So, the incumbent in the Oval Office spoke to the wave of antisemitic actions…
“Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.” [WH]
What’s in here? We “condemn hate and evil,” who doesn’t? The point is not that we don’t like antisemitism, the point is that we should be doing something to stop it.
It might be helpful IF the administration would drop the plan to shift the focus of the Countering Violent Extremism program in the Department of Justice to Countering Radical Islamic Extremism. This was like announcing the to roaches that you’re about to shut the lights off and put the insecticide can back in the cupboard.
Another helpful action would be acknowledging the rise of antisemitic and other hate groups, and the hate is spreading:
“According to the SPLC report, the number of hate groups rose to 917 in 2016 — up from 892 in 2015 — and just shy of the all-time record set in 2011. But “by far the most dramatic change was the enormous leap in anti-Muslim hate groups,” which tripled from 34 organizations in 2015, to 101 in 2016.” [DInc]
The attacks on the cemeteries, the vandalism and arson attacks on mosques, are, indeed, worthy of contempt, but they are also worthy of investigation and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. There are some bits of old fashioned wisdom which are important to this topic, long on currency for their inherent truth.
Remember Granny saying “You are known by the company you keep?” Or, “Birds of a feather flock together?” It’s applicable. If the White House doesn’t wish to appear antisemitic and hateful, then why are the likes of Bannon and Miller in important offices?
Granted that the hate is expanding toward Muslims and Mexicans at present in presidential commentary — however, Jews are right to assume that while discrimination and violence may begin with other groups it will always end with them.
When Granny added, “Actions speak louder than words,” it’s time for the administration to do more than offer “thoughts and prayers,” more than words empty of substantive action, more than an opening comment without a steel fist inside the velvet phrases.