America is under attack from both internal and external forces guided by Islamic extremism. Monday, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant, Akayed Ullah, detonated an unsuccessful suicide bomb in my hometown subway system. This is the second terror attack in Manhattan in the last six weeks. On Halloween, eight were murdered in a Grand Theft Auto style killing rampage by Sayfullo Saipov who murdered eight cyclists by running them over on a bike path with a flatbed truck. Though the extent of the collusion with the organization is a bit fuzzy, both incidents were connected to ISIS, if only to the extent that both of the legal immigrants attested to their allegiance to the terrorist organization. Saipov was radicalized in the borders of the United States, while my former neighbor, Kensington Brooklyn resident, Akayed Ullah, appears based solely on the sniff test and neighbor’s testimony, to have always been of an extreme religious bent. This week’s pathetic and pathetically executed attack by Ullah was particularly emblematic of the times, as he cited recent bombings and tensions in Gaza as the reason for the attack, after Trump’s announcement of his recognition of the capital of Israel to distract us from truly abhorrent anti-Semitism.
One example of explicit Jew hatred occurred last Friday in Times Square. A large protest, ostensibly about Trump’s Jerusalem announcement, became a chant for violence and the destruction of the state of Israel. It’s not unusual for pro-Palestinian supporters to chant for the destruction of the state of Israel with lines like “We don’t want no two state — we want 48,” and “From the river to the Sea, Palestine will be free.” Just as it’s not all that unusual for these protestors to call for terror attacks with lines like their rallying cry, “There is only one solution — Intifada revolution,” suggesting something not unlike Hitler’s final solution.
While these above protest calls are truly horrific, unusually this protest became even more sinister as the Muslim protestors shouted, “Jews, remember Khaybar — the army of Muhammad is returning.” What the protestors were referring to was Mohammed’s 7th century massacre of Jews and they are explicitly calling for Jews to be massacred. As The Board of Deputies of British Jews elucidated after the London version of the protest the same day, “The ‘Khybar, Khybar’ chant heard and documented at Friday’s protest outside the US Embassy in London can only be interpreted as a call to incite violence against Jewish people. It is outrageous that these protesters thought that such a chant would be acceptable on the streets of London in 2017. That this comes in the context of a firebombing of a synagogue in Sweden and an attack on a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam only increases our concern. These acts are not criticisms of a decision by the US government but demonstrations of anti-Semitism.” If anyone thought the Palestinian state was a territorial political war and not a religious war aimed at killing Jews, this protest and similar protests across Europe show us the true intention of anti-Zionism.
Though it should be clear to all, that the root of anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism deeply steeped in Islamic fanaticism, cut to Newsweek’s front page where Trump is blamed for a steep rise in anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe.
The above article had another ludicrous title, “BECAUSE OF TRUMP, PEOPLE ARE BURNING ISRAELI FLAGS AND ATTACKING JEWS.” Though Trump is not to blame, in Germany 12 were arrested as they burned flags, and in Malmö, 200 Palestinians were shouting, “Shoot the Jews,” just after masked men firebombed a temple in another Swedish city, Gothenburg.
How a major mainstream magazine like Newsweek, would blame Trump for Islamic extremists shouting “Shoot the Jews,” is a mystery me. As I wrote last week, it certainly has nothing to do with Jerusalem as the Palestinian Liberation Army explicitly called for the destruction of Israel, in the 60s, when Jordanian Palestinians controlled Jerusalem and Jews were forbidden to enter most of Jerusalem, including the Wailing Wall. The Palestinians will not rest until all of Israel is theirs, preferably killing as many Jews as possible in the process and they’re not even hiding it anymore.
The Jerusalem decision is only an excuse for the anti-Semitism that has existed for thousands of years. Jerusalem has been the capital and spiritual center of Judaism for 3,000 years and has always been hotly debated and a source of friction. This week as Jews celebrate Chanukah, we should recognize the importance of the city that the Maccabees fought the Greeks to protect. While Jews in America may be divided about nuances of Israeli policy, the understandably confusing election of Donald Trump and a bevy of other topics, as Jews it is our responsibility to unite behind Israel, the one place Jews were given sanctuary after the Holocaust and during the expulsion of nearly a million Jews from Arab countries. Terrorists and those chanting to kill us cannot dictate our policies. No matter what you think of Trump, recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people should be a non-partisan issue.
Jesse Bogner is a thirty year old author, screenwriter and journalist. His memoir and social critique, The Egotist, has been translated into four languages. In 2013, he moved from New York City, where he was born and raised, abandoning a decadent lifestyle chockfull of substance abuse, to study Kabbalah in Israel.