For a few years now, I’ve been bothered by the “Alt-left” and the hypocritical silence of the liberal community toward it. I fail to understand how people rationalize its extremism, violence, hate, anti-Semitism and terrorist-sympathizing positions.
Where has the national Jewish leadership been on Linda Sarsour or Black Lives Matters? Why has it been mute on violence that arises from the left, but only addresses violence or problematic verbiage from the right?
But when there is a KKK-Nazi march through an American city in 2017, when you watch the skin-crawling and bone-chilling footage of that torch-lit Friday night march, with its chants of “Jews! Will Not! Replace Us!” and cries of the Nazi slogan, “Blood and Soil” (the Nazi Blut und Boden), you condemn it unequivocally. No caveats. Period.
I don’t care that the leftist liberal community fails to do the same when it comes to the more widespread radical Islamist jihadists. Every person of conscience should respond with moral clarity, not with political considerations.
Is it really that nuanced of an issue, to come out against Nazism, black on white (no pun intended)?
The irony of President Trump’s “two sides” comment wasn’t lost on me, either. The liberal community invented this perspective, always seeing two narratives even in the face of pure evil, some going so far as promoting the idea that evil does not exist. It’s a tragic irony that Heather Heyer lost her young, beautiful and innocent life to a Nazi white supremacist who adopted a recently popularized jihad method of murder: car ramming.
You cannot let legitimate concerns that terrorist sympathizers and anti-Semites have infiltrated the extreme left prevent you from acknowledging the evil of Nazism with the moral clarity that it warrants.
The possibility of different interpretations of the Charlottesville’s Unite The Right March are closed. We are talking about the defeated Nazism of WW II rearing its ugly head in an organized, formal march, right here, right now. (If you want to protest removal of the Robert E. Lee monument, that’s a separate discussion for another time. Don’t join with Nazis.)
Torches. Marches. Skinheads. Sledgehammers. Guns. Ramming cars … murder!
Yes, the Nazi’s opponents got violent, too, throwing bottles of urine and excrement. The pandemonium was potentially dangerous, and the anti-American and anti-Israel tropes some of the opponents promote make me sick.
But only one person was murdered in Charlottesville, and it wasn’t by someone flinging bottles of excrement.
Nazis marching means advancing their one true goal: murder of any non-Aryan they deem unfit for their “pure,” “uncontaminated” society.
Obviously, many of us in the Jewish community live very personally with the painful legacy of this evil Nazi ideology. Many of our families paid the most painful cost because of this monster we know all too well; many, to this day, even three generations later, are on some level still impacted.
Nazism, then and now, is something all of us can agree, must agree, to stand united against against, no ifs, ands or buts.
I don’t want 2017 to go down in history as the new 1968, let alone 1938.
Copyright Intermountain Jewish News.