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APT takes action where Jewish leadership has lost its way
The recent surge of hostility toward the American Jewish community is becoming harder to deny. More necessary than ever is a competent Jewish leadership, one which understands the threats we face and has a vision to guide and protect the community. This does not exist today.
Today’s Jewish leaders have failed and are failing still. How else can we explain the current situation? The red flags were there almost two decades ago, but Jewish leaders were comfortable and complacent, and were blinded by the cult of “Tikkun Olam” and the lure of “social justice” politics.
America has been a haven for Jews for hundreds of years. Discrimination existed but it faded. And it came without pogroms. Our situation was manageable. Jews thrived in a society based on meritocracy.
Understandably, Jews thought they had built themselves a safe space in America: The Holocaust made antisemitism taboo. The unique American patchwork society made Jews just one more minority among all the others. The left saw the Jews as a special people because of their history of horrific persecution. Their passion for justice for all, especially for the historically marginalized or oppressed groups like African Americans, women, and immigrants, gave Jews star status on the liberal side of America’s house.
The ground started to shift with the radicalization of those historically marginalized communities. Over the last few decades, the progressive movement, in the name of social justice and equality, slowly shifted the ground under America’s feet. It propounded — through media, political, and academic institutions — a new and toxic view of America, one that is rebranding the Jews as un-virtuous. Like the inattentive frogs in that proverbial pot of gradually heated water, Jewish leaders failed to sense the creeping advances of the “new antisemitism.” Now the pot is boiling.
These Jewish leaders, many of whom were in the forefront of the struggle for social justice and equality, were willfully ignorant and in denial. They were conflicted by dual loyalties — to the Jews and to progressive politics — and so they stayed the course as the community sailed into the storm.
The situation worsened with the influx of Arab petro-dollars and Islamist immigrants into our political and educational systems. Establishment Jewish leaders remained silent as anti-Israel influence, funded with billions of dollars, flowed into our leading universities, and more recently into K-12 education. Jewish leadership proudly encouraged Muslim immigration using distorted feel-good “Jewish values” to virtue-signal their moral superiority. They failed to understand the long term consequences of their actions.
They failed to understand the nature and the inevitable animus towards Jews that lies at the heart of identity politics. They glimpse only now that “intersectionality” casts Jews as privileged wealthy “whites,” and supporters of the racist colonial Jewish state that persecutes “people of color.” They forgot the lessons of Jewish history. They seem unfamiliar with the historical experience of how politics is organized against Jews.
American Jewish leaders’ strategy has failed. They want only to fight the old war against the right, the “Nazis.” That would be easier, with few internal divisions, and it would let them remain in the progressive camp. They keep failing to come to terms with the new reality: that their former liberal/left allies have turned against Zionism and Israel, and against the Jews here who support it. They have no alternative strategy. Like deer in the headlights, they seem paralyzed and unable to act, stuck in an outdated paradigm that is no longer valid.
This establishment failure has given rise to grassroots organizations around the country who seek to fill the void. APT is one of these. We understood the tectonic shifts, starting in 2002. We have been fighting to protect our community ever since. We believe that the only way forward is to attack, attack and expose our adversaries.
The ad you see here will run in local Jewish and non-Jewish papers in Boston. It contrasts APT’s record in Boston with that of the Anti-Defamation League. With minor adjustments to fit local circumstances, it could express the same realities in cities across America.
If you contribute to Jewish communal defense, we hope that you will consider supporting our fight.