There is a line from the famous work “Man of la Mancha”, that goes “If life itself seems lunatic who knows where madness really lies.” That quote keeps running through my head as I read the news.
- According to the latest FBI tracking, there were more Jewish hate crime victims than victims of all other religious groups combined.
- “...On college campuses, anti-Semitism is spiking at an alarming rate coast to coast,” said Kenneth L. Marcus, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law.
- We are watching a fifth wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers across the country along with Jewish schools and institutions. At least seventy bomb threats have been received in the past few weeks.
- Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated with hundreds of gravestones being toppled and broken.
- Swastikas being carved into cars and painted on walls of homes and institutions.
- Yad Vashem, the international memorial to the Holocaust in Israel, has asked Amazon to stop selling books denying the Holocaust.
Our mentor, Elie Wiesel, taught us that the opposite of love is not hate; the opposite of love is INDIFFERENCE. Where is the outcry from our friends and neighbors? Where is the response from our elected leaders? Where is the religious outrage from faith leaders? Unfortunately, we have seen this all before and the lessons seem to be forgotten.
The Jewish Community has a long and proud record of standing up for human rights for all. When a mosque was burned down in Texas it was the Jewish leadership that gave the keys of the synagogue to the Muslim community to share. That’s what makes this all the more difficult. Where is the outcry from our friends and neighbors? Where is the demand from our nation’s leadership for action? We watched with painful joy, the isolated example of the Muslim community in St.Louis helping to repair a Jewish cemetery that was vandalized, and their good work will never be forgotten. But that example is the exception.
The Jewish Community will not be scared and bullied ever again. Our JCCs will remain open, our schools will not close, and we will not be silent, but it sure would be nice to see others standing with us. Let the haters know they have no place in our society. Show them they have no support. Let the voices of hatred be shouted out by the voices of freedom and democracy.
Abraham Lincoln admonished us, “to sin by silence... makes cowards of men.” Now we will see who the cowards are.