was comforted by what her people, the Palestinians, did to help the Jews in WWII. She seems to not know that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, on November 28, 1941, met with Hitler. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum recounts, “al-Husayni collaborated with the German and Italian governments by broadcasting pro-Axis, anti-British, and anti-Jewish propaganda via radio to the Arab world…”
Where is the condemnation from the left about the congresspersons’ statements or the BDS movement? Where is the outrage year after year about the hate crimes against Jews? The only time it seems to appear is when some horrific incident occurs that the left and the media think they can tie to President Trump, who has a daughter who converted to Judaism, has Jewish grandchildren, and has a Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is one of his closest advisors.
I spoke with Rabbi Goorevitch of the Chabad Jewish Center, who said Laguna Beach is filled with people without hatred in their heart. We agreed that while it is arguable that there is a failure of leadership on this issue in Washington, D.C., we can be proud of our community, Laguna Beach, and the statistics back that up.
So, the question becomes—has our Democratic Congressman, Harley Rouda, stood up to the progressive left?
Emil Monda has lived in Laguna Beach for 25 years with his wife, Michèle, and three sons. He is president of the Laguna Beach Republicans and a member of the Laguna Art Museum Board of Trustees.