Jews unprepared to fight anti-Semitism

Here are some excerpts from an opinion piece by Avrum Rosensweig in Haaretz. In it, he states things we have been saying for a while, but is apparently unfamiliar with our work. While we strongly agree with his "smoke alarm" going off about the problem of Jew hatred throughout the world, we feel his suggestion to contact the same "leaders" who have already failed us is a bit naive:

Jewish communities everywhere are once again unprepared to fight anti-Semitism effectively and our leadership has failed, so far, in developing a community mobilization plan.

There are no voices emanating from Israel, the Jewish federations, B'nai Briths or synagogue pulpits letting us know that someone somewhere is working on a collective long term strategy to fight anti-Semitism, protect Israel's reputation, and counter the virulent and aggressive language and activities of news bureaus, online bloggers and website authors.

Simply put, after years of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on Holocaust education and buildings memorializing our 'kedoshim', the six million who died, we seemed to have learned very little. We are still far too comfortable and fooled by the success we have discovered; still too reliant on others to protect us, and still blind to the reality that the Jewish world has the ability to create a worldwide community mobilization plan that could stymie much of the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel filth emanating from dozens of corners and crannies around the globe, from the Vatican to Venezuela.
Having dealt with many of the organizations he lists here, we feel his "action plan" won't amount to much (since mainstream Jewish organizations are hesitant to do anything outside their scope):
So, I call on you, Jewish community members to demand of our leadership a community mobilization plan. Call up your Israel Consular General, Rabbis, leaders of the UJA/Federations, B'nai Briths and other such organizations and ask them where and when you can meet to determine your participation in a plan that will strengthen and protecting the Jewish people.

Ask them what resources are required to make such a plan a reality.

Ask them how we can all work together to create a force, composed of Jews of every denomination, together with our non-Jewish friends, to defend ourselves against the upside-down world that sees us as responsible for the economic downturn, the depression of the Muslim world and any other 'flavor of the month' issue.

Tell them you have some ideas such as: launching a campaign to raise $100 million worldwide to finance this plan ? something we are good at; using the currently available Birthright and March of the Living participants to spearhead a team of young people to counter their anti-Israel and anti-Semitic counterparts; creating a local, national and international team of Jewish bloggers who can counter anti-Semitism online; befriending non-Jews who can aid and assist in our struggle; creating community workshops to meet those people in our community and around the world who are sitting on the anti-Semite fence, or even those who speak negatively about us but can be convinced.

Historically, the Diaspora Jewish communities have never been well prepared to fight anti-Semitism. Israel has been of little help. This is a sad reality and the results have been dismal. But we live in a different world now, one in which battles can be fought over the internet and education of the masses happens through a push of a few buttons.
He naively suggests that the Jewish people can turn to others for help:
We have many friends in the Christian, Muslim, Bahia, Buddhist and Hindu world after years of defending them against human rights abuses. We have colleagues in Aboriginal communities and neighbors who respect us for our safe streets.

Our friends are everywhere, from Hungary to New Haven. It is time we call on them for a favor, help and support.
He assumes we have Jewish leaders to call upon:
Call your Jewish leaders and demand a plan. I beg you to do so. Tell them that we need a responsible and aggressive strategy that includes every man, woman and child - one that will fend off fists that try to beat us, shut the mouths that try to break us, and transform hatred into goodness where we are able.

Now is the time, to take action. Your children are expecting you to fight, and every Jew who ever suffered or died at the hands of an anti-Semite is calling out to us.

We will not fail ourselves! We can not. We know too much and are far too talented and resourceful. I believe times have changed. So should you.

I have not been shaken from my beliefs that people are still good, but I am shaken.



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