The article in The Jewish Link of September 7 (“Community Security Service and Orthodox Union Join to Enhance Security Awareness”) is a welcome, if belated, response to the explosive increase in antisemitism in America today. Every metric, including federal, state, city, media reports and accounts from Jewish organizations, shows an enormous resurgence of antisemitism recently, including mass shootings in Pittsburgh, California, Jersey City and Texas.
Unfortunately, even after these atrocities, Jewish organizations which are supposed to be our leaders have shown no tendency to organize and react, and have responded very meekly. There have been few, if any, calls for mass protests, demonstrations, marches, or other public expressions of outrage.
Many organizations profess to study and document the problem, issue calls to appeal to reason, try to “educate” the public, and issue countless memos expressing horror at the developments, usually accompanied by appeals for more funding to “fight antisemitism.” Even worse, some of the organizations have adopted political stances and succumbed to leftist agendas, and have cooperated with some of the very groups that are involved in antisemitic activities. Who can forget the infamous declaration of Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, who said, “I will register as a Muslim,” just to spite President Trump on his travel directories? (It is particularly ironic that I am writing this on the eve of 9/11, the anniversary of the worst attack on U.S. soil in history, which was carried out by Muslim terrorists.)
Other organizations, like HIAS, which was a major supporter of Jewish immigrants in the past, have now branched out to global relief. While that in itself is admirable, it dilutes assistance to the Jewish community.
On the local level, and writing from personal experience, a small group of activists in the Highland Park-Edison community was involved (on one side or the other) in a series of public pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel/anti-BDS issues in our area and received little to no support from any local or national Jewish organizations. The only “support” we received was from armed local and state police units who were specially deployed to guard against any violence. Other than that, we were left to fight our own battles with no other help. (See, e.g., Jewish Link October 24, November 7 and December 19, 2019.)
Other “minority” groups may have learned that fighting back by organizing, protesting, marching, and sometimes even violence, have accomplished great results. But not the Jews. The one time in 2,000 years when Jewish resistance produced remarkable results was the fight to establish the State of Israel.
It is against this backdrop that the alliance of CCS and OU is such a welcome development. Hopefully it will produce positive results itself, and more importantly will spur the larger Jewish community to also start organizing to more effectively protest the current wave of antisemitism.