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Thursday, June 04, 2020

The Los Angeles Pogrom That No Jewish Organization Will Talk About

After the end of Shavuot, the holiday in which Jewish people joyfully commemorate the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, the Jewish community of Los Angeles concluded it by the new ritual of going to clean off the hateful graffiti from their houses of worship while picking up the broken glass from the black nationalist and radical leftist night of broken glass in Los Angeles.

One small business owner described a "late Saturday night with people driving down the Fairfax district streets screaming, 'effing Jews'".

At the latest count, at least 5 synagogues in the area were vandalized, as were three Jewish schools.



One would think that the hateful vandalism of 8 Jewish institutions and a mob screaming slurs after trashing Jewish businesses would lead to some sort of meaningful response. But that would be the optimistic perspective of people who haven't experienced the unmitigated level of cowardice and appeasement that comprises Jewish institutional life at virtually every level.

In June, my inbox has been littered with missives from assorted Jewish organizations, institutions, and even, shamefully, synagogues, some good and some bad, wringing their hands over George Floyd's death, and timidly condemning violent responses, while failing to mention the racist attacks on Jewish businesses and institutions by supporters of the anti-Semitic Black Lives Matter group.

While a few national organizations condemned the "F___ Israel" and "Free Palestine" graffiti on one synagogue, that has been the extent of it. Not only the Reform and Conservative movements, but the Modern Orthodox movements have largely remained silent about the defacement of synagogues and the destruction of Jewish businesses. The OU press office put out a release which mentions racism four times and the vandalized synagogues and businesses not at all.

The Rabbinical Council of America put out a press release describing Floyd's death as a "murder" while claiming to "stand together with all who fight racism, bigotry and hatred." Perhaps the RCA could also take a minute to stand with their Jewish brethren.

Major synagogues in the Los Angeles area have piously condemned racism, but not the hatred that defaced synagogues and schools. Many of those synagogues belonged to people from outside their community, but their solidarity, which reaches to a dead ex-con in Minneapolis, can't seem to stretch far enough to touch the Moroccan and Haredi Jews who suffered in the riots.

Generic condemnations of violence are not enough. Not only have Jewish organizations failed to call out the anti-Semitism of Black Lives Matter, they've effectively jumped on to its hateful cause. And they have maintained a hushed silence about the devastation wreaked on the Jewish community.

The same folks lecturing us on the dangers of remaining silent in the face of hate are silent when the hate is directed toward Jews. That is the sad legacy of American Jewish civil rights activism which fights anti-Semitism by joining together with anti-Semites to fight racism. A mere 70 years of folly isn't all that much when you're thousands of years old. But it ought to be enough. Let it be enough.

You don't fight anti-Semitism by running away from it. And certainly not by running toward it.

The purpose of fighting anti-Semitism isn't to defeat an abstract hatred. That's the dead end of fighting racism. It's to maintain our own rights and dignity. That's not a privilege we've always had.

But we do now.

Decency and self-respect alone compel us not to remain silent. And if we do remain silent, while chanting the cause of those who vandalized our houses of worship and shops, we will have neither decency nor respect. We will have become as contemptible in our own eyes as we already are in the eyes of the Black Lives Matters pogromists who did this knowing that there would be no response.

Fighting anti-Semitism doesn't mean launching educational programs. It means, as Mordechai told Esther, "If you remain silent now, salvation will come to the Jews from some other place, and you and your father's house will perish."

All those many generations ago, the Jews faced genocide because one stubborn old sage refused to take a knee before a brutal thug and abandon the aspirations of his people.

 A Jewish organization or synagogue that takes a knee before brutal thugs and refuses to speak up when Jews are attacked is not worthy of claiming to speak for Jews. It is not worthy of Jewish support or loyalty. I, personally, will not donate to any Jewish organization or synagogue that sends me a George Floyd letter, but says nothing of the pogrom in Fairfax. I encourage you to do the same.




UPDATE: The official Young Israel statement condemns both Floyd's death and the attacks on synagogues. 

An excerpt...

We believe that peaceful demonstrations are a foundation of our democracy. Hatred and violence are abhorrent behaviors that have no place in our society, and we commend the family of George Floyd for issuing a public call for peaceful protests in the wake of his heartbreaking death. Accordingly, we also believe that violent demonstrations and wanton attacks on businesses, including African American-owned establishments, are immoral and illegal, and we were shocked to learn about the murder of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn, an African American who was killed while trying to protect a local store from violent demonstrators. 

 We are also outraged that the vandalism and violence that we have seen over the past several days included attacks on synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses, some of which were defaced with anti-Semitic messages. Just like the police force needs to be restructured to eliminate hate, it is crucial that those who are demonstrating peacefully make it clear that there should be no expressions of violence and anti-Semitism by any protestor in the context of the demonstrations. Fighting hate with hate is reprehensible and counterproductive, and we therefore support the efforts by law enforcement to maintain order, prevent looting, and end the violent demonstrations.

I don't agree with everything in the YI release, but I applaud them as the first Modern Orthodox organization which, to my knowledge, has commented on the attacks on synagogues and Jewish stores. I obviously also applaud the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) for its leadership in standing up for Israel and the Jewish community.



UPDATE 2:

The Conference of Jewish Affairs and Rabbi Aryeh Spero issued a statement condemning Black Lives Matter antisemitism and the attacks on Jewish institutions and shops. Here's an excerpt.

“We at the Conference of Jewish Affairs are appalled and angered by the wanton destruction that rioters in the Los Angeles area have wrought on Jewish synagogues, institutions, and shops in the significant Jewish area along Fairfax.  Much of the destruction and defacement of these Jewish synagogues and stores is deliberate and targeted acts of anti-Semitism.
“We have known for years that Black Lives Matters is an abhorrently anti-Israel and anti-Jewish organization.  This anti-Semitism has trickled down from Black Lives Matters into large segments of those rioting. 
“We are bewildered by the lack of any condemnation from the major Jewish organizations in Los Angeles or around the country against these willful acts of anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews and Israel.  It seems that for many Jewish organizations the cause of Black Lives Matters is more important than the safety and dignity of Jewish institutions and individuals.  Once again, multitudes of Jewish people are being asked to sacrifice their safety and dignity in behalf of causes the Jewish leadership deems more important." 

This is a very strong statement that condemns the root hatred of Black Lives Matter while condemning the silence around the attacks on synagogues and shops.


UPDATE: Agudah probably has the strongest statement on the subject.


We are also greatly saddened by the frightening scenes of innocent bystanders and store owners under siege, threatened by violence and mayhem, and facing the prospect of lost livelihoods and uncertain futures. We are deeply distressed, as well, by the looting and vandalism that included assaults and provocations against citizens and law enforcement officers sworn to keep the peace and ensure the safety of our citizens. 
So, it is at this very moment that we remember our Torah’s admonition that it is precisely by extending compassion, empathy, and understanding to the strangers, friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens in our midst – regardless of our racial or ethnic backgrounds – that we will be shepherded safely through these troubled times, and at all times. That it is by feeling the pain of others and building a sense of community that we will merit Heaven’s healing and unifying embrace.

Let us commit ourselves to that. And, in doing so, we pray that the Merciful One will guide American society and its leaders to ensure the rights and safety of all citizens. May peace among, and respect for, all sectors of American society emerge from this national trauma.

29 comments:

  1. Anonymous4/6/20

    I’m sending this to everyone. This very thing has been making me sick to my stomach.
    A.S.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I honestly don't understand how long it will take for Jews in LA and elsewhere to realize they're getting a proverbial kick in the tuchus. They really need to wake up already.

    יהודים באמריקה, תתעוררו כבר! / American Jews, Wake Up Already!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Alicia4/6/20

    Magnificent, thank G-d that ONE Watchman at least is honest, brave enough to tell the world what the Sheol is going on in L.A
    For Jew, read Christian as well.
    Only hope and pray that the wonderful true black churches of America( knew the Oakland ones, fantastic) will rise to rescue the rest of f us, best as they can.
    Both of our faiths need to get studying Hosea, Amos and Micah, even Jonah. Israel went in 722 BC, these blokes documented it. Nothings changed. We are all Israel now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Mr. Greenfield,
    Please adjust your characterization of the protesters as only leftists. There was documentation of White Supremacist groups who were posing online as leftists and calling for violence. I think it is imperative that you acknowledge that members of the alt-right are equally as responsible for the antisemitic violence and “pogroms” that took place in LA this past week, and that they all need to be identified. Singling out so-called leftists only is not accurate and leads to a lack of accountability on the side of Trumpers and the alt-right. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/06/02/tech/antifa-fake-twitter-account/index.html

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of the Antifa Twitter accounts are fakes. No one should take them at face value. Particularly local Antifa accounts.

      The Boogaloo folks seems to be somewhat active, but even assuming a degree of involvement by the alt-right, which prefers to stick to Twitter, the vast majority of this stuff is being done by BLM, assorted white lefties, and random thugs

      Delete
    2. kathy6/6/20

      Marcia, With all due respect you had me until you wrote Trumpers, which implies all Trump supporters.
      We are talking about extremes on either side, that must be kept clear.
      Thank you

      Delete
    3. Marcia,

      As a Gentile who has personally observed anti-Semitism while teaching at UC Irvine, I can assure you that while certain white nationalists, KKK-types and extreme right wingers are involved in anti-Semitism, they do not make of the majority. Today's anti-Semitism is mostly driven worldwide from Islamic quarters. The campus problem has been exacerbated by the pro-Palestinian lobby.

      It must also be added that there is a strain of anti-Semitism which is found within the black community-not all, of course- but it is a problem that more black leaders should confront. Today, the radical, hateful elements within the black community have linked arms with the pro-Palestinian/Islamic anti-Semites.

      I would encourage you to look into the situation with Jews today in Europe, where they are afraid to walk the streets in Jewish garb. They are being victimized by the Jew-hating Muslim immigrants, the same characters who are causing a myriad of problems in Europe.

      It is very convenient for so many rabbis and Jewish leaders to link arms with Muslim leaders and decry the supposed "anti-Semitism' of Trump and those who voted for him while ignoring Muslim anti-Semitism, which is inscribed in Muslim religious teachings and texts. I attended such an event in January 2017 at a Jewish synagogue in Newport Beach, where Jews, Christians and Muslim leaders decried the anti-Semitism of white nationalists, and Trump supporters, but not one word was said about Islamic anti-Semitism and no questions on that topic were allowed to be raised. I know because I tried.

      As usual, Jews are getting it from all directions, and it is all to be condemned. But how can you confront a problem when you are afraid to identify the biggest perpetrators?

      Delete
  5. Anonymous4/6/20

    Based on first hand accounts I received there was not an anti-Jewish feeling to even the looting. The Jewish neighborhood is in a prime area surrounded by boutique shops and many of the protestors parked on Jewish blocks and were schhmoozing with Jews before and after. I am sure shoowners whose stores were looted were angry but the people on the ground do not feel Jews were targeted more than anyone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. I'm on the ground

      2. There's eyewitness testimony of anti-Semitic behavior quoted above. And the vandalism of shuls speaks for itself.

      Delete
  6. Churches were burned as were many small businesses owned by people of all stripes. Let's not make this about us Mr. Greenfield. Now is not the time to compare the length of our scars. This moment in history is for those minorities oppressed by a racist, hateful system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a piece today on the attacks on churches and synagogues around the country

      https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/06/god-dead-leftist-rioters-vandalize-churches-and-daniel-greenfield/

      Including at least one black church.

      That said, if the Jewish community is to stand anything, it's for solidarity with its own. If it doesn't, it's nothing.

      "This moment in history is for those minorities oppressed by a racist, hateful system."

      Minorities are not oppressed by a racist, hateful system. Those who believe that are the ones doing the oppressing.

      That's what this piece is about.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous4/6/20

    Sort of hard to take Mr Greenfield seriously that he's arguing in good faith when he has a whole blog dedicated to bizaare memes about Obama and statements about his muslim affiliation as well as other weird stuff on race http://obamaphotoshopped.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you need to take me seriously in order to condemn the vandalism of synagogues and Jewish businesses?

      Delete
  8. Anonymous4/6/20

    Let’s confront the obvious. Of dozens of racial,
    ethnic, linguistic, religious groups, only blacks
    and muslims can’t/won’t distinguish between lawful
    protest and rage filled aggression against lives
    and property.

    Islamic action originates from doctrine. Instigation
    of black wilding may be by Leftists, Grifters, etc.
    Leaders are rarely found and punished.

    Of course, injustice against any person is anathema
    to American culture. Equally, no leniency for riots,
    violence and looting to these or any group.

    Charlie

    ReplyDelete
  9. I realize that I'm connected here by my unused blogs but, I'm not sure how to change that (Yeah, I'm an Okay Boomer), so I'll just post my Facebook URL if anyone cares...
    https://www.facebook.com/george.m.murray.5

    I thought I might add what I wrote late last Saturday night:

    Life is Beautiful All the Time!
    It was a lovely Yom Tov - our two day Yom Tov, the Jewish holiday of Shavuous, was on Friday and Shabbos - here in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
    The sun was shining most of both days and the temps were in the high sixties, comfortable and just about right for finally getting outdoors…
    The shul (our synagogue) was open for davening (prayer) for the first time since the pandemic started with different minyanim (groups of at least 10 men) in different rooms, all social distanced and masked – or so I heard as I was not allowed to go!
    They told me I was too old! Just another clear case of ageism in our society! Oh, the injustice! Attica! Attica! Atti…. What…?
    Sorry. Been having these weird flashbacks for some reason.
    However - I did manage to convince my eishes chayil (my wife; a true woman of valor) to come out for a walk with me for the first time since Before Passover! We walked around the block in our beautiful neighborhood and then even farther, to a friend’s house, wishing a Good Yom Tov to those we met while walking. And, she got to talk to some of our other friends on that block, outside, for the first time in, like, 3 months.
    Then on Shabbos, the Second Day Yom Tov, another couple came over to our house, right as we were finishing our Shabbos seudah.
    We sat out on our back deck, in our socially distanced deck loungers, loving the birds; and the greenery; and the beautiful sunshine in our backyard wilderness, as we shared Torah thoughts and camaraderie on a lovely Shabbos afternoon.
    On the first day, Friday, my wife walked back home alone as I walked down to the synagogue to pick up my Jewish newspaper.
    And there was the strangest thing across the Boulevard from the synagogue…
    There is a dentist’s office building there and, it was all boarded up.
    Not only that, but someone had spray painted on the plywood “Black Lives Matter” and “Remember…” – well I couldn’t read it all but I think it also said Love…
    That was so odd.
    And then my friend told me that the Walgreen’s drug store, the place where I get my prescriptions filled, was broken into and looted.
    Whaa….?
    Looted?
    Broken into..?
    Sigh….
    Okay, okay… I admit, I do know what is going on.
    Thursday afternoon, before Yom Tov, we got an email from our Rabbi saying that there was going to be a protest in our neighborhood just a few blocks away and we should have all of our Yom Tov/ Shabbos preparations done by 4:30 PM and be off the streets.
    We were also informed again (we were told before on Wednesday) that our very professional, trained, armed, and vested private Security team (which has been an integral part of our Jewish community for at least the last 6 or 7 years now) were calling in reinforcements and were going to be working closely with the St. Louis Park Police to ensure our safety.
    That protest was peaceful and lasted less than an hour.
    And, although I did not see A____, our chief Security guy, and his assciates at all, I’m pretty darn sure they were around the entire Yom Tov and Shabbos.
    After Shabbos I read the Emergency Alert by the City of St. Louis Park that there was an 8 PM curfew.
    And then, there was another Emergency Alert that said that the main boulevard where that boarded up dentist’s office was (which, by the way, was done by the owners of the building as a precaution – no damage was done to the building at all), was closed to all traffic heading into St. Louis Park from Minneapolis.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I first heard about George Floyd getting killed, as briefly saw the video, on Tuesday.
    On Wednesday, I did some repair work for a 75-year-old customer who lives in South Minneapolis. I have done minor remodeling and repairs for her for the last 30 years.
    As we chatted, she told me how much she and her daughter were looking forward to going to the nail salon for the first time in 3 months when it finally opened the following week.
    Then, on Thursday morning, she called me, heartbroken, that the salon had been smashed and looted. The salon owner was a friend of hers and she wanted to know if I could get someone to board up her nail salon that day…

    I also wrote a few other things on Facebook regarding Media Corruption and Lies...

    And, whereas there is some public "expressions of solidarity" from my Non-Orthodox Jewish neighbors and synagogues, our Orthodox community has been more focused on keeping a low profile, liaising with the Police and Observing the Torah and Jewish Law...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ben Shapiro should use his large LA based platform --its his community!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Outstanding article, Daniel! Thank you so much for saying what absolutely needs to be said. I am sending your article around to my group lists.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you so much! I have been heartbroken and worse about the silence and worse from our Jewish organisations regarding not standing up against the "occupation blood/land libel" and in fact actively supporting it.
    Also our lack of support for other victims of the same jihad i.e. the Yezidi.
    Sincerely,
    Renanah

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous6/6/20

    Adam Mill's new article at American Greatness connects to yours in some interesting ways:

    https://amgreatness.com/2020/06/05/when-mobs-dispense-social-justice/

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thumbs up! You are absolutely right, Mr. Greenfield. The antisemitism is glaring and abhorrent.We - I - will not tolerate this kind of behavior any longer. This is IT! This is my red line. And you know what? The same is happening in Israel. If we don't stand up to it it will continue. and only get worse. What did Hashem tell us? Zechor et asher asa Amalek, etc. This is Amalek! Nazis are Amalek , Nazi spiritual heirs are Amalek. and these disgusting black antisemites are Amalek as well. So is Soros, so are the antisemites within the Israeli government. They are all Amalek and have to be treated as Amalek. No mercy on Amalek!

    ReplyDelete
  16. If i am not for myself, who is for me?
    Sound familiar?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous8/6/20

    LAMOTH (LA Museum of The Holocaust) convened a virtual panel discussion today (archive available) jumping off the recent events:

    Discussion Topic: In the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, our community and our country have erupted in pain, anger and frustration. During these challenging times, we must come together to find a solution and a path forward.

    Panelists:
    Julie Bank, Board Chair, Jewish Center for Justice
    Michael Lawson, President and CEO, Los Angeles Urban League
    Michel R. Moore, Chief of Police, LAPD
    Helen Torres, CEO, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE)
    Charlie Woo, Board Chair, Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment (CAUSE)

    Moderator: Dan Schnur, Professor at USC's Annenberg School of Communications and Board Member at Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.

    To Daniel Greenfield’s important point:
    No-one in this panel addressed the issue of the antisemitic vandalism of last week in LA. Furthermore, this issue was ignored despite me posting the following direct question to the panel in the Q&A live chat-stream:
    “What specific initiatives are being taken - by the 6 organizations represented in this panel - to address the antisemitic vandalism and looting arising out of the riots one week ago as part of the BLM protests?"






    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm not surprised, considering that at least 17,662 Jewish unborn children die from abortion every year in the USA - and only the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation speaks up for those innocent babies terminated by their Jewish parents, who have fallen under the spell of the anti-Semitic eugenicist abortion lobby propaganda.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous9/6/20

    How can Jews remain silent about these little Krystallnachts, knowing all they know of history from the past century? Silence is complicity. Speak now or forever rest in peace.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous11/6/20

    I don't understand term 'the black nationalist'. Is 'the black racist' the right one.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Mr. Greenfield, there are plenty of anti-Tramper trolls negatively commenting on your blog. What else could you expect from American Jewish "community" (a hell of community we are...) which is suicidally 70% pro-D.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous12/6/20

    Unfortunately, many Jewish communities would rather take a knee for a criminal then stand against that criminal crowd.

    ReplyDelete

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