For those of us who care about the well-being of the Jewish people, there is currently much discussion around the current Black-on-Jewish pogroms throughout places like Crown Heights and Jersey City and, even, Rockland County, New York.
I was actually born in Rockland County. That is where I am from. My mom, Rita, was from the Bronx and my father, Harry, who fought in the Central Pacific during World War II, grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
My grandfather, Beryl, on my father’s side, lived in the Ukranian town of Medzhybizh in the early part of the twentieth-century where, as it happens, the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Chassidic community, taught and died in the eighteenth-century. The town was a small part of the Pale of Settlement that alternated between Poland and the Ukraine. Thus it is highly likely that our friends among the Orthodox community are among relatives to me… but I do not know, for sure.
The Jews of Medzhybizh were wiped out by the National Socialists during Operation Barbarossa by the Einsatzgruppen as they drove into the Soviet Union during World War II. When they came upon the shtetl in 1942 they put the Jews to road building in order to advance East. When the road building was completed the Jews dug ditches at rifle point. They were then lined up in those ditches and then shot dead.
That was my family.
My grandfather left Medzhybizh in the 1920s and, thus, my father was spared and therefore I was born. The same cannot be said for those among my grandparents’ family who remained.
And this returns us to Monsey, Rockland County and Brooklyn and Jersey City.
There are a lot of people wondering just why this American pogrom is happening now. Most Jews have no clue as to why young Black men are attacking Chassidim and the openly Orthodox in the areas around New York. But behind the Black pogrom against the Jews in and around New York is the politics of hatred toward Israel from the academe and from the activists. There is the yawning silence of our alleged friends among Congressional Democrats. And then there is “the squad.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
Pressley is probably the best of the four and I am not even certain that she should be lumped in with them. She at least had the decency to send out the following tweet:
My heart is broken as I read about the domestic terrorist attack in #Monsey, NY last night. We must address head on the rise of hate crimes & antisemitism in America. Our destinies are tied. I join my colleagues in calling for a federal investigation.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) December 29, 2019
“He fuels people’s anger & misguided hate. Instead of leading with compassion, he simply gaslights and laughs about it,” Tlaib said.
The truth is that this new breed of progressive-left “intersectionalist” Democrats do not care about the well-being of Israel or the Jewish people. If they did they would speak up. More importantly, however, remains the fact that the established Democratic leadership, including the Jewish Democratic leadership, stands behind these people. They also support funding the Palestinian Authority which means funding the murder of Jewish Israelis under “pay-to-slay.”
And they honestly believe that they deserve Jewish support even as they remain silent among the ongoing attacks.