Europe's rising anti-Semitism demands a new social contract

The recent deadly attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh demonstrated more than ever that the threats from bo...

Posted: Nov 30, 2018 12:10 PM
Updated: Nov 30, 2018 12:10 PM

The recent deadly attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh demonstrated more than ever that the threats from both the far right and the far left are rarely about individual Jews, but against Jewish collectivity.

"The Jews," as in "All Jews must die" -- the phrase that the far right Pittsburgh shooting suspect Robert Bowers allegedly shouted as he shot at the worshippers in the Tree of Life Synagogue -- disregards the diversity of the Jewish people. Whether religious, cultural or political, the only thing that mattered was that they belonged to the Jewish people.

2018 Pittsburgh synagogue attack

Anti-semitism

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Discrimination

Domestic terrorism

Europe

Hate crimes

Homicide

International relations and national security

Jewish people

Mass murder

Minority and ethnic groups

Murder

National security

North America

Northeastern United States

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Racism and racial discrimination

Shootings

Societal issues

Society

Terrorism

Terrorism and counter-terrorism

The Americas

United States

Unrest, conflicts and war

Violence in society

(Editor's note: Bowers has pleaded not guilty to 44 federal charges in connection with the attack.)

On the far left, many hold a paramount hatred against the Jewish collectivity and substitute the term Jews for Zionists, meaning that the Jews do not constitute a people deserving of national sovereignty and self-determination in their ancestral and indigenous homeland.

In recent years, we have seen that this effortlessly shifts into ancient anti-Semitic motifs, especially in Europe, and singles out Jewish collectivity from all peoples on earth.

When Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote "The Social Contract" in 1762, he created a new format for a relationship between the people and their rulers. This was the dawn of a new system of government. However, the Jews were not to be part of this wave of equality and association.

Later in 1789, speaking in a debate on the eligibility of Jews for citizenship, the Count of Clermont-Tonnerre spelled out in a fateful sentence the terms in which Jews could be included in the new political exemption. "The Jews," he said, "should be denied everything as a nation, but granted everything as individuals."

It was possible to allow individual Jews into the new social contract, but not Jewish collectivity, and it has been that way ever since.

However, after the Holocaust, the greatest destruction and attempted annihilation of the Jewish people, it was felt that a new social contract was being signed between the nations of the world and the Jewish nation.

The return of Jewish sovereignty was welcomed and Jewish communities in more places than ever before in history were given full and equal rights.

But now, in 2018, this social contract between the nations of the world and Jewish collectivity is tearing apart at the seams. The Jewish state is being singled out among all nations for boycott, divestment and sanctions, viciously attacked in international forums, and is the subject of age-old anti-Semitic myths like the blood libel and global control.

In Jewish communities around the world, Jews have to fight for their right to full understanding and equality. In France, Belgium, Scandinavia and now the US, the Jews are constantly being targeted, not for what they do, believe in, or think, but because they belong to a certain community, the Jewish community.

In Europe, due to rising radicalism, populism, a weak political center, economic imbalances and terrorism -- combined with a lack of historical memory -- anti-Semitism is no longer considered an absolute evil. And it's likely to get worse.

The ultimate goal is to change what has sadly become the new normal.

Radicalization of the political spectrum continues with the severe weakening of mainstream parties, which are expected to continue suffering major losses to the far right and far left.

That is why we need to create a new social contract between the Jewish people and the nations of the world. We need governments to restate their obligations to all their citizens, by ensuring equal right and protection, by allocating funds and resources to ensure the security and well-being of the Jewish community.

Jews have always been loyal to the nations where they resided, and hold strongly onto the rabbinic dictum that "the law of the land is the law." We contribute to all walks of life, whether medicine, science, technology, arts and entertainment, often disproportionately to our overall numbers. We do this as proud Jews and as loyal servants to our nations.

We ask for nothing more than full equality and respect, to be both a loyal and dependable citizen and an open and proud member of the Jewish collectivity. Our holy texts do not force us to decide between the two and inspire these feelings of loyalty to our rulers and governments.

Nonetheless, we are being asked to decide.

On the far right, they try to force us out of our countries; on the far left they try to force us out of our collectivity. We need governments around the world to speak openly and honestly against both these discriminatory efforts. Now is a time to speak against these trends and for our Jewish collectivity to be recognized and defended by those in leadership positions.

This is why we reach out to the leaders of the world, to repair this social contract before it is ripped to shreds before our eyes. Without this social contract, our existence will become even more challenging, anti-Semitism will increase and we will see more attacks like those in Pittsburgh, Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 60101

Reported Deaths: 1689
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19057831
Ramsey7444265
Dakota4334104
Anoka3618114
Stearns288620
Washington207744
Nobles17626
Olmsted171823
Scott153218
Mower10992
Rice10298
Blue Earth9115
Wright8695
Carver8413
Clay77940
Sherburne7188
Kandiyohi6891
St. Louis52119
Lyon4263
Todd4242
Freeborn3591
Steele3451
Nicollet33313
Benton3203
Watonwan3080
Winona25916
Crow Wing23214
Beltrami2230
Le Sueur2171
Martin2075
Chisago1991
Otter Tail1933
Goodhue1929
Cottonwood1770
McLeod1730
Pipestone1559
Becker1521
Polk1504
Waseca1480
Douglas1391
Itasca13812
Unassigned13741
Carlton1350
Pine1290
Dodge1260
Isanti1230
Murray1221
Chippewa1031
Wabasha910
Morrison891
Brown882
Faribault870
Meeker852
Rock830
Sibley832
Jackson810
Koochiching773
Pennington751
Mille Lacs713
Cass692
Fillmore640
Renville635
Lincoln570
Grant533
Swift521
Yellow Medicine520
Roseau470
Pope460
Aitkin401
Houston390
Norman390
Redwood360
Kanabec341
Wilkin343
Hubbard330
Marshall300
Mahnomen261
Wadena260
Red Lake240
Big Stone220
Lake200
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle70
Cook30
Kittson30
Lake of the Woods20

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48398

Reported Deaths: 925
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10223207
Woodbury371652
Black Hawk311566
Linn234887
Johnson206719
Dallas187835
Buena Vista179112
Scott171614
Dubuque166531
Marshall143826
Pottawattamie131426
Story116014
Wapello88133
Muscatine84648
Webster8017
Crawford7273
Sioux6253
Cerro Gordo60917
Warren5571
Tama54929
Jasper47626
Wright4651
Plymouth4579
Dickinson3804
Clinton3793
Louisa37814
Washington29810
Boone2553
Hamilton2461
Franklin23910
Bremer2247
Clarke1993
Emmet1914
Carroll1881
Clay1861
Shelby1831
Hardin1780
Des Moines1692
Marion1690
Poweshiek1578
Benton1551
Allamakee1544
Floyd1532
Jackson1511
Mahaska13917
Cedar1311
Guthrie1315
Jones1302
Buchanan1271
Hancock1222
Butler1212
Henry1203
Madison1182
Pocahontas1152
Lee1133
Lyon1132
Delaware1111
Cherokee1081
Humboldt1081
Harrison1060
Clayton1043
Taylor980
Iowa971
Winneshiek951
Page940
Monona910
Kossuth890
Mills890
Palo Alto840
Sac840
Calhoun832
Jefferson830
Osceola830
Fayette820
Grundy791
Winnebago790
Mitchell780
Union771
Monroe727
Cass711
Worth660
Lucas634
Montgomery594
Davis551
Chickasaw540
Howard490
Appanoose483
Fremont420
Greene410
Keokuk341
Van Buren341
Adair290
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur230
Ringgold211
Wayne191
Adams160
Unassigned70
Rochester
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Mason City
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 71°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Austin
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
Charles City
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Scattered Storms, Warm & Humid
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Rochester Area Restore celebrates 6 years

Image

Saturday Weather

Image

Grief mask making workshop

Image

Mace's Weather 8/8

Image

Tractor pullers excited to rev up their engines in 2020

Image

Need school supplies? Iowa tax-free weekend on clothes

Image

War hero remembered with motorcycle ride

Image

Families react to RPS's "Return to Learn" plan

Image

Sara's 10pm Forecast- Friday

Image

Giving your best volunteer of the month

Community Events