Shmuley Boteach's Shabbos Experience of Jew Hatred/Israel Hatred in Manhattan
A Warning to All Jews in New York
"I was appalled. I got closer. The protesters were accusing Leviev, a private Jewish citizens, of stealing Palestinian land, persecuting Palestinians, and supporting an imperial Israel.
I asked the protesters who Leviev was and why they were protesting him. Was he Israel’s Prime Minister or Foreign Minister? At least the Ambassador. How else to explain why they would be protesting outside a business simply owned by a Jew.
They told me he was an Israeli who supported Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians. He was a known, high-profile Jewish businessman. They were there to make sure no one bought his products.
I had had enough. I raised my hands into the air, in the mist of the protest, and said loudly, “Long Live Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. The only country in that dark region that is a bastion of liberty and human rights. A place where Palestinian women need never fear honor killings. A place where Israeli Arabs have more guaranteed rights than any Arab nation. A place where gay Palestinians need not fear being shot in the head on false charges of collaboration. A place where Arabs can protest publicly, just like all of you, and not be shot. Long live righteous and majestic Israel.”
Instantly, all the protestors forgot about Leviev and turned their ire toward me. I was now the devil. They were shouting at me, abusing me ...
I got louder.
“How revolting of all of you to protest a business because it’s owned by a Jew.” What is this? Nuremberg 1934? Absolutely reprehensible.
My kids were now engaged in the fight, singing “Am Yisrael Chai. The Jewish people are alive and well.” We were louder than the protestors.
I started saying “Down with Hamas which allows honor killings of innocent Palestinian women. Down with Hamas that slaughters innocent Palestinian gay men. Down with the Palestinian…. ” and I was about to say “… Authority for refusing to go to elections in 10 years and creating a dictatorship, robbing the Palestinian people of their freedom” when I saw that someone was filming me on the Sabbath.
The police came over, trying to quell the confrontation. They have a permit, he said. They have the right to protest.
God bless America. I respect their right for public demonstration. But I also respect my right to write this in a column.
Jews of the world.
There has never been an assault on us like this in our lifetimes. And we are allowing it. Through our timidity and through closing our eyes and pretending not to see, it’s growing. Our enemies are arraying against us. They have substituted anti-Semitism for Anti-Israelism. But it’s the same sentiment.
Jew-hatred, pure and simple.
But who would be next? Which Jewish business would they target next?
A few hours later we went to the Chabad public Menorah lighting outside the Plaza hotel on 5th Ave. There was a small protest against Israel there was well. Joining the protest was a 20-something man who told us all that the Jews owned all of 5th Avenue. He pointed across the street at the famous Apple 5th Avenue store. “Apple is owned by Jews.”
I looked at him.
“Um, erg, hmmm. Did you know that Steve Jobs was the son of an Arab-American? So how does that square with the Jews owning Apple?”
“Well the Jews bought it from Jobs with the endless money they have.”
And so it goes. Jewish timidity in the United States is allowing more and more of these outrages to take place.
I wonder if we recognize the seriousness of what’s happening or will it engulf us before we take decisive action?
Organizations who dare hold ordinary Jews responsible for actions in the Middle East – which would be the equivalent of protesting an Arab-owned department store in Detroit for the butchery of Bashar Assad in Syria – should themselves be targeted for public demonstrations, calling them what they are: anti-Semites.
Published in The Times of Israel