America Is in the Grip of an Antisemitism Crisis and Joe Biden Is AWOL

News & Politics

Last year, Joe Biden gave a nationally televised speech at Howard University railing against white supremacy, calling it the “greatest terrorist threat” to the nation.

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Two years ago, Biden made a national, prime-time address, telling Americans that Donald Trump and MAGA Americans were the gravest threat to democracy and that they “fan the flames” of political violence in pursuit of power.

Powerful stuff. Biden saw the opportunity and felt the moment was right to raise the issue of white supremacy and MAGA extremism to the level that required a national speech to address the issue.

Now, the United States is in the midst of an antisemitism crisis that threatens the lives of Americans. Biden has made strong statements here and there condemning the hate. 

But far more is needed. American Jews need to hear more. Muslims who may be getting the idea that it is OK to hint at genocide need to hear more. College presidents, administrators, and leaders need to hear more. And students who stupidly, blindly believe Hamas propaganda and don’t fully understand the position they’re taking need to hear more.

Where is Joe Biden? He gave a national address hysterically warning about the extremism of his political opponents. He gave an address warning about white supremacy. But this isn’t a political crisis where he can signal to one of the factions of his coalition that he understands their fears. He needs to deliver a national address condemning not just antisemitism, but the people demonstrating on college campuses as well. They are spewing hate, and all the “aspirational rhetoric” notwithstanding, this is a moment for presidential clarity.

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Erick Erickson:

But where is Joe Biden? The Commander in Chief’s unequivocal moral clarity on the white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia allegedly drew him into the race for president in 2019. In fact, the first two words of his campaign kickoff video were “Charlottesville, Virginia.”

But when confronted by the racists and the bigots on his own side, Biden is choosing to ignore antisemitism on Ivy League campuses while attempting to buy their votes by paying off their massive student loan debts with your tax dollars. This is not leadership and these are not SEC schools.

American campuses are in an uproar. This isn’t a free speech issue. It isn’t an academic freedom issue. It isn’t even a law and order issue.

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Hate is beginning to take over large numbers of American campuses. Administrators are frozen in fear, not wanting to agitate the situation by breaking up the hate-inspired protests. But the longer they go on, the more emboldened the haters get. Finally, it becomes a “fascist” police action just to control the hate.

This is a crisis of the American soul — as much a crisis as in 1930s Germany and Europe at large, when vast numbers of ordinary people began to believe Nazi and antisemitic propaganda about the Jews. The Nuremberg Laws, the concentration camps, and finally, the death camps proved these normally good-hearted people who acquiesced to the slaughter of Jews had lost their moral compass. Can Americans hold on to their values in the face of people who hate those values? 

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American Jews are frightened, as they well should be. Calls for their extermination are dismissed as “aspirational calls for a Palestinian state.” Yeah, Most European leaders didn’t think Hitler was serious about getting rid of the Jews, either. Six million lives later, they finally got it.

Fifty years ago, college campuses were in a similar uproar. Then, it was civil rights and the Vietnam War. College administrators didn’t hesitate. They called in the cops to restore order and they weren’t very gentle about it. It was regretful but necessary. Most of us didn’t think so at the time. But the wisdom of age and the perspective of time has changed most of our minds about why order is so necessary to democracy. 

How do we restore order? Columbia’s president, Nemat Shafik, who groveled before Congress last week, is still clueless. “I know that there is much debate about whether or not we should use the police on campus, and I am happy to engage in those discussions,” Dr. Shafik said in a message to students and employees “But I do know that better adherence to our rules and effective enforcement mechanisms would obviate the need for relying on anyone else to keep our community safe,” she added. “We should be able to do this ourselves.”

“Adherence to our rules”? Is she serious? These antisemites don’t give a crap about “rules.” And your “enforcement mechanisms” have already failed.

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Obviously, college administrators are not going to do what’s necessary. What’s needed is a speech by the president to condemn the thinly disguised hate speech on campus and put some spine into college administrators. 

You can’t handle this yourselves, Dr. Shafik, nor can other college administrators who fear being unpopular with the kids more than doing what’s right. All your hesitation is doing is giving the protesters what they want. Time to call in the NYPD and show that there is zero tolerance for antisemitism.

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