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August 22, 2017 4:40 pm

Has the Heat of Worldwide Antisemitism Become Too Hot for the Jewish People?

avatar by Gabriel Groisman / JNS.org

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The scene in Charlottesville. Photo: Twitter.

JNS.org – The stinging heat of antisemitism is being felt around the world. Whether you live in Miami, Rome or Santiago, the goosebumps we all got when we heard the chants of the white supremacists in Charlottesville — “Jews will not replace us” — are the same.

Similarly, the lump in my throat when I learned that the pedestrians who were mowed down in Barcelona last week were standing outside two kosher restaurants is the same feeling that was felt by Jews in Brussels, Sydney and Toronto.

These feelings have reminded me of Robert De Niro’s character in the 1995 movie, Heat. In that film, De Niro’s character famously says that you have to be ready to drop everything and leave if you feel the “heat” coming around the corner. With the heat index of antisemitism on the rise, we must ask: Is it time for Jews to drop everything and move to the Jewish homeland of Israel?

In 2015, then-Vice President Joe Biden said that the only country in the world that can guarantee the safety of the Jewish people is Israel. Biden received a lot of criticism for that comment. American Jews felt slighted and concerned. Yet I believe that he was absolutely correct. As Biden said, “No matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States … there’s only one guarantee. There is really only one absolute guarantee, and that’s the State of Israel.”

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A clear look at today’s political landscape shows that this is true, especially because of the resurgence of antisemitism on both sides of the political spectrum. On one side, there is the “progressive” movement’s aggressive and antisemitic support of boycotts of Israel, often revealing that anti-Zionism is a thin veil for classic antisemitism. On the other side, we saw that the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville was filled with Nazis and white supremacists. None of this is new.

At the same time, another source of “heat” is the cheapening of Jewish life in mainstream society. This may seem like a bold, inflammatory statement — but it doesn’t make it any less true.

For example, in January 2017, a group of people were patiently standing on a pedestrian promenade in Israel. A truck came barreling down the street, veered intentionally up the sidewalk and ran right over the group, killing four and injuring 15. The driver was then shot as he was reversing the truck to try and kill more people.

Yet since this terrorist attack took place in Jerusalem, the BBC covered the story with a headline that read, “Driver of lorry shot in Jerusalem after allegedly ramming pedestrians, injuring at least 15, Israeli media report.” This is not just one news outlet. This is not just one incident. This is the new trend in the international media, including in the United States.

Therefore, one must ask: is the value of Jewish life beginning to diminish yet again?

This brings me back to my initial question: Has the proverbial heat of antisemitism reached a level dictating that Jews should pack their bags and move to Israel?

As a patriotic American citizen — and as the mayor of an amazing US municipality — I believe that the answer for Jews in the US is “no.” America is still a very safe country, where the government — at every level — protects the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, including Jews.

I know that in my municipality of Bal Harbour, and throughout the US, most in the Jewish community feel safe and are thriving. In fact, the Jewish people have never lived a safer and freer existence — outside of Israel — than we have in the US during the last century.

Despite this reality, and given the lessons of history, it is imperative for Jews to always ask the question: Am I still safe here?

Jews around the world cannot be blind to the reality surrounding them. We cannot ignore the rising heat levels of the past several years. We must keep our eyes wide open, even if we live in what seems to be a paradise. The rise of antisemitism must be fought without hesitation and without equivocation — whether it comes from the left or the right. Antisemitism cannot only be challenged when it is politically convenient. We must never again allow antisemitism or any form of racism to become tolerable in our society.

Gabriel Groisman is the mayor of Bal Harbour, Fla. Follow him on Twitter: @gabegroisman.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • zyggy

    UNTILLL HUMANS CAN “GRASP” what ETHICS MEANS !!!! THE RESPECT TO THE OTHER!!! simple.. RESPECT YOURSELF AND RESPECT THE DIVERSITY:: !! ISNT it ENOUGH CLEAR!””

  • Mordechai

    As history has shown things can change in a heartbeat.

  • robert Davis

    Jews are far too sensitive to the medias and this is why the latter take the advantage and blame Israel for everyhthing that happens on the planet to weaken Israel. To make believe the “heat is too much for jews” is not only a lie but another pressure to increase the heat. There is no economic space ie opportunities in Israel for millions of jews who would be unemployed if they all migrate to Israel. These jews are far more useful even to Israel in europe and America than if they migrarted to Israel. Stop spreading panic with this kind of pr.

    • bertha yellowfinch

      Sensitive? Baloney. Their behavior is the problem.

  • Joseph Feld

    ‘This is the new trend in the international media.’ For the BBC and media like Haaretz, The Guardian and the NY Times this is hardly a new trend ! The human rights issues in the 54 Muslim majority states get less attention than so-called ‘apartheid’ Israel. The dozen or more occupied countries get less attention than the disputed West Bank, part of the Palestine Mandate for the Jewish national home. When did you last see media coverage of occupied or disputed South Ossetia, Transnistria, Northern Cyprus, Gibralter, Tibet, Falklands, Kurdistan, Kabylia, Western Sahara, Crimea, Eastern Ukraine. . . .

  • Abelardy

    We don’t have to run in America. Thank G-d. But, in France and parts of the EU, leaving is a serious option.

  • Efram Paul

    Just one clarification. If you say the blatant and unrelenting antisemitism of the lame stream press is new, what do you consider new? This has been going on for at least a decade.

  • Yale David Rodman

    Mayor Gabriel Groisman writes a cogent article and has great insight. I read on terror, Islamic fundamentalism, and especially since Charlottesville, on far left anti-Semitism more and more. However, this pice by an American city mayor brings home the message to me suddenly that i had thought about only in the back of my mind—I need to contemplate and be ready, even here in America, to pack of and leave quickly whenever the “heat” comes down too heavy—which may be sooner rather than later.
    Mayor—you’re right. Think, see it clearly from the left, from the right, and from right down the middle— and stay ready to rock and roll outa here.

  • As long as the US Constitution is in effect, American Jews are safe. The future is uncertain, and there’s no guarantee American Jews will always be safe. Why ask, “Am I still safe here?” It’s time for Jews to plan now for a successful Aliyah.

  • fiddlergene

    The brownshirts are coming, it’s just a question of when.

  • drrne

    The idiots were chanting “you will not replace us” NOT “Jews will not replace us.” Watch the video and listen. No reason to make their behavior more particular or awful than it is to score political points.

  • solange9

    Unfortunately, safety is one thing that can never really be absolutely guaranteed. Jews are not safe in Israel either. We also cannot ignore that fact. They are targets there as well, and, often, the Israeli government even favors what the Arabs want over its own Jewish citizens with actions from removing metal detectors, land giveaways, forcibly removing them from their land, as in Gaza, and demolishing their homes. What is the point of having a Jewish state if it is ruled by Arab demands? So, unfortunately, today, with the world growing smaller and smaller, there is just no longer any place to hide. Safety is never a given or a guarantee anywhere for anyone.

  • pocounpoco

    If Jews want to be safe in the US they had better stop supporting candidates who will bring in more and more muslims. They had also better start fighting against the left-wing and muslim academics on college campuses across the country. Lastly, they had better learn to defend themselves and to not have to rely upon others.

  • rulierose

    speaking of “being blind” to the problem: I am seriously tired of this equivocation of left-wing and right-wing antisemitism, which seems to me to be driven 99.9% by Trump-hatred.

    the handful of neo-Nazis in the country are roundly despised and laughed at; nobody takes them seriously. they have NO power, and I see no indication that they are responsible for much (if any) antisemitic violence these days.

    on the other hand, left-wing antisemitism is EVERYWHERE. on college campuses, in professional academic organizations, in the platform of Black Lives Matter, at the NYTimes and BBC, at the State Department, in the Obama administration, in the Democrat Party.

    do these people have power? oh, you betcha.

    so while we don’t like to see any antisemitic activity anywhere, let’s stop pretending that white-power losers are a threat and but the entire force of the Democrats and the media are not.

  • epaminondas

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2acc50de88f37afca5e6bc92fa62aff3814adbd9e1e2abf24b73ac15552b61a0.jpg
    SSDD 2500 years.
    Europe is unsafe, but has been since at least 1191.
    Here in the USA these creeps have been on the wane since the 1920s. In Boston a week after Charlottesville, there were several score of them and 40,000 counter protesters.

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