Condemning Antisemitism Will Get You Canceled

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Condemning antisemitism can get you canceled

By Melissa Langsam Braunstein | Washington Examiner | July 06, 2021  |

You won’t lose your job for vocally opposing hate. Unless, perhaps, you’re condemning antisemitism.

April Powers, a black Jew, was until recently the chief equity and inclusion officer for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, or the SCBWI. On June 10, Powers posted on SCBWI’s Twitter feed and Facebook page about the “increase in hate speech and random violence against Jewish people,” which the Anti-Defamation League found “more than doubled” in May. Facebook followers were asked “to join [SCBWI] in not looking away and in speaking out against all forms of hate, including antisemitism.”

One SCBWI member “criticized [this post] for not including a comment about Islamophobia and Palestinian discrimination,” stirring a social media storm. Powers apologized, before resigning from the SCBWI. Rather than publicly stand with Powers, her now former boss opted to apologize “to everyone in the Palestinian community who felt unrepresented, silenced, or marginalized.”

Now, it’s worth emphasizing that Powers’s post mentioned neither Israelis nor Palestinians. It referenced only domestic antisemitism’s striking spring surge.

Holly Huffnagle, U.S. director for combating antisemitism at the American Jewish Committee, wrote, “We would have hoped that SCBWI would have called out antisemitism in the same way they rightly and singularly called out anti-Asian hate earlier this year. The different standards against Jews must stop.”

Clear standards are important, so let’s discuss the aforementioned allegation of unacknowledged Islamophobia. Since the NYPD regularly updates hate crime data, let’s review New York’s statistics. Of the 238 hate crimes reported in the nation’s largest city from Jan. 1 through May 30 of this year, 86 targeted Jews. This marked a 37% increase over January to May 2020. By contrast, NYPD recorded one anti-Muslim crime between January 1 and May 30; that’s a 50% decrease compared to 2020. This is all to say, there is no evidence of a spring uptick in anti-Muslim hate crimes in New York (or elsewhere). May was a dangerous month for Jews.

Roz Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs, said in an email, “It is outrageous and makes no sense that organizations condemning rising, violent antisemitism would be pressured to address other forms of hatred at the same time.” That’s true, but as Rutgers now knows, it’s happening. And the more activists see organizations accede to their demands, the more we should expect to see pressure campaigns with maximalist ultimatums.

Back in March 2019, the public saw House Democrats fail to condemn only antisemitism when then-new Rep. Ilhan Omar’s antisemitism was the issue. But this spring, pairing antisemitism with Islamophobia became commonplace, and we should ask: What’s driving the “all lives mattering” of American Jews?

Izabella Tabarovsky, senior associate with the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, believes this “divert[s] attention from the charge of antisemitism and … de-center[s] the Jews. Another [goal] is to build a permanent association between American Jews and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict … to turn American Jews into pariahs.”

For his part, Hussein Aboubakr Mansour, project manager at the Endowment for Middle East Truth, blames identity politics: “Throwing in the ‘Muslim card’ is done to neutralize the ‘Jewish card’ and appropriate victimhood status. … It’s also a passive-aggressive antisemitic assault.”

Notably, woke theology teaches that Jews are privileged oppressors. So, when Jews are literally assaulted on the streets by the Left’s political allies, the incidents become Rorschach tests. Many view Jews as victims, but the woke prefer to intimate that Jews must be the aggressors. As a general rule, leftists don’t blame victims, unless they’re Jewish.

The woke also hope to scare more people into silence. But no one should fear cancellation for condemning antisemitism and actively opposing the professional, economic, and political stigmatization of Jews that is already happening in this nation. Remember that speaking up is not only moral, it’s also patriotic.

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