Antisemitic Messages Spreading Amid Fight For Racial Justice. Here Are The Facts.

Source: Twitter/@LisaDaftari

Since the tragic killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer on Memorial Day, there has been an uptick in misinformation spreading on social media. Tweets from celebrities and anti-semites suggesting all Jews are white, liberal and of European descent couldn’t be farther from the truth and these lies come at a time when the truth is what’s needed the most in our national conversation.

Like all religions, Judaism is comprised of people of various skin tones. For example, there are approximately 150,000 Jews of Ethiopian descent throughout the world. The community is known as Beta Israel. In fact, more than 119,000 of Ethiopian Jews now live in Israel, and about 1,000 live right here in the United States.

For thousands of years, when a society undergoes civil unrest, Jews tend to be used as scapegoats. It happened during the Black Plague and in places like Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union.

“Seeing the rapper Ice Cube retweeting and posting anti-Semitic things is frustrating because there are so many Jews that for years, have stood up when it comes to racial injustices and holding people accountable,” Alma Hernandez (D), a Mexican-American Jew who serves in the Arizona House of Representatives, told this reporter.

Hernandez, 27, has been a victim of police brutality herself. When Hernandez was 14, a police officer broke up a fight between her and two white women by violently tackling her to the ground, which resulted in a spinal injury she still suffers from to this day. She has used her platform as an elected leader to speak out against anti-Semitism and police violence.

“When I speak about this it’s obviously from a very different perspective because not only am I a Jew of color but I have experienced police brutality,” she said. “Sometimes it’s difficult for me to talk about it because I’ve lived through it.”

Hernandez is disheartened by bad actors who have hijacked otherwise peaceful demonstrations.

“When people are marching in California and thinking it’s okay to vandalize synagogues and write ‘Free Palestine’ on the walls…it always turns into that conversation, it’s always bringing in these groups that will never support Israel or highlight anything good the Jewish nation has done,” she added. “Being silent is not an option right now.”

More than 2,000 miles away from Arizona in New York City, Dov Hikind has taken it upon himself to be an advocate for Jewish Americans. Hikind (D), 69, who served as a New York City assemblymen for 35 years, has spoken out on the rise of the oldest hatred across the U.S.

“It’s nothing new,” Hikind told this reporter. “Jews have been blamed for coronavirus. It’s no surprise because this is part of what we’re used to. Whenever there is a challenge, we know this. It’s historically true. People look for a scapegoat to blame their problems on, which is easier than taking responsibility.”

Hikind led a solidarity march on June 7 in New York City. He says “we can do better, we need to do better, we are one American family, and we need to start acting like it.”

“Most people are focusing on the terrible tragedy of Floyd, which everyone admits,” said Hikind. “But what about all the people who had small stores that were looted and now they can’t go back? What about people who were killed during the riots? Does that get much attention? Absolutely not. That’s an injustice. A human life is a human life.”

Hikind says that “white privilege” does not exist in 21st century America.

“Are there white people who are privileged? Yes. Are there black people who are privileged? Yes,” he said. “Think of some of the people who are white or Asian who did not get into a university because of reverse discrimination or a quota system. The broad painting of the entire world by skin color is not healthy. We are all individuals.”

Hikind also mentioned that the attack on free speech is reminiscent of what has taken place in communist societies throughout history.

“You don’t have to agree with me. I have the right to have my point of view as you have a right to have your point of view. But that’s only a one-way street,” Hikind said. “If you’re a progressive, your view should be my view. It’s utter hypocrisy.”

He noted that most of the major cities have been run by the Democratic Party for generations and that many of these cities are currently run by black mayors.

Hikind also pointed out the double standard of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio singling out the Jewish community, by ordering the NYPD to remove Orthodox Jews from city parks or prevent them from praying at synagogues while violent criminals are allowed to wreak havoc on businesses across the five boroughs.

“De Blasio has been mayor for almost seven full years and NOW he’s going to make things better?” Hikind said.

SaraACarter.com will continue to cover issues of racial and religious discrimination across the United States.

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