May 26, 2024
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We Must Show US Radicals They Do Not Represent the Country

Today’s protesters idolize Osama bin Laden. Professors at our universities espouse these toxic ideologies. This is a malignancy that cannot be allowed to metastasize across our nation.

Last month, a dark truth was laid bare at anti-Israel rallies across North America. As news broke that Iran had launched 300 missiles targeting Israeli civilians, the crowds erupted into cheers and celebration. In that chilling moment, the veil was lifted, revealing the evil underpinnings of these demonstrations.

For too long, we in the West have been lulled into complacency by the guise of “free speech” claimed by these rallies. We must realize that when speech crosses into incitement of violence against others, it is no longer freedom—it is a threat to freedom itself.

The chants of “Death to Israel” signal an assault not just on the Jewish state, but on Western democratic values and America itself. The harassment of Jewish students, and the demonization of Israel on college campuses—this is an attack on our entire civilization.

Bill Maher pointed this out recently when he discussed that pro-Palestinian protesters have already begun to shout “Death to America” on American soil. He referenced a large rally that had taken place in Dearborn, Michigan. Maher said on Twitter, “We’ve passed the Rubicon with chants of ‘Death to America’ on American soil.”

Something has changed with these protests.

 

Reminiscent of 1939 Pro-Nazi Protests

They are reminiscent of the pro-Nazi protest in 1939 that took place in Madison Square Garden and was organized by the German-American Bund. But they weren’t the only such group active at the time. There were also the Teutonia Society, the Hitler Club and the Christian Front. These groups were actively countered by American anti-Nazi organizations, many of which were led by American Jews.

The images of the 1939 rally aren’t looked upon positively by almost anyone now, and the same will be said in the future for those leading these “Death to America” rallies either. Now is the time for Americans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to stand up and counter these hate protests and the groups who lead them once again.

We must not be naive. Looking back at the pro-Nazi rallies that once disgraced American soil, we will similarly condemn those who today praise the genocidal agendas of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime sponsoring them. It’s time to call out these rallies for what they are. These rallies are pro-terrorism. History will judge these rallies of blind hatred harshly.

We cannot allow these radical fringes spewing hatred of the U.S. and Israel to go unchallenged. America and its ally Israel, the Middle East’s lone, passionate democracy, stand on the front lines against the forces of extremism and terrorism.

Today’s protesters idolize Osama bin Laden, the mass murderer of Americans. Professors at our universities espouse these toxic ideologies. This is a malignancy that cannot be allowed to metastasize across our nation.

The Jewish community has been sounding the alarm, and now all who love America’s ideals must join in this righteous struggle. Our nations’ fates are intertwined—an attack on Israel is an attack on the West and its values.

We all need to show the radicals who hate this country that they are not representative of our country and will not be tolerated. We must hold the line, confront those cheering terrorism, and protect the civilized world we hold dear.


The writer, a rabbi, is Aish’s CEO and also serves on the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, as an executive board member of the Rabbinical Council of America, and as a board member of Yeshiva University High Schools and Naaleh High School. Prior to Aish, he was the eastern director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, where he oversaw the Museum of Tolerance in New York City and contributed to the center’s fight against antisemitism.

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