Sunday, January 9, 2022

Are we suffering from " Gevalt" or" Head in the Sand" syndromes? --Interview with Richard Hirschhaut of the American Jewish Committee


Jan 8 Notes and video of interview with Richard Hirschhaut of the American Jewish Committee

This is a direct link to the interview conducted by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg, Hollywood Temple Beth El


AJC recently issued a poll, showing a rising number of Jews concerned about anti-Semitism. Conversely, the survey was denounced as exaggeration by an op-ed writer for the Jewish  Forward .
Are we suffering from " Gevalt" or" Head in the Sand" syndromes? 


Hirschhaut is chief strategist and principal spokesperson in advancing AJC’s global advocacy mission in Southern California. AJC is considered the “dean of American Jewish organizations.” He has been involved for over 30 years in civil rights, humanitarian, and Jewish communal advocacy, serving in senior professional roles across the U.S. with the Anti-Defamation League, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and American Friends of Rambam Medical Center.



Just a few weeks ago, after we planned on this Shabbat program, Rosa Rosenberg was so kind as to loan me a copy of People Love Dead Jews by Dana Horn. It talks about the trend to fetishize the Jews of the past, while ignoring the threats to Jews of the present. Its title is reminiscent of another  work, by another famous Jewish author, Cynthia Ozyck, ALL THE WORLD WANTS THE JEWS DEAD( NOVEMBER 1974 Esquire). The theme is so very much the samethe people of Israel were almost destroyed in the Yom Kippur war, yet that bothered no one, especially not the United Nations, which went on to label Zionism as racism.

Then , I see this report of a faculty member at the respected University of Maryland, who was canned for being outspokenly Jewish:

Filed in the US District Court of Maryland, the suit, alleging a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, said that Dr. Melissa Landa — a professor at the College of Education for ten years before the university declined to renew her contract in 2017 — was subjected to “a series of actions designed to alienate, humiliate, and ultimately terminate” her after she began speaking out against antisemitism. )


So now we have the new poll, about Jews reporting attacks.

Please explain what this recent poll by the AJC is about?

The report goes on to document actual physical attacks not just snide remarks on Instagram? Who is attacking? why is it not given much coverage in the news? Is it true that people love only dead Jews? Are we paranoid? Or do we have our head in the sand?






This is the week before Dr Martin Luther King Jr Day. I moved us up a week so as to put Tu B Shvat into our next week’s agenda.

At one time, both Jews and black Americans were in the same boat and rowed together. W E B Du Bois, an African American, was an example of that cooperation. He was a brilliant young scholar, educated at Harvard, and infused by the same anti-Jewish sentiments of his fellow Harvard alums. Studying at the University of Berlin in the 1890s, Du Bois absorbed the volkisch German nationalism of his teacher, Heinrich von Treitschke, who said: “The Jews are our misfortune.”

But, as he began to create the NAACP, he found so much support from major Jewish leaders that he broke from the anti-Semitism he had absorbed as a young man. Holding up the Jewish people as a “tremendous force for good and uplift,” he reciprocated Jewish support by putting the NAACP on record against The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He condemned antisemitism in Poland and Hungary, as well as in Germany….Du Bois remained steadfast in denouncing Hitler’s war against the Jews and supporting Zionism


We are understandably concerned, now, that, as in the 1960’s and 70’s, there were those in struggle for Black advancement who turned against Jews, notably, Louis Farrakhan.

I fear that we find people in the anti-Zionist camp intentionally seeking to drive a wedge between us. For example, this on Nov. 27 by Zahra Billoo, executive director of the San Francisco chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations.  “But I also want us to pay attention to the polite Zionists. The ones that say, ‘Let’s just break bread together.’ They are not your friends,” she said. As examples, she cited the ADL, Jewish Federations, Hillels and “Zionist synagogues.” She also repeated an unsupported claim, one that circulates among some activist groups, that “police officers in the United States who kill unarmed black men, women and children are trained by the Israeli military.”  

Her position is straight from the platform of the American Muslims for Palestine

That lie has been a staple diet of many resolutions proposed against cooperation between police here in the US and Israel for training purposes.

This just one example of people trying to drive a wedge between our communities—

Since the AJC was attacked by this speaker from CAIR and by the AMP, what is your take on this- how serious the impact, what are you doing to counter it.?




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