Jews in America and elsewhere, especially young Jews, are ripped of their identity. The Anti-Defamation League illustrates this with a recent quote from an American student: “I used to be more vocal about my Jewishness. I’m worried people will stereotype me and assume I support Israel’s action because I’m Jewish. To prevent this I wrote on my dorm door whiteboard ‘Jews for a Free Palestine.’ “ download (adl.org) A Jewish student in The Netherlands reports Jewish students in Holland wanted to participate in a solidarity event for the Muslim Uyghurs in China, but a professor said “a Star of David next to the Uyghur crescent moon on a banner can’t be tolerated. The Star of David is a symbol of genocidal intentions”. https://www.israelnieuws.nl/post/joodse-studenten-docenten-in-academisch-nederland-vogel-vrij?fbclid=IwAR0X1wzxWxE5rzGlYL0KF7GjNa8cc_LTih_ubJI9-tuks6EWSwLv9lRkApY
In many Western societies, we see a tendency to be Jewish is still acceptable, but only if a Jew turns against Israel, even against Israel’s right to exist. ‘Zionism = racism’ is rapidly becoming the norm. A large social media campaign during the Gaza war last spring had a big effect on this. Celebrities with millions of followers joined the #Free Palestine social media movement TikTok is the epicenter of Israel’s social media war – analyst – The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com). In this campaign, Israel was demonized and labeled as a colonial, child-murdering, racist apartheid state, with no right to exist.
While the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Federations in America correctly acknowledge this as antisemitism, they misdiagnose it as the old antisemitism of prejudices and stereotypes, like classic social antisemitism, that can be combated with education and intercultural dialogue. This understanding is false. Instead, we face a politically motivated information war, driven by the Palestinian movement with the help of its intersectional allies like Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ movement. The aim of this information war is to put a wedge between the United States and Israel, and thereby weakening Israel (and eventually destroying it). War of the words: The social media battleground of Israel-Gaza clashes – The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com). Currently, the Jewish leadership in America does nothing against this.
If the Jewish leadership in America keeps misreading today’s antisemitism as a type of racism that can be combatted with education programs and dialogue, we will lose the War on Israel and on the Jews. We already lost that war in Europe: 60% of Europeans see Israel as the biggest menace to the world, bigger than Iran or North Korea. EU Poll Names Israel Greatest Threat to World Peace | News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW | 04.11.2003 Losing this war in America would be disastrous for Israel and the Jewish people.
The Jewish leadership in America needs to launch a massive campaign on social media and elsewhere, that counters the misinformation about Israel and restores the acceptance of Zionism. This week we light the menorah for Hannukah. We remember Juda the Maccabee winning the war for Jewish independence and restoring the altar in Jerusalem, the heart of Jewish expression at the time. Today, the American Jewish leadership should fight as fiercely as he did for Israel and restore the right to express what is at the heart of Jewish identity today: our love and support for Israel.