April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Jewish Link Social Media Channels Face Antisemitism

Since the horrific attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 and the seemingly endless news cycle that has persisted since then, I have had the unique privilege of keeping our online community — both on social media and in our WhatsApp groups — up-to-date on the things happening around us. From locals who have bravely re-enlisted or reported back for reserve duty in the IDF to charity drives for those affected by the war, our community has kept the positive content coming. And of course, there has been negative news; Jewish neighborhoods throughout our readership have faced a spike in antisemitism, with anti-Israel rallies and hate that has permeated across the country and on college campuses.

For those that follow us on Instagram or belong to our WhatsApp news update groups, you likely saw me report live from Teaneck High School last week as the students staged a walkout in support of Palestine. I followed this story closely from the beginning, from the moment the students posted to their social media that they were planning this walkout, and did my best to keep Link followers in the loop on Teaneck’s failure to protect Jewish students and hear the concerns of its residents.

Last Wednesday afternoon, students from Teaneck High School participating in this walkout marched down Teaneck Road and Cedar Lane chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” Several members of the Jewish community, scared and shocked that this happened in their own town, sent video clips of this occurrence to me with the intent to warn others. Their worst fear had come true: the walkout, which was deemed “peaceful” by Teaneck’s schools superintendent Dr. Andre Spencer, incorporated slogans that are inherently antisemitic and call for the outright annihilation of Israel.

I myself was shocked. I posted a video of students marching through the heart of Teaneck to our Instagram to highlight the tension and absurdity of that day. Within minutes of sharing, the video went (relatively) viral in both circles — those who opposed and those who supported the walkout. The first set of comments were relatively harmless and as a social media manager, I don’t mind a little discourse on our page. But the comments quickly escalated, with one person calling for a “second Holocaust” and another calling us the “Terrorist Link News.” Some commenters even had the audacity to gaslight us by saying that “From the River to the Sea” is a non-violent chant that does not promote antisemitism.

A later speaker at the Teaneck Municipal Green, Rick Whilby from Englewood, clarified the chant’s meaning: “When we say that Palestine will be free from the river to the sea, it will be free from the river to the sea by any means necessary.” That last part he shouted, to which the assembled responded with cheers and catcalls.

It’s been painful to see how many people are so quick to call for our destruction, and unfortunate that it happens whenever we post a video calling out the ongoing antisemitism in this country. I’ve reviewed each and every comment, deleting and blocking those that incite violence against us in an exhausting exercise of filtering hate. I know The Jewish Link is certainly not the only account to face this and I hope that this social media nightmare ends soon. For my own sake and for the sake of our community.


Channa Fischer is the digital editor of The Jewish Link and the resident 20-something in the office. She resides in Washington Heights.

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