by Richard Baehr
The Democratic Party and its leader, U.S. President Barack Obama, have spent several years developing election themes around supposed "wars" directed by Republicans against particular segments of society.
The war talk has served to fire up the base among the groups supposedly under attack, and boost turnout for "progressive" candidates. The most repeated and ridiculous of the war themes is the alleged "war on women," supposedly manifested most recently by challenges to the new contraceptive coverage mandate under Obamacare by owners of businesses opposed to the new mandate on religious grounds.
Other battles in this "war" include Republicans refusing to support "equal pay for equal work" for women workers, though virtually all of the alleged pay gap can be explained as having nothing to do with discrimination: "The [American Association of University Women] has now joined ranks with serious economists who find that when you control for relevant differences between men and women (occupations, college majors, length of time in workplace) the wage gap narrows to the point of vanishing."
There are other wars the Obama administration is fighting at home, now that it has withdrawn from pretty much all the real global conflicts, many of which have become uglier in light of the vacuum created by the increasing absence of an American presence in the Middle East. The recent flare-up in Ferguson, Missouri, after an 18-year-old black man was shot by a white police officer, was used to argue that there is a war in America by white cops against black men. Although blacks comprise only 13 percent of the population, they commit or are the victims in about half of all murders in America, almost all of which are black-on-black murders. Yet blacks represent barely 30 percent of those killed by police. In addition, more than half of the shootings and killings of black suspects were by black police. If anything, one might argue there is a war on white suspects in America, since they are disproportionately killed compared to the number of murders whites commit.
The fake wars dominate media coverage of campaigns, not a surprise, since well over 90 percent of Washington journalists support Democrats according to several surveys, and see their job as a way to advance the causes and candidates they believe in. Nonetheless, there are actual campaigns, if not wars, against groups in America that never see the light of day, and whose various fronts are never connected. One of these, and in some ways, an ominous, and dangerous new development, has been the beginnings of what might be called a war on Jews in America.
Jewish history in America has, by and large, been a very good one, especially compared to the Jewish experience in any other place on the globe at any time (other than modern Israel). Nonetheless, for many years, when the FBI compiles a list of hate crimes by groups, Jews are always atop the list of those targeted for their religion (66 percent of all cases in one recent year, though Jews are only 2 percent of the population). Jews are also targeted disproportionately compared to victims from any other group (blacks, gays, Hispanics).
When three people were shot outside a Jewish community center near Kansas City this year, this confirmed that Jews are targets not only for Middle Easterners or Muslims in America, but also by the far Right. Hating Jews makes for strange bedfellows.
In the last two months, during which Israel's third war with Hamas occurred, the ferocity of hatred toward Jews has risen to unprecedented levels in America. Several pro-Israel demonstrators in various cities were attacked by Muslim counter-demonstrators, with the attacks occurring from coast to coast (Seattle to Boston). In the past weeks, we have these charming incidents:
In New York, a married Jewish couple was attacked with the man (wearing a kippah) beaten by Middle Eastern men who exited cars and motorcycles on the ritzy Upper East Side of Manhattan (the cars were decked out with Palestinian flags), with insults and death threats screamed at the victims.
At Temple University, a Jewish student involved with the media monitoring group CAMERA was assaulted by a student with the group Students for Justice in Palestine, just the latest in a long line of vile incidents associated with this rapidly growing and viciously anti-Semitic organization. Like all groups on campus that target Israel and attempt to shut off debate on the issue, SJP has some Jewish members, which in their eyes may serve to give them a clean bill of health on the anti-Semitism charge. The reality is that the presence of Jewish SPJ members, as well as those in Jewish Voices for Peace, serves to expose how toxic and conformist the Jewish Left has become, with individuals primarily interested in earning the respect of their Jew-hating colleagues for their breaking from the pro-Israel crowd.
In Miami, a visiting rabbi was shot and murdered on Shabbat, following a series of anti-Semitic incidents in the heavily Jewish North Miami area. While there is no suspect in custody nor a motive yet established, local police seem to be hinting it was a botched robbery, though that may be wishful thinking.
Then there was this Los Angles incident, which has been repeated in cities across the county in recent weeks -- where anti-Semitic insults and threats were screamed at Jewish residents.
An American ISIS supporter, now in captivity, threatened to blow up a "Zionist" day care center. In other words, if Jews are part of something, it becomes Zionist, and a target.
The reports of violence directed against Jews in France, the Netherlands, Britain, Belgium, Germany, Sweden and other charming European locales in recent weeks, are not a great surprise. These incidents have been occurring for years, and there were many violent attacks before the Gaza war, especially in France and Sweden. These countries are filling up with Muslims, as immigration continues at high levels, and the birthrate of the native population declines as its population ages. When 16 percent of Frenchmen in a survey this week told a pollster they supported ISIS, that gives you a floor on the real Muslim numbers in the country, not the 10 percent claimed by the government.
American Jews and elected officials have condemned the violence against Jews in Europe, but been very cautious about sounding any alarms in the United States. Obama has not spoken between rounds of golf about any new problem in this area, and Attorney-General Eric Holder is too busy visiting Ferguson and filing lawsuits against communities for racial discrimination or religious discrimination against Muslims to take notice.
The number of Muslims in America has risen by over 50 percent in the last decade to around 3 million, now 1 percent of the population. In 15 years, their numbers are expected to double, given the number of legal immigrants expected during this period based on family reunification or refugee status. With the Jewish population having flat-lined for 60 years at 6 million, the relative political influence of the two groups will change rapidly and converge. The Democrats, the party of minorities, have the winds of demographic change at their back, and will attempt to ride these to dominance in national politics. The concerns of Jewish Americans may become far less critical.
In Europe, the authorities have condemned violence against Jews and enhanced security around Jewish institutions. But when members of the Jewish community warn fellow members even in ostensibly friendlier countries to not "provoke attacks" by wearing kippahs, it is well past time to head for the exits. The authorities and the newspapers will report attacks by "youths," with the ethnic origin of the assailants often withheld. The Europeans are too far down the path in their commitment to the multicultural nightmare they have brought on themselves, that cowardice, denial, and looking away are all that are left as policy prescriptions.
In America, the long history of acceptance of Jews, or at least non-scary secular Jews (evidenced nowhere more than in the high intermarriage rate, the ultimate acceptance test), provides some comfort that there may be some pushback against virulent and violent anti-Semitism. So too, the deluge of illegal immigrants swamping the southern border, nothing if not intended by the White House to create pressure on Congress for immigration reform, or to provide an excuse for executive action ( the law be damned), has also caused growing concern. Many American realize that a country without borders is no longer a self-governing country, and that the wide open borders in recent months not only allow in fleeing Central Americans, but anybody, including potential jihadist attackers.
The creeping growth of a political correctness designed to shield Muslims and their actions has not yet reached a stage where most Americans see it or are impacted. College campuses are of course different, and pro-Israel students will face a very trying year following the Gaza war. Young people were the least supportive of Israel's efforts in the Gaza war in every opinion survey. Coupled with the big money universities are earning by admitting full paying students from the Middle East and opening campuses in the Gulf states, the administration of universities are more than just normally gun-shy about addressing hostility and violence directed toward Jews on campus, mainly by Muslims. They would prefer to think that nothing more than a serious exchange of viewpoints is on display. What is happening on campuses is a warning for where America is headed. And where it is headed is the European model, where Muslim numbers and threats begin to dictate policy, and make Jewish security and safety no longer a given. Call it a war on Jews, if you like.
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