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JEWS OF AMERICA - RISE UP!

Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA where 11 people were killed and 29 wounded in American's worst anti-Semitic attack to date.

How dare a Nazi maniac burst into a synagogue and massacre elderly worshipers - with no one lifting a finger to protect them!

How dare American Jews do nothing to prevent it ever happening again, aside from possibly hiring outside, non-Jewish guards. Or to focus on hollow words of condemnation and verbosity, as I heard from Tom Friedman, David Frumm, and Jonathan Greenblatt on Farad Zakaria's show on CNN. They focused on the sorry state of American today under President Trump's leadership. Even if they may be right, so what? Now is the time not for words but for action, within the bounds of American law.

This also was the similar battle cry of the neo-Nazis at their Charlottesville demonstration - "Jews will not replace us!"

After all of the eleven victims are laid to rest, Jewish leaders of communities all over America will discuss what urgent measures must be adopted. Mr. Greenblatt, of the Anti Defamation League, tells us that there was over a 50 percent spike in ant-Semitic attacks during 2017. Bring in outside security guards to protect their congregations will not be enough. The stark reality is that neo-Nazis and their fellow travelers in America have declared war on the Jews. It was clearly shouted by Bowers when he invaded Tree of Life Synagogue shouting, "All Jews must die!" This also was the similar battle cry of the neo-Nazis at their Charlottesville demonstration - "Jews will not replace us!" It appears that this ugly phenomenon runs much deeper in American society than the controversial presidency of Donald Trump.

"If someone inside had been armed it would have changed things."

So what's to be done? First of all American Jews should understand that now is the time to defend themselves, not just pontificate on TV. This includes facing reality, and yes, perhaps learning a lesson from Israel. For example, when Palestinian terrorists started bombing Israeli buses and stabbing Israeli civilians in the street, the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was reportedly quoted in private saying, "Break their bones." This was Rabin's outspoken take off of the Biblical saying, "If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first!" Of course, this is a far cry from the state of the Jews of America today, nor am I referring to a revival of Meir Kahana's Jewish Defense League, patrolling the streets of Jewish neighborhoods. But I am referring to what happens inside your synagogue, identified by a Nazi as a soft target where he could simply walk in, slaughter Jewish worshipers, and then be allowed to "crawl out" alive from his hiding place. Speaking of Trump, he pointed the legal way saying, "If someone inside had been armed it would have changed things."

The crazy situation about Americans being permitted to own machine guns will apparently no go away in the foreseeable future. So, forget this aspect, instead, exploit it. If, as the ADL data indicates, the Jews of America are now under attack, the time has come to go proactive. Not to hide behind the hiring of non-Jewish security guards to protect yourselves and synagogues and community centers. A decisive plan of action is required Call on young Jewish men and women to buy weapons, learn how to use them, and then volunteer for guard duty at your synagogues and community centers. It's all perfectly legal. This will do wonders for your own self-respect and also earn the respect of your fellow Americans. Take Pittsburgh for instance - there must be whole battalions of Jewish students at universities in that city.

The Nazi killer in Squirrel Hill was not interested in whether his victims were Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform Jews. All that mattered was that they were Jews.

And this after-thought: the Nazi killer in Squirrel Hill was not interested in whether his victims were Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform Jews. All that mattered was that they were Jews.

Back in Israel, amid the shock and dismay, Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed that Jews everywhere were one people who must stand together when in danger. In fact, Education Minister Naftali Bennet, an Orthodox Jew, flew immediately to Pittsburgh in a show of solidarity with the Jewish Conservative congregation.

Perhaps Israel's political leadership should take their own leadership to heart and now grant equal rights to Jews of all persuasions in Israel itself, and end the monopoly of Orthodox Judaism in the Jewish state's religious life. End of story.



Political Analyst David Essing

 

David Essing

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