A month ago, Hamas launched an unprecedented and barbaric act against innocent Israeli civilians. Since that attack, not only has Israel had to deal with unimaginable horrors, but we have also seen an explosion in horrific antisemitic attacks across the USA.
It is very easy for people to condemn Hamas, but what is harder and what needs calling out is how antisemitism has infected the national conversation and how politicians, leaders and indeed all of us must speak out against it.
Each day our televisions and social media are flooded with examples of the most hateful behavior toward our Jewish brothers and sisters.
Innocent people living thousands of miles away from the war zone and who instead of receiving compassion and sympathy are treated like they are “other.” That it is somehow their fault that an Islamic terrorist organization broke a ceasefire and decided to butcher babies. That somehow the Jews are this evil cabal controlling the world. That somehow a Jewish life is worth a little less. That somehow Jews don’t count.
This pernicious antisemitism is the most dangerous since the 1930s. It is interesting how those on the left who scream “Nazi” at the first sign of any debate don’t recognize that Hamas are the Nazis here.
To defeat antisemitism, we must look to the leaders of our nation, and it saddens me that our president and vice president are found wanting.
During the mist of an unacceptable rise in hate crimes against Jews, the administration launches an Islamophobia strategy. This is utterly tone deaf and again signifies that somehow Jews don’t count.
To be clear, Islamophobia is unacceptable. It isn’t the Palestinian civilians’ fault here, just as it isn’t the Israeli civilians’ fault. This whole war is down to Hamas, the terrorist baby killers.
We must ask why there isn’t an antisemitism strategy at the same time and the conclusion I have is that the Democrats are too scared of the infamous “Squad.”
The behavior of some Democrats in Congress has been so bad that Rep. Rashida Tlaib was censured by Congress for her stunning Israel-Hamas rhetoric and 22 Democrats had the courage to vote with Republicans to censure her.
Sadly, she isn’t the only one who stokes division and hate. Her colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar is just as bad. Recall her infamous “some people did something” comment when discussing 9/11?
It doesn’t stop there, either. The L.A. Times got to the point of debating whether babies were beheaded on purpose or not and our universities are riddled with left-wing groups spreading anti-Jew hate.
For us to truly tackle antisemitism, we must push back against the idea that somehow Gaza was under an occupation. Israel left Gaza in 2005, almost 20 years ago.
Gaza was left with an amazing intact agriculture system that was destroyed by Hamas. Instead of building power plants, water filtration systems, tourist industry and much more, it was spent on tunnels, weapons, hate and making the Hamas leadership rich. It is Israel that has been supplying the Palestinian civilians with power because the Hamas leadership doesn’t care about them.
When we hear about an “open air prison,” it is a bare-faced lie. Until Hamas went on the rampage, Gaza had a border with Egypt and hundreds of Palestinians left to travel around the world, visit overseas relatives, and seek medical care. Israelis were part of building industrial parks for both Israelis and Palestinians from Gaza to work together. Before the war, up to 30,000 Palestinians were entering Israel each day to work to support their families.
When we hear talk of a ceasefire, what we really are hearing is, “Jews, lay down your weapons and let yourselves be killed.”
On Oct. 7 Hamas attacked Israel and violated a current ceasefire, not for the first time. Hamas murdered 1,400 innocent people. They raped, tortured, beheaded, and burned people alive. (By the way, leftist media demanded proof!) You cannot have a ceasefire with a group that is openly calling for the destruction of Israel and the killing of every single Jew.
For those calling for ceasefires and peace, I say this: Only when each hostage has been released can there be a ceasefire. Only when Hamas has been driven out of Gaza can the Palestinian people be free of their terrorist masters. Only when Arab states step up to the plate and help support the aspirations for the Palestinian people can there be peace. Israel doesn’t want to occupy Gaza. It wants to live in peace.
The harsh reality that we all face is that for antisemtisim to be finally defeated and for there to be a true and lasting peace, Israel must win.
Neil Fitzgerald is an international nonprofit leader having served in the U.S., U.K. and globally for various nonprofit and charity boards. He served as a conservative council member in the U.K. and as a campaign manager. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.