Helping Our Jewish Brothers is Helping America

August 14, 2020

By Adam Milstein


Antisemitism is an ancient problem. Throughout history, our Jewish brothers and sisters lacked the power and resources to do much of anything to fight this hatred. Today, however, American Jews have established themselves as one of the most successful immigrant communities in the country. Yet, in the face of intensifying antisemitism, still too little is done to combat it. Instead, efforts have been focused on merely documenting, educating about, and respectfully objecting to antisemitic acts after they occur. This inaction has normalized antisemitism and allowed the threat to rise.

Since Jews are the direct target of antisemitism, other Americans may perceive Jew-hatred as a Jewish problem. As American Jews fail to fight this bigotry on their own, you may ask yourself: why should I join this battle?

Evidently, defining antisemitism as a Jewish problem is a lose-lose proposition.

Jews are not going on the offensive to stop antisemitism, and many Americans won’t fight battles for those who don’t have the courage to stand up for themselves.

Frustration but inaction encapsulates the inadequate approach of combatting Jew-hatred today. There has been outrage against the growing hostility directed toward Jewish students on college campuses, but the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is only gaining strength. There has been outrage against growing antisemitism on social media, but there is a new scandal every day. There has been outrage against freshmen legislators Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib for promoting antisemitic tropes, but they’ve been let off with only a light slap on the wrist.

Antisemitism is not just a problem for Jews; Antisemitism is an issue for Christians and all Americans. Antisemitism threatens to destroy our way of life.

Radical groups–the radical left, the radical right, radical Muslims, and the radical African Americans who championNation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan–are spearheading efforts to erode the core principles that make our country exceptional.Collectively, these radical groups reject the Judeo-Christian values that have supported the foundation of our country and protect all Americans.

For years, we’ve been at the receiving end of this hatred. But it is time we fight back this evil and save our country and our People.  

We will lose as Jews, as Christians, and as Americans if we continue accepting a prescribed role of a sacrificial canary in the coal mine, hoping that the danger is recognized after it hasalready consumed us whole. If we are truly ready to overcome hate, we must stop playing the victim and start fighting it head-on together.

We need to be eagles looking out onto the horizon, detecting threats far before they grievously harm us and our country. There are practical actions we must take to go on the offensive against antisemitism. They include (1) investigating and exposing the radical movements that fuel the spread of this hatred by identifying their networks, money trails, and agendas(2) increasing knowledge-sharing capabilities that inform the American people about the threats and empower them to act (3) holding the media accountable to the standards of a fair and free press (4) supporting legislation that curbs the influence of the hate movements in our institutions.

Viewing antisemitism as a Jewish problem has been a lose-lose proposition because it has not spurred anyone to take meaningful action against it.

Now is time for all Americans to fight against this hatred and racism. Our history and increasingly dangerous reality show that the inalienable rights afforded by the Constitution cannot be taken for granted. We need to fight for our safety and security today so that tomorrow we and future generations can continue living freely and proudly. We must fly into the future as brave eagles and free America from the dangers of antisemitism and the extremism it represents.

Adam Milstein is an active philanthropist and co-founder of the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, which sponsored this article. Learn how you can support their out-of-the box efforts to combat bigotry and hatred of all forms in AmericaContact the Milstein Family Foundation at [email protected].