Failed Leadership: The Stabbing of a Boston Rabbi Was Predictable

The Shaloh House in Brighton, Massachusetts, outside of which Rabbi Shlomo Noginsky was stabbed on July 1, 2021. (Google Street View)

Boston’s Jewish “leaders” failed to heed terrorism warning signs

Sadly, despite being warned for years, American Jewish leaders willfully ignored Europe’s lesson. Enchanted by left-wing utopian ideologies which deny fundamental cultural differences, Jewish leaders have ignored the threat of Islamic Jew-hatred. And, they were fearful of risking their liberal bona fides and the cloak of “virtue” it confers. They hoped to charm hostile immigrants who came from the most anti-Semitic cultures in the Middle East with kindness and generosity. They adopted false analogies — “we were also immigrants” and “welcome the stranger” — which confused the community.

The Hub’s Jewish leaders ignored evidence that Muslim leaders and preachers in Boston taught their followers hatred of Jews. Why? Because they were afraid of being called “Islamophobic,” and being canceled by the leftist ideologues.

In a typically weak manner, Boston’s Jewish organizations responded to the rabbi’s stabbing by hosting a “gathering” across from the Jewish school where the rabbi taught. There were fine speeches from prominent public officials. Yet not one speaker referred to the probable cause; not one named the hatred that they all understand must not be named.

Boston’s Jewish leaders are still pretending that the attack on the rabbi is something other than what it is. They rightly pressed for the assault to be labelled a “hate crime”— yet, standing alone, without further elaboration, that term allows them to avoid dealing with what is most likely an Islamist attack on a Jew. For shame!

The Jewish community needs strong and brave leadership. We can only hope that the stabbing of a rabbi becomes a teaching moment for our leaders.

Read Charles Jacobs and Avi Goldwasser’s new op-ed in JNS here.

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