A Trump-hating neo-Nazi slaughters worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue — and Jewish communal groups see the tragedy as confirmation of two fallacious ideas. The greatest threat to American Judaism comes from the right, they declare, and U.S. President Donald Trump has provided the climate responsible for the massacre.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs has used the tragedy to educate the community about anti-Semitism on the right. The virulent, more widespread anti-Semitism of the left is ignored.
The anti-Semitism of the right is indeed a threat, and a lone gunman possessed by a warped ideology is dangerous. But the Jewish left’s immersion in its dogma of the threat of right-wing anti-Semitism, Trump as the icon of evil, and gun control as the solution to mass murder is unhelpful.
Neo-Nazis and white nationalists hold no meaningful political power. They have limited entrée to the corridors of decision-making in America.
The Jewish liberal obsession with the right ignores that the real anti-Semitic threat comes from the left, and certainly not from President Trump, but from within the Democrat Party and across the left sector of the ideological spectrum.
Karl Marx’s treatise showcasing Jews as the possessors of capitalist traits was one of the foundation blocks for the ideological switch from anti-Jewish hatred to anti-Semitism in 19th-century Germany.
Hatred towards Jews as a theological issue could be cured by religious conversion, but anti-Semitism transformed Jews from apostates to carriers of bad traits, the cure for which was not conversion but death.
This transformation of anti-Jewishness into anti-Semitism has persisted into the modern age as the ideology of left-wing and Muslim anti-Semitism on the American campus — the ideology infused into the mind of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who sees Israel as murdering hapless Palestinians demonstrating at the Gaza fence.
Jews are blind to the anti-Semitism of the left embodied by the likes of Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Ilhan Omar, Leslie Cockburn, Louis Farrakhan, Black Lives Matter and Students for Justice in Palestine, among others.
Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran was the single greatest threat to the survival of the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Iran makes no secret of its intention to destroy the Jewish state. Its development of nuclear weapons and the missiles to carry them were directed at one target: Israel. Trump’s abrogation of the treaty should have been praised by the Jewish community. Of course, it wasn’t.
The confluence of interest between leftists and anti-Semitic Muslims repeatedly rears its head, but is ignored by Jews and Jewish communal organizations. The British Labour Party is engaged in a purge of Jews who support Israel. Its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, lionizes and memorializes terrorists. On campuses throughout North America, anti-Semitic hate fests are celebrated as Israel Apartheid Week under the watchful eye of doctrinaire leftists who would not permit similar events if they targeted Muslims.
It is that part of anti-Semitism that the Jewish communal organizations refuse to acknowledge as they indulge their obsession and their inability to acknowledge Trump’s unflinching support for Israel and the Jewish people.
Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati.