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May 22, 2024

Why Does Jew Hatred Get the All Lives Matter Treatment?

When it comes to Jews and antisemitism, the logic of All Lives Matter is alive and well across every layer of power.

During the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, a counter-slogan emerged that became a catch-all response: All Lives Matter. Initially a simple claim, it quickly became an umbrella term for all positions, valid and invalid. Overnight, a complex debate was oversimplified into mere bumper-stickers.

By its critics, All Lives Matter was seen as a weapon used to dilute a political issue that was specific to the Black community. Either you’re with us or against us, people were told, with any attempted weakening of Black Lives Matter by All Lives Matter rejected as a “bothsidesism” (or even endorsement) of racism in the United States.

Setting aside the politics lurking beneath Black Lives Matter and its corresponding counter-movements, we can admit one thing: It’s perfectly reasonable for people to work in good faith to pursue one political or cultural mission (such as racism against Black people) without having to simultaneously provide an exhaustive list of every other form of wrongdoing they oppose.

Put simply, just because you believe Black lives matter doesn’t mean you don’t believe all lives matter.

But because our society treats such simple truths like verbal lepers, the reaction was instead: do not, under any circumstances, try to “All Lives Matter” Black Lives Matter.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to Jews.

When it comes to Jews and antisemitism, the logic of All Lives Matter is alive and well across every layer of power, especially among those who would never dream of uttering those dreaded three words in the context of Black Lives Matter.

For example, when the International Criminal Court announced that arrest warrants would be sought for three Hamas leaders and Israel’s prime minister and defense minister relating to war crimes (real and imaginary respectively), President Joe Biden described the inclusion of Israeli leadership by ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan as “outrageous.”

And while he is correct, Biden is guilty of the very same mistake: viewing shameless and violent antisemitism through the previously unacceptable All Lives Matter lens.

“There should be no place on any campus, no place in America for antisemitism or threats of violence against Jewish students,” Biden said earlier this month in response to the explosion of antisemitism on college campuses witnessed since Oct. 7. “There is no place for hate speech or violence of any kind, whether it’s antisemitism, Islamophobia or discrimination against Arab Americans or Palestinian Americans. It’s simply wrong. There is no place for racism in America. It’s all wrong. It’s un-American.”

And while Biden’s argument is objectively correct, why wasn’t antisemitism condemned on its own? Why did Biden (like so many others before and after him) partner condemnation of antisemitism with condemnation of Islamophobia? Why — during a statement condemning overt acts of antisemitism — are the Jewish victims of this hatred a minority, second to the combined category of Muslims, Arab Americans and Palestinian Americans, some of whom are responsible for the very antisemitism Biden is claiming to reject?

Condemnations of violence and hate against Asians, Hispanics or Muslims certainly aren’t diluted by the strategic (and inappropriate) reference to anti-Jewish hate.

For example, when Biden condemned the sickening murder of 6-year-old Palestinian American, Wadea Al-Fayoume (as well as the attempted murder of his mother), his response was entirely appropriate.

“As Americans, we must come together and reject Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred. I have said repeatedly that I will not be silent in the face of hate. We must be unequivocal. There is no place in America for hate against anyone.”

The brutal reality is that radical Islamic antisemitism (using radical leftism as a Trojan horse) is the loudest driving force behind the latest iteration of antisemitism in the United States, the West and certainly the Middle East. The inclusion of Islamophobia in a condemnation of what is largely Muslim antisemitism is equivalent to condemning anti-white hate during a speech condemning a spate of anti-Black attacks — including the level of power this gives those who use false accusations of bigotry as a shield for their hatred.

Biden and his ilk would never dream of using All Lives Matter to condemn anti-Black, anti-Asian, anti-Hispanic or anti-Muslim bigotry. Yet again, it’s an honor reserved for Jews and Jews alone.

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