In a month of terrible anti-Semitic attacks, including a stabbing yesterday of multiple people at a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, the news that most depressed me did not involve violence. It was not something done to Jews but something Jews did. A synagogue in the Netherlands is no longer publicly posting the times of prayer services. If you want to join a service, you have to know someone who is a member of the community.
Do not misunderstand me. I was and am in a fury over the multiple assaults, culminating in the Monsey attack, which was the worst since the murders in Jersey City, which, some readers might not realize, was less than three weeks ago.
In Europe and the United States, Jews have been repeatedly assaulted on the street. Tombstones were desecrated in Slovakia. In London, anti-Semitic graffiti was painted on synagogues and Jewish-owned stores. A Belgian daily newspaper accused a lawmaker who is Jewish of being a spy for Israel. A Polish town refused to install small brass plates that commemorate Holocaust victims. In Italy, the town of Schio did the same because, the mayor said, they would be “divisive.” (Divisive to whom?) This intolerance is coming from right-wing extremists, progressive leftists, and other minorities who, themselves, are often the object of persecution. Anti-Semites seem to think it is open season on Jews. And maybe, given the many incidents, they are right.
So why has the news that a synagogue in the Netherlands stopped posting the time of services upset me above all? Because it is vivid proof that anti-Semitism is driving Jews underground in the West. [Continue reading…]