This Isn’t the America of 2010
omething changed in America.
Just as the dawn of the new millennium 20 years ago ushered in the age of terror, the end of its first decade heralded a frightening return to an era of hate, bigotry, and anti-Semitism.
The abnormal has been normalized. The unthinkable has been thought. And the unheard of is heard, and oh, too often. The heartbreaking sight of a line of wide-eyed tots being evacuated has one time too many been led by someone wearing a yarmulke. The world’s oldest hatred, it seems, has taken root too comfortably in the world’s proudest democracy.
The miseducated college student seeking forgiveness for white privilege was taught to bow on the altar of Israel hatred. And abhorrence of the Jewish state, in turn, slid ever so gracelessly into a distaste for the Jewish people.
We’re on the cusp of 2020, and those students have now come of age as your councilmen and senators. They’re no longer freshies or sophomores but judges and cultural icons. But miseducated they remain. The ears that once thrilled at hearing Mearsheimer spin his Israel Lobby theories are now receptive to BDS and Pallywood.
The harsh edge of the Holocaust that washed away the genteel bigotry of the country clubs has now become soft and wizened to a new generation. Jews have been beaten and taunted on the streets of Brooklyn and Ramapo. The black hat has become a target for the grisly knockout game. The swastika has become the graffiti of choice at train depots and on park benches.
The past few years saw village mayors and county executives openly plot at public hearings how to keep the hasidics out. Zoning laws and safety procedures, fire codes and building regulations have become tools to marginalize Jews. Even the human rights law, conceived in the ashes of World War II, has become our enemy.
And always with excuses. The old allegations that Jews are the powers behind capitalism and communism have given way to new terms and old discriminations. Jews want to take over the town council. They want control over the school board. They’re the landlords gentrifying the neighborhood and the scruffy neighbors cramming ten kids into a house and causing traffic congestion.
And the online crowd is cheering them quietly, if profanely, on. News articles about Jews attract the most vicious scribes using the most colorful language in the comments section. The blogs of the aughts are now the Facebook and Instagram pages of the teens but the content has not matured.
V’haKadosh Baruch Hu matzileinu m’yadam. Only the Creator can save us from their hands.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Issue 790)
Oops! We could not locate your form.