Maybe “Never Again” has just become a slogan, meaningless and powerless. Something that we can mouth to make us feel good, to feel like we are fighting evil and preventing evil. Like the hash tag, Me Too, or the displaying the French flag on one’s social media page after yet another terror attack in France. It feels good to virtue signal. Or at least it does until it becomes too difficult to say anything. Until it becomes too uncomfortable.
So maybe we shouldn’t say anything at all. Why cause trouble, why put ourselves in the possible line of fire. And sometimes speaking out becomes just so darn impossible, particularly when a socially woke, politically correct, repressed victim group gets in the way of our attempts at being brave.
On Tuesday evening, May 18th two Jewish diners at a restaurant in West Hollywood, California were attacked in an obvious hate crime and assault.
As reported in Algemeiner:
“Police in Los Angeles are investigating as possible hate crimes two separate antisemitic attacks on Jews by pro-Palestinian thugs over the last 48 hours.
Jewish diners sitting outside a Japanese restaurant in the Beverly Grove neighborhood on Tuesday night were attacked by several men, some of whom wore Palestinian keffiyeh scarves. At least one of the diners was taken to hospital after being pepper sprayed, though no serious injuries were reported.
Eyewitnesses to the attack said the men had been driving on La Cienega Boulevard in a convoy waving Palestinian flags. They allegedly challenged the diners at a table outside the Sushi Fumi restaurant as to whether they were Jews, leading to an angry verbal exchange. The thugs then climbed out of their vehicles, throwing bottles and yelling antisemitic pejoratives, and proceeded to attack the diners.”
That this is happening in America is beyond shame. America is better than this, a relative safe haven for Jews for over 400 years. Yes, there is a history of discrimination and prejudice. That can’t be denied. However, there hasn’t been any pogroms here, no genocide or holocaust, no forced exile of Jews.
Those are things that happen elsewhere. The violent attacks on Jews occur daily in other parts of the world, they are happening all over Europe, forcing so many Jews to leave, where it is the 1930’s all over again. One needs to read Melanie Phillips latest to to understand the severity of anti-Semitism in Britain. We won’t even speak of France.
But there very ominous signs here at home that no one will speak of. Oh, we will hear the outrage when some neo Nazi lunatic commits a hate crime against Jews, but when we witness the attacks on synagogues in Los Angeles last summer at the hands of BLM thugs or what happened in West Hollywood on Tuesday evening we are met with nothing but silence.
We missed the President’s press conference on the attacks; we missed the remarks by Attorney General Garland and the call for a federal investigation into this hate crime. We certainly missed the condemnation from the floor of the House of Representatives against the rise of Anti-Semitic hate crimes by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Where is the Mayor of L.A.? Where is Governor Newsom? Where are the Hollywood celebrities, cannot even LeBron James send out a tweet in protest? We missed the coverage on the major networks, CNN, the leading newspapers. Perhaps most shameful is that even many of the major Jewish organizations are silent. Nothing. Not a word.
Why the silence? Perhaps is because the West Hollywood attackers are an aggrieved minority, people of color, and cherished members of a “victim class.” So, we must remain silent. To criticize Middle Eastern Muslims and/or their sympathizers of committing hate crimes opens one to calls of racism and ostracization from polite society. We certainly don’t want that.
They are all silent, afraid, they are all cowards. But of course it is much worse than being cowards. Those in silence are aiding and abetting what so often follows. There were many silent in the 1930’s too. And what follows silence in the face of rising evil is something so unspeakable that we must avert our eyes and accept evil. And then we will own it. That is where our silence will take us. And that is why we must; indeed we are compelled to speak out. And make certain that Never Again is not yet another empty slogan.
Michael Finch has spent his life working in the nonprofit field attempting to preserve America’s freedom and liberties. He has been published widely in a number of journals and is a frequent speaker. He is the author of two books of poetry: Finding Home (2015) and Wanderings in Place (2019).