Antisemitism isn’t bad only for Jews. It’s bad for antisemites, too. So said Tevi Troy in a March 10 Jewish Policy Center Webinar.
Troy, a JPC Fellow, White House staffer and deputy secretary of Health and Human Services in the administration of President George W. Bush, and author of Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump, cast a historian’s eye on the phenomenon. He noted that:
- Spain after the 1492 expulsion of its Jews,
- Russia after the pogroms of 1903 – 1906 that spurred the emigration of approximately 2 million Jews,
- Nazi Germany with the early flight of many Jewish intellectuals and subsequent murder of most of the community in the Holocaust, and
- Arab-Islamic states with the persecution and flight of more than 800,000 Jews after Israel’s creation all stagnated or declined.
- “Even Canada in the 1970s … with the rise of the antisemitic Party Quebecois” experienced a similar development, Troy said. The departure of more than 10,000 Jews from predominantly French-speaking Montreal to overwhelmingly English-speaking Toronto, helped the latter become the country’s leading city in place of the former.
A similar move could occur, or even may be taking place, in the United States, Troy suggested. He pointed to the jump in anti-Jewish incidents, including the killings in synagogues in Pittsburgh, Pa. and Poway, Calif., at a kosher market in Newark, N.J., and the recent taking of hostages at a Texas synagogue. U.S. Jews, Troy said, might relocate from places that seem less able to uphold law and order that secures their freedom and equality to locales that do.
In New York City, antisemitic incidents, including assaults on city streets, jumped 409 percent from February, 2021 to February 2022, Troy said. “It’s disturbing, it’s worrisome” and may be one reason Jews as well as non-Jews are exiting New York for Florida and elsewhere.
Troy answered a question from one of the approximately 140 webinar participants about his concerns over Jew-hatred in America by saying, “it was in the one to two range [with 10 the most troubling] 10 years ago. Now its in the four range.”
What to do? Among other things, “there should be a muscular assertion by Jews that we’re not going to take crap,” Troy said. American antisemitism today comes from the nationalist right, extremist left and Islamist radicals, often abetted by social media, and all three sources must be exposed, he stressed.