Today, I joined a Facebook group called Time To Leave. The group's mission is expressed in these two sentences. "There are rising violent anti-semitic attacks against Jewish communities around the world. We believe this is a wake up call for the Jews to come home to Israel now."
The group messages are primarily photos and news articles about antisemitic incidents and hate speech throughout the world. Let's say we all, including the Jews in Europe themselves, agree that the worsening situation in Europe is becoming intolerable and it's time to leave Europe.
What's the situation in the US? Here's where it gets tricky. From here in Israel, it's clear. Anti-Israel (a/k/a antisemitic) sentiment has exploded in the US over the past few weeks. Time. To. Leave.
Anti-Israel rallies have been held in the following US cities. These are just the ones I know about. There are likely others. If you click these links you'll see many hateful images and protest chants against Israel.
- Austin, TX
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Columbus, OH
- Cleveland, OH
- Dallas, TX
- Houston, TX
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FL
- New York, NY
- Olympia, WA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Portland, OR
- San Antonio, TX
- San Francisco, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Tempe, AZ
- Washington, DC
A serious question for my friends and family who live outside of Israel: I, and many friends (all olim), are actually much more concerned for the safety of our family and friends outside of Israel than for ourselves. We see the huge and rapid uptick in antisemitic attacks all over the world and it scares us. Just this morning I read about incidents in a clinic in Amsterdam and in a public school in Chicago. Over the past week, I've heard about at least a dozen in cities all over Europe and the US. Here, we know the enemy and we have an army and tools to fight and defend ourselves. Outside of Israel, Jews have no army. If you live outside of Israel, are you more thinking it's a passing thing related to the war or are you feeling at all unsettled by the bubbling up of anti-Jewish sentiment?Without question, the saddest, most painful response came from an individual I don't actually know, but who echoes the feelings of so many of my American friends and family:
It's not hard to understand why he feels this way. But here's the rub.With all due respect to my friends and family in Israel, I beg to differ with you. I am glad that you feel safer in Israel, but the US is a much safer place at this time in history. Two reasons. One is that we do not have missiles fired at us indiscriminately and unknowingly. The USA does not have anything near this type of craziness. We do not have a terror state on our soil building tunnels under our feet infiltrating our land with the intent to kidnap and murder our women, children and soldiers.
Reason Number 2. The amount of post traumatic stress syndrome is undeniably huge and rampant in the Holy Land. Children are suffering tremendous anxiety and fear on a daily basis. There are not enough psychologists or social services to help them from a lifetime of trauma from sirens, safe rooms, and bombs falling nearby or in our neighborhoods.
I would not subject my children to that. End of comment.
He's not reading the current trend, nor is he reading Jewish history, accurately.
Jews always, always, always stay too long in whatever galut to which we have been sent. We convince ourselves that "it's not that bad" or "it will blow over". And we tell ourselves it's still better where we are, where we've been for hundreds of years, than in the land God set aside for the Jewish people.
After all, in 1933, which cultured, urban German Jew was willing to leave Germany for the desert of Palestine?