Thousands of Jews and their supporters rallied together Sunday (Jan. 5) in a massive show of solidarity with New York-area victims of anti-Semitism. People came from all over the country to join together and show their support for Jews who have been attacked by people filled with hate over the past weeks and months.
“It was a beautiful show of unity, although there’s always the crazies that come,” said Rabbi Elchanan Poupko, who attended the event.
The “No Hate, No Fear” solidarity march kicked off at 11 am in Manhattan’s Foley Square in an area known as Federal Plaza.
A large concert followed the march to Brooklyn.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at the rally the state will provide $45 million in additional funding to protect religious-based institutions and non-public schools.
“We will not let the cancer of hate and intolerance weaken us,” he said.
Proud to stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters at the #NoHateNoFear march in NYC.
NY will provide $45 million in additional funding to protect religious-based institutions & non-public schools.
We will not let the cancer of hate and intolerance weaken us. pic.twitter.com/Ar5wwnye3t
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 5, 2020
Some of those who are participating in the event, however, are seen as grabbing a political ride on the coattails of those who have organized this rally for really serious reasons.
One of those is Joel Rubin, a co-founder of the anti-Israel ‘J Street’ organization, former Obama official who recently served on the board of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, and who has just been hired by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to serve as his campaign liaison to the Jewish community.
IfNotNow, a known anti-Zionist organization, also used the event as a springboard for promoting its own agenda — “defunding the ‘Occupation’ — another word for the State of Israel. In a separate tweet, a member of IfNotNow wrote, “Even though there are many voices there we disagree with (even loathe), we have to engage at places like this if we are going to guide our community to where it needs to go.”
— IfNotNow? (@IfNotNowOrg) January 5, 2020
Even though there are many voices there we disagree with (even loathe), we have to engage at places like this if we are going to guide our community to where it needs to go.
— S Lurie? (@luriethereal) January 5, 2020
‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ is another anti-Israel organization that seems to be taking a ride on the gravy train of a serious issue addressing the attacks on Jews in the New York area, something that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with a group that consistently decries the right of the Jewish State to its own right to self-determination and self-defense.
— Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (@JFREJNYC) January 5, 2020
The American Forum for Israel, a member organization of the American Zionist Movement (the American affiliate of the World Zionist Organization) slammed the attendance of organizations like IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace.
“These organizations should be persona non grata and should be shunned by all mainstream Jewish and Zionist organizations, not welcomed on a march against Antisemitism,” said Dr. Dmitry Shiglik, Chairman of the American Forum For Israel, who participated in the rally. “They are by their nature supporting anti-Semitic initiatives and partner with anti-Semites. Their role is purely to divide the Jewish People and to stand against its unity.
“You can not pretend to stand in solidarity with Jews when you stand against the Jewish State and Jewish communities in its indigenous and ancestral homeland. This is a hypocrisy and a contradiction, and we should not be afraid to say so.”
A third organization, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, used the event as a springboard to attack President Donald Trump. One of the picket signs their members were saving read, “Hate Crimes Up 17% After Trump Was Elected.” It had nothing to do with the message of the day’s events, and certainly nothing to do with standing in solidarity of the victims of anti-Semitism.
As a matter of fact, according to a statistical review published by Statista, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States has risen steadily each year since dropping to its lowest figure in 2013 — well before the campaign and election of President Donald Trump, and certainly well within the second term of President Barack Obama.
The sad fact is, anti-Semitism was not caused by, nor is controlled by, any American president. The incidence of this scourge is found worldwide and it must be address on a global level, something that the State of Israel has taken the lead in doing since its re-establishment.