The public is responsible.

There’s this fiction that no one knew about the Holocaust, that concentration camps, the killing of Jews, was a complete surprise. Simultaneous news accounts prove this to be untrue. People just put their heads down, stayed silent, went along with the killing of Jews.

Just like they are now.

I thought shining light on the endeavors of Jew-haters would be enough. But this has proven to be wrong. The news is inundated with stories about antisemitism. But that does not seem to be stopping the attacks.

Which means you, yes you, have to stand up against antisemitism, you have to stand up for the Jews. Not only altruistically, but for all of us. Because if they attack Jews, it’s only a matter of time before they come for you.

No Jew, no one with Jewish heritage, should stay silent. Especially millennials and younger generations, who were taught to be members of the group at all costs. Sure, there are benefits of fitting in, having friends, but that’s not where change happens, groupthink is the scourge of society. Look at the vaunted tech breakthroughs of the past three decades. Almost all made by individuals, going against the grain, following their dream, while oftentimes they were excoriated by those stuck in the past.

So if you’re the lone person standing up, you’re winning, not losing. You’re not only helping the Jews, you’re adding to your strength, burnishing your identity. Because you should be standing up for what you believe in across the board.

So if you’re Jewish, admit it. When you’re with your non-Jewish friends bring up the war in the Middle East, don’t avoid it. Talk about how conflating the war with Jew-hatred is just plain wrong. How Americans, never mind the world at large, don’t villainize an entire group of people when their country goes to war. It’s because Israel is a Jewish state, period. And Jew-hatred has gone on for millennia. In our devolving society, where there are supposed good people on both sides, it’s fine to be antisemitic publicly, which was not the case previously.

All the people standing up for Black Lives Matter… You can’t stand up for the Jews?

As for all the Blacks hating Jews… They were in it together, friends, until the latter half of the twentieth century. But irrelevant of that, one should be standing up for all oppressed people, and believe me, the Jews are oppressed.

If you believe every Jew is rich and famous and powerful, you’re completely delusional. Furthermore, Jews have been taught from a young age to assimilate, for fear of exactly what is happening right now. Our worst nightmare.

Yes, it hasn’t been like this since World War II. And what are you doing? Shrugging.

I am Jewish. When was the last time I was in shul? I can’t remember, although I did go to High Holy Day services online. Is there an all-knowing guy in the sky, who knows whether I’ve been naughty or nice, who is paying attention to me 24/7? Not in my book. I wish it were so, but it’s not. But I can say this, because Judaism is a questioning religion, not didactic. Don’t equate me, or most Jews, with the people you see in black clothing, that you see in Netflix series. Most of us are just like you, look like you, just want to be able to live our lives in peace and quiet, but now we can’t.

And believe me, we are Jews no matter what anybody says. We are labeled, we are the other. And if you’re a Jew and say you’ve never experienced antisemitism, you’re just blind. It’s always lurking. And when it raises its head you’ve got to say something, now more than ever.

I don’t care what you think about Palestine. That’s a separate issue, an important one, but separate. I’m not fighting in Gaza, nor are most Jews. And the war isn’t about religion, at least not on the Israeli side, it’s about safety.

But the war is just a pretext for people to raise, verbalize and act out their antisemitism.

So Jews, say it loud, I’m Jewish and I’m proud.

As for non-Jews… If you don’t stand up for the Jews, if you don’t say something, you are complicit. Yes, this is your fight too. You may not realize it, but it is. Do you want to live in a society where one group can be criticized and marginalized? Furthermore, for having done nothing at all? I mean just being Jewish is enough to be a target, period.

So you non-Jews must speak up. You must not be afraid. When someone makes an antisemitic remark, when they use the war in the Middle East to attack all Jews, you have to say something. I mean what have you got to lose? If anything, you’ll look strong, people admire those who take a stand, who have convictions. And this does not only apply to antisemitism, you should be standing up for what you believe in all the time. How did our country go suddenly silent? America was known as the land of individuals, now it’s all about me-too, and it doesn’t only have to do with sex.

And speaking of sex… The truth is, women, that many men have not changed at all, they just no longer say in front of women what they say in front of men. And I blame too many men for not standing up for women when men say these ugly words. You see silence does not only hurt the Jews, eventually it hurts you too. After all, women make up half of the population.

And the conundrum is for all this hatred of the Jews, there are not that many of us. And, in truth, most people would be fine if we were gone. Period.

Never mind the heinous history, being banned from jobs, being exiled, the Holocaust, I’m talking about now. Antisemitism is way out of control now. And although it’s good that the story has been amplified by the news, it’s us, the general public, we are the only ones who can make change, eradicate this scourge.

Scott Galloway, the hero of the bros, he’s telling all the corporations to stay silent. Let me see, corporations are people in the eyes of the government, but they shouldn’t stand up like people on important issues? Yes, Galloway tells them to stay silent, for fear of loss, and the head-scratching thing is Galloway is a Jew himself! I mean at what point do you stop thinking about money and focus on human values? If money comes first, you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution, and I’m not only talking about antisemitism.

Isn’t it funny, the supposedly Jew-run entertainment business can’t even stand up against antisemitism. As for individual actors and performers, and I’m talking about musicians here too, almost all of them are silent. You know why? Because they’re fearful of offending some audience member, of losing a fan, losing money. That’s not an artist, that’s a chump. You have a pulpit and you’re silent? You can’t stop bitching about Spotify payments but you’re silent on the Jews?

And what about Spotify and Amazon and Apple. Why don’t they have antisemitic banners on their sites, instead of promoting these empty vessel singers. And you might say someone will cancel the service, but if they all stand up, there’s nowhere to go, no refuge for the antisemitic. This is how you make change, by everybody standing up, making the antisemitic realize they’re a minority, and need to STFU.

And if you are silent, let me just say…rust never sleeps.

And speaking of rust, Neil Young is still keeping his music off Spotify because of the company’s support of Joe Rogan. Young has the courage of his convictions. As to what Rogan says when he commits a faux pas? I’m just an ignorant person spewing, what do I know.

Joe, you know plenty, you just want to absolve yourself of responsibility. And everyone has a personal responsibility to know what is going on.

Let me ask you, would you want the status, the credibility, the gravitas of Neil Young’s career, or that of some brain dead pop star in the Spotify Top 50? These two-dimensional performers worship at the altar of money. If money were everything Neil Young would have stayed on Spotify. But no, his convictions are more important than money.

Are your convictions more important than money? Doesn’t look like it. Take a stand. Against antisemitism. Make antisemitic remarks taboo, stamp out the fire.

Because it’s turning into a conflagration.


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Originally published by Bob Lefsetz in the 11/01/2023 at the Leftsetz Letter


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