Monday is the final day of Hanukkah; this year so much of the eight-day celebration has been marred by fear among Americans of Jewish faith and heritage — and disturbing attacks on Jews in New York and Jersey City.
The most recent involved a knife attack at a rabbi’s house by a man politicians say is a terrorist. The man’s family says he is mentally ill.
CNN’s Jake Tapper, while interviewing Oren Segal of the Anti-Defamation League Center, remarked on Sunday that the anti-Semitic attacks carried out in New York City are largely not being committed by white supremacists, but by “people of color.” The attackers do not fit the liberal narrative that dominates the media these days.
What does not advance the public dialogue is when liberals make every crime or every insult into a “hate crime.” We’re seeing more of that tactic used in the public realm, where people are claiming anti-Semitism for every imagined slight, and then they call for the “cancel culture” to slice and dice the target, usually a conservative, such as Ben Shapiro, who is a practicing Jew and who doesn’t suffer fools on the Left.
It becomes more difficult to judge which crimes are hate crimes, and which are just crimes, when the Left uses these incidents for political gain.
Yet religious and ethnic intolerance cannot be ignored by conservatives.
It was good to see Gov. Mike Dunleavy at the Hanukkah menorah lighting in Palmer at the Depot on Sunday night, where they lit the giant menorah and observed traditions such as potato latkes, and Hanukkah crafts.
Christians must stand in solidarity with Jews — and people of all faiths — in rebuking hatred and violence of any sort. And they should do so with urgency from the pulpit when it comes to defending people of other faiths.
Also on Sunday, Christians were attacked as they worshiped in a Fort Worth suburb. The parishioners were armed, of course, and they took down the gunman. Two parishioners died, and the attacker died as well, shot by the church security detail. This was not described as a hate crime by the media; the perpetrator was described as a transient. We don’t know his motive and it is too dead to tell us.
But the incident reminds us of what presidential candidate Joe Biden said, just this past September, about the Texas law that allows gun owners to carry in places of worship: He said it is “irrational.”
New York doesn’t allow churches and synagogues to protect themselves against armed intruders. In fact, New York doesn’t allow citizens to protect themselves at all. That’s what Joe Biden calls rational.