Image by Brandon Grasley, via Flickr Creative Commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/brandongrasley/ License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Media reports are full of articles on the documented upsurge in anti-Semitism in traditionally Blue states like New York and New Jersey.
Again in New York: Disgusting groups of thugs attacked 2 more Hasidic Jews https://t.co/wmoihi9y1f
— Roz Rothstein (@RozRothstein) January 2, 2020
🔴 This is what 2019 has been like for Jews in New York.
— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) December 30, 2019
A group of anti-Semites throw a chair of an Orthodox Jew in New York city.
Let's put a stop to this together. we must fight blind hate. pic.twitter.com/eh0Ad6b6CF
— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) December 31, 2019
Orthodox Jews being attacked. In New York. Year 2019.
Also in 2018, 2017 and before.
Now ask yourself this one question:
How come you never heard about these attacks until now?
— Dr. Jake K. Turx, NhD (not an actual doctor) (@JakeTurx) December 31, 2019
The attacks have slowly morphed from street violence to lethal attacks. A Jersey City kosher market was targeted in an attack that left three people plus the two attackers and a police officer dead. Ominously, the year ended with a machete attack on Hannukah service in the Hudson Valley community of Monsey, New York.
So far, the media has been in agreement that the rise in antisemitism was due to white supremacists or white nationalists or something white
But there has been a troubling undercurrent that blames Jews, themselves, for antisemitic attacks
Or, in a unified field theory of antisemitism, Trump and the Jews are to blame.
But it is one thing to have rando politicians and public figures blame Jews for antisemitic attacks, it is quite another to see a major outlet mainstream the idea:
For years, ultra-Orthodox Jewish families pushed out of increasingly expensive Brooklyn neighborhoods have been turning to the suburbs, where they have taken advantage of open space and cheaper housing to establish modern-day versions of the European shtetls where their ancestors lived for centuries before the Holocaust.
WTF? Shtetls? Really?
The expansion of Hasidic communities in New York’s Hudson Valley, the Catskills and northern New Jersey has led to predictable sparring over new housing development and local political control. It has also led to flare-ups of rhetoric seen by some as anti-Semitic.
In small towns everywhere, resentment against newcomers and “outsiders” isn’t uncommon. Proposals for multi-family housing complexes in sleepy communities of single-family homes often trigger fervent opposition complete with lawn signs and rowdy town board meeting crowds.
Yet the tone of the debates over growth in some areas where Hasidic families have been moving has been more intense.
In East Ramapo, there were legal fights after Hasidic voters, who generally do not send their children to public schools, elected a majority of members of the local school board.
Some towns have enacted zoning changes forbidding new houses of worship.
Substitute any other racial or ethnic group in this and read it and see how it sounds.
1 – "expansion" = peaceful urban Jews moving into suburban neighborhoods.
2 – "civic sparring" = anti-Semites upset that urban Jews are moving into suburban neighborhoods.
3 – "recent violence" = violent anti-Semitic acts
4 – "conflict" = future violent anti-Semitic acts.
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) January 2, 2020
Sometimes the tweet is worse than the story. In this case, the story is much worse.
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) January 2, 2020
A nice reminder that a political culture that tells Jews where they can live and that violence is their fault when they move over the line is… having its intended effect.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) January 2, 2020
— Rebeccah Heinrichs (@RLHeinrichs) January 2, 2020
Imagine blaming cross burnings on the expansion of black communities. https://t.co/ha3R1s3kqF
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) January 2, 2020
This is a sick and dangerous point of view!
Jews moving into town is now officially a “conflict” from which emerges “civic sparring”.
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) January 2, 2020
Finally, a solution. Jews, you just have to stop existing and no one will hurt you.
Thanks, NBC! https://t.co/u5bGyHj70r
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) January 2, 2020
Antisemitism is no more caused by Jewish families moving into an area than racism is caused by black families moving into a predominantly white neighborhood. This is what Michael Crichton called a ‘wet streets cause rain’ story, wherein the cause and effect are flipped. The story’s decision to conflate typical old-resident/new-resident conflicts with antisemitic violence seems to be something that Julius Streicher would have been rather proud of accomplishing. You don’t have to support the political goals of any racial/ethnic community to see that physical attacks on that group and seemingly on its right to exist are inexcusable.