After the presidential election, possibly as one of the many fallouts of this fiasco, a report by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) that was submitted in late August reemerged. It deals particularly with QAnon, which the report describes as a “far-right network of people who believe the world is controlled by a satanic cabal. …Antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish elites, globalists, and bankers are part and parcel of the QAnon belief system.”
In my eyes, this report reflects a deeper problem than the existence of antisemitism. There has always been antisemitism, and Jews have always been blamed for things they didn’t do. Jews have also been blamed for things that Jews did do, but not because they were Jews, but simply because they were corrupt individuals. However, all this is besides the point.
What worries me more is the fact that Jewish organizations are profiteering from the existence of antisemitism. They are promoting the circulation of reports about antisemitic incidents because without them, they would not be able to collect the funds and have the clout that they do. And although they assert that they are collecting the funds in order to combat antisemitism, the hard truth is that for all their purported efforts, antisemitism only seems to grow.
Indeed, combating antisemitism is where all Jewish organizations fail. Exposing it is not enough. It makes us realize that there is a problem, but silencing antisemites does nothing to abate the growing hatred toward the Jews. A genuine campaign against antisemitism must focus on the Jews’ own disunity and promote solidarity, rather than focusing on the anger that more and more parts of American society feel toward the Jews. Regrettably, unity and solidarity don’t sell well while hatred does, so I don’t expect to see any change in the strategy of Jewish organizations regarding combating antisemitism.
You might wonder why I speak so often about American Jewry. I do it because I feel obliged to warn where I see immediate danger. I am not writing in order to change or rebuke this or that organization; I know this is hopeless, as the people who run it seek power and wealth and not much else. I write in order to warn those whose eyes are still open and whose minds are still alert to acknowledge the impending danger.
The Jews have always been afflicted and tormented the most when they were disunited. The current focus of so many Jewish leaders on power and wealth, the growing estrangement of American Jews from the State of Israel, regardless of the question of the Israeli government’s policy, and the extremely high rates of interfaith marriages (twice as much as before the Holocaust) are all signs of Jewish disintegration. And when Jews disintegrate, antisemitism rises and escalates. In 1929, Dr. Kurt Fleischer, leader of the Liberals in the Berlin Jewish Community Assembly, eloquently phrased this oddity: “Anti-Semitism is the scourge that God has sent us in order to lead us together and weld us together.”
Today’s American Jewry is precariously similar to that of pre-World War II German Jewry. If American Jewry does not reverse course very soon, it will experience the same fate that German Jewry experienced in the 1930s and 1940s. It is not a question of if, but of when, and the answer to that question is definitely in the foreseeable future.