July 13, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 13, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Jewish Communities Must Organize to Project Stronger Response in Face of Attacks

The letter by Hindy Kierman, “Protecting Ourselves from Anti-Semitism,” July 2, 2020, touches on a very important point rarely if ever discussed in the Jewish community, that of self-defense. In early biblical times the Israelites’ escape from Egypt and the Maccabee uprising were examples of Israelite successes, with divine intervention to be sure, but the Jews also had to do their part. However, in the long tragic history of Jewish existence since then, we have been subjected to innumerable periods of killings, slaughter and oppression, including the Crusades, Inquisition, pogroms and the Holocaust. During all these nightmarish times there have been few if any instances of self-defense, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising being a rare exception.

Israel, of course, represented a major breakthrough. Even before it was established as a state, most, if not all kibbutzim, moshavim and Jewish enclaves in the Yishuv, had some form of self-defense group. These bore the brunt of the initial battles before and during the early days in the War of Independence. They were eventually amalgamated into a national force, first the Haganah and then the IDF. If it wasn’t for the initial defense and subsequent powerful military force that Israel maintains in the face of continual, unrelenting assaults by Arab forces, the history of Israel may God forbid have a very different outcome.

This brings us back to American Jewry and Hindy Kierman’s letter. By now we are all aware of and continually bemoan the rise in anti-Semitism and the lack of any meaningful response. Almost all of our major Jewish organizations are completely inept at countering this rise. Sadly, most of the organizations have become politically, not Jewishly oriented, and even support and ally themselves with the very groups responsible for the rise in anti-Semitism. This can only lead to disaster for the Jewish community in America.

The message here is that local Jewish communities must begin forming individual self-defense groups and hopefully these can start coalescing into a national presence with more clout than just writing letters of protest.The pen may be mightier than the sword, but not when you’re being attacked.

Max Wisotsky
Highland Park
Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles