June 20, 2024
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June 20, 2024
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Jews, Where Are Our Leaders?

It is painfully obvious to every Jew that antisemitism has exploded all over the world. For only a few days after the barbaric Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the world expressed some sympathy for Israel and the Jews, but that rapidly dissipated and was replaced by ongoing and violent pro-Palestinian protests. These are well organized, well coordinated, well funded, and have great public participation. With the leftist, mainstream media spearheading the protests, Israel and Jews worldwide are badly losing the propaganda war.

In view of this, I have one very painful question: Where is our Jewish leadership? There has been virtually no concerted effort on the part of Jewish organizations at any level, national or local, to counteract the continuous, massive pro-Palestinian demonstrations. With few notable exceptions, the bulk of our organizations all issue memoranda decrying the alarming antisemitism increase, along with appeals for more funding to combat this alarming trend. But no concrete plans to actually combat them. Only words and talk. This will not do any good. Since Oct. 7, the only action was a massive rally in Washington in November 2023, which was very effective at the time, but there has been no follow-up and now even this rally has been relegated to the dustbin of history and never mentioned anymore.

Just as Israel was surprised by the Oct. 7 attack, in spite of constant terrorist actions, so too was American leadership surprised by the explosion of antisemitic feeling in spite of millenia of Jew-hatred around the world. Our organizations for years have spent precious time, money and effort in trying to win the support of diverse woke groups, only to have them turn against us under the rubric of intersectionality. These resources would have been better spent trying to coordinate Jewish organizations into a more united front, just as our enemies have done.

One particular sore spot is the perilous situation of Jewish students on campus, who have been left to their own devices with precious little help from Jewish organizations. This is not just Monday morning quarterbacking, as these sentiments have been expressed before.

Today again, in the face of virulent antisemitism which has been the norm throughout our history, Jews are again reverting to their usual response, which is the ghetto mentality — complain but be quiet and don’t do anything to upset the goyim. I have news for my fellow Jews, the goyim are already plenty upset and are again on the warpath to destroy us. Unless we and our leaders do more than just complain and issue meaningless paper memos, but instead actually work to unite the Jewish people in a meaningful coordinated effort, we will suffer the same fate as have so many generations before us. In this connection I am puzzled by the general lack of participation of shul rabbis. They have more personal contact and exert more influence than all the organizations combined, but are rarely involved in public demonstrations. Religious leaders of our adversarial groups don’t seem to have such inhibitions.

In conclusion, the concept of “achdut” has to represent more than just a slogan. It should be a serious rallying cry.

Max Wisotsky
Highland Park
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