Rioting in Los Angeles was an anti-Jewish pogrom

By Bruce S. Ticker

PHILADELPHIA — The Jews of the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles were exposed to a modern, American-style pogrom on May 30 that should enrage us all. Not only were Jewish businesses sacked but five synagogues and three Jewish schools were reportedly vandalized in George Floyd’s name by thugs.

Writer Daniel Greenfield wrote on his blog, “One small business owner described a ‘late Saturday night with people driving down the Fairfax district streets screaming effing Jews’”.

Before reading Greenfield’s opinion piece, I referenced the rampage by protesters in a commentary last week, but I was not aware of the scale of the carnage via initial media reports. Greenfield and Laurie Cardoza-Moore alerted me to the level of the damage late last week. Originally, I caught news reports of two vandalized shuls, and Greenfield’s article reported that vandals struck five synagogues and three Jewish schools.

At my request, Greenfield sent me links to other reports affirming that three shuls and one school were defaced, and he wrote in a subsequent e-mail that he learned “that pretty much any Jewish institution in the path of the protesters was defaced.”

Both Greenfield and Cardoza-Moore, president of the Nashville-based Proclaiming Justice to The Nations, characterized the Fairfax incident as a serious matter that should worry American Jews. They are right. In fact, it occurred to me that at least two other issues linked to the Floyd demonstrations pose a grave threat to Jews. Those two others:

These ongoing rallies could readily cause the number of coronavirus cases to spike, which makes the rest of us all the more vulnerable to the disease;
Many people of color have assumed the worst of middle-class and wealthy whites, and specifically Jews. The protesters focused on Los Angeles’s West Side because the area is heavily white, not to mention Jewish, even though many are empathetic about inner-city ills.

In his strongly-worded commentary, Greenfield urged Jews to forcefully criticize what happened in the Fairfax area, writing, “One would think that the hateful vandalism of eight Jewish institutions and a mob screaming slurs after trashing Jewish businesses would lead to some sort of meaningful response.”

He emphasized that the Jewish community’s reaction has been understated, much less a “meaningful response.” “Decency and self-respect alone compel us not to remain silent,” he wrote. “And if we do remain silent, while chanting the cause of those who vandalized our houses of worship and shops, we will have neither decency nor respect.”

Cardozo-Moore, a modern-day Righteous Gentile, wrote, “Violence against the Jewish communities in the cities set ablaze has been a sadly under-reported side effect of the destruction in America we have witnessed emblazoned across every news report…The story repeated in virtually every city under attack by protesters. Anti-Semitism comes to every event hatred hosts. It is globally on the rise at such an escalating rate that little wonder it would find entry into the current political and social unrest in America.”

To speak up as to how we, American Jews, can by jeopardized by these protests does not minimize the central issue – police brutality. The death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer can be opposed without defacing synagogues, spreading a disease or punishing sympathetic whites.

We must raise our voices if we expect to draw the attention of the rest of the world. The ludicrous rise in anti-Semitism was finally recognized by our fellow citizens in October 2018 when 11 congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue were murdered, but there have been other brazen attacks on Jews and/or Jewish facilities in the past quarter-century that resulted in muted responses.

The Fairfax riot was a pogrom. The thugs must have known that Fairfax is a historically Jewish neighborhood. Even if they did not know this, these were synagogues and Jewish schools that were defaced. Some businesses were clearly marked for Jewish consumer needs, such as kosher restaurants. Would we remain silent if something like that happened in Europe?

The Covid-19 could spread because of these protests. The New York Times identified three cases that were possibly caused by participation in the demonstrations. Medical experts told the Times that many infections and deaths could result from the rallies, and we should find out for certain in a few weeks.

Police officers during normal times might thank the protesters for the overtime, but they know they could contract the virus from those rallying for Floyd. The son-in-law of a childhood friend is a police officer who is facing crowds in Philadelphia. Health-care workers will be vulnerable if they must treat stricken police officers and demonstrators.

Not to mention the rest of us, me included. I am susceptible because of my advancing age. I hoped that the efforts to reduce case levels would permit us to go outside and once again socialize, dine out and attend plays and movies. A great many of my classmates are still around, and I fear that the protests could force us to wait much longer to enjoy our surroundings.

Many of us would welcome the protests if not for the virus. Now they can dampen our sympathies.

By physically bringing their grievances to the heavily white West Side – stretching from downtown L.A. west to Santa Monica – people of color are showing they can be as presumptuous about white people as many whites are of African-Americans.

Consider the attitude of Patrisse Cullors, who organized the May 30 event in Fairfax: “Let’s go into the heart of what is symbolically white in Los Angeles, which is Beverly Hills,” she told a New York Times reporter. “These people need to hear our pain and our grief. We wanted to bring this to communities who often aren’t dealing with police violence.”

Whites in Fairfax dealt with not “police violence” but protest violence. Whites in Fairfax heard not “our pain and our grief” but the sounds of glass breaking, much like the sounds of the glass breaking in Nazi Germany more than 80 years ago.

Before May 30, people of color would have found more sympathy from West Siders than among whites in nearly each corner of the country, including the thousands of Jews who reside there. Not that their viewpoints are perfect. However, if West Side whites are tone-deaf, why is California arguably the strongest liberal state in the nation? Why else would L.A. and the San Francisco Bay Area be solidly Democratic?

Many complain that voting does no good because little is done for the poor even when Democrats are in power, which includes eight years of President Obama’s tenure. There is some truth in that, but what they do not recognize is that Republicans obstruct most Democratic legislation. President Trump benefited from low voter turnout in Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee in 2016, and in fact Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey won both his elections – in 2010 and 2016 – thanks in part to low turnout among minority voters in Philadelphia.

If Cullors wants to “bring this” to insensitive whites, maybe she should consider communities where large swaths of Trump voters live. She can start with Bakersfield, 100 miles north of L.A., and then choose from a wide range of red states and right-wing regions.

Likely American Jews can raise even more related concerns. If we do not speak up for ourselves, why should anyone else care?

*
Bruce S. Ticker is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia.  He may be contacted via bruce.ticker@sdjewishworld.com

June 11, 2020 | 11 Comments » | 783 views

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11 Comments / 11 Comments

  1. It is impossible in words to describe the full horror of the situation here in the United States. Many state and municipal officials are openly supporting the domestic terrorists. So are most of the major news services. So have most of the largest American corporations. So have many senior clergman.The domestic terrorists have established no-go zones patrolled by their own “militias” that the police dare not enter. They have set up check-points to prevent anyone from leaving or entering these zones without their permission. Senior officials on the Federal, State and Local level are publicly kneeling in submission to the terrorists and expressing penitence for having been born of European ancestry.(“white privilege”).

    Calls to abolish the police or “defund” them have received widespread support. Measures to place policeman under close surveillance to uncover any sign of police brutality have been passed by several state legislures, and are sailing through the US House of Representatives.Senior police officers in many communities,in a desperate bid to survive, have joined marches organized by the terrorist groups and kneeled in penitence for being European-Americans.

    Worst of all, senior military officers of the United States have openly defied their President and commander-in-chief by refusing to send in armed soldiers to quell the arson and looting, and retake the no-go zones. Just today, a senior general publicly apologized for accompanying the President when he walked to a burned out church to pay his respects. “This was not my place,” he said.

    At the same time, many states continue to impose restrictions on people’s freedom of movement, on the functioning of restaurants, taverns, shopping malls, etc., requiring people to wear masks, etc. These edicts continue to be obeyed and enforced in predominently white areas. Rioting, burning and looting are OK, but sitting down in a restaurant for a meal isn’t.

    Obviously, a country gripped by this kind of insanity has no future, within five years, at most, it will disintegrate completely and become a “failed state” a la Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalis, etc. Israelis must begin to organize for a post_American world.

  2. Ted, please publish my comment, which has just been trashed, about the terrible situation throughout the United States caused by widespread government support for domestic terrorism. I think a summary of how desperate the situation has become in the United States should be of interest to Israpundit readers, especially in Israel.

  3. “Republicans obstruct most Democratic legislation…If Cullors wants to “bring this” to insensitive whites, maybe she should consider communities where large swaths of Trump voters live “

    Better places to riot, and spread the virus? I was going to repost this article, at first, but, not now. Does this author know – or care – that Trump is popular is Brooklyn Jewish neighborhoods like Crown Heights, Williamsburg, Boro Park, and Brighton Beach? Is she only concerned about liberal Jewish neighborhoods? She mentions the Tree of LIfe Synagogue massacre from 2018 – a liberal synagogue that had been prominent in advocating for Muslim immigation and open borders, which is what provoked the neo-Nazi attack there, but she doesn’t mention Monsey, whose Jewish victim of a Black Nationalist antisemite just died! Liberal Jews seek to speak for all Jews but they only care about their own political tribe. It’s time they not be allowed to pretend to the world that they speak for all of us, even if their numbers and media representation, here in the US, are greater.

    “Monsey Hanukkah machete attack victim dies 3 months later
    By Eyewitness News
    Sunday, March 29, 2020

    MONSEY, New York (WABC) — The victim who was critically injured in the Hanukkah machete attack in Monsey last December has succumbed to his injuries.

    Joseph Neuman was struck several times by the suspect’s machete, and the weapon penetrated his skull.

    At the time, doctors were not optimistic about Neuman’s chances to regain consciousness or if he would ever be able to speak again.

    Five people were slashed with the 18-inch machete during a celebration at Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home on Dec. 28.

    Grafton Thomas, 37, was charged with five counts of attempted murder, burglary and federal hate crimes in connection to the attack.”

    https://abc7ny.com/chaim-rottenberg-monsey-hanukkah-attack-machete-anti-semitism/6061596/

  4. Or the murders at the Kosher market in Jersey city, also by black nationalist antisemites, from the same month, last December. That’s only six months ago!

    “Shooters may have been targeting 50 children in yeshiva, Jersey City mayor suggestsJersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said Friday it’s his opinion that the shooters who killed a police officer and three civilians on Tuesday afternoon had an even more sinister objective – killing students at a religious school next door.“My opinion is that as more info comes out it’ll become increasingly clear that the target was the 50 children at the Yeshiva attached to that store,” the mayor wrote on Twitter just after 8 a.m. “We will never know 100% but the doorway to the yeshiva was 3 feet away (and) it seems he goes in that direction 1st.”..

    https://www.nj.com/news/2019/12/shooters-were-targeting-50-children-in-yeshiva-next-to-grocery-store-jersey-city-mayor-speculates.html

    Or the black elected official who blamed it on the Jews.

    “After Anti-Semitic Killings, Jersey City School Official Called Jews ‘Brutes’
    The mayor and governor responded by calling on the woman to resign over her online comment prompted by the deadly attack at a kosher market.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/17/nyregion/joan-terrell-paige-jersey-city.html

    needless to say, she didn’t resign. And there was no nation-wide outcry from liberals like her, or if there was, they quickly forgot it. She certainly forgot to mention them. Six months ago!

    She rightly identified it as the pogrom it was but then, instead of pointing out the lethal antisemitism on the left, including the radical black left, which includes Black LIves Matter, as the cause, she just implies that their misguided about who their victims should be and turned this tragedy into just another opportunity for Trump bashing! It’s amazing that she even read Greenfield’s article.
    I wonder what he would think of hers.

  5. Injustice in the US certainly seems to be BY BLM and their terrorist allies, and AGAINST Jews, Christians (Black and White) and Trump supporters. This is above my pay grade: I appeal to God for help.

  6. I appreciate the information about the pogrom, but the conclusions from Ticker just boggle my mind:
    =====

    Many complain that voting does no good because little is done for the poor even when Democrats are in power, which includes eight years of President Obama’s tenure. There is some truth in that, but what they do not recognize is that Republicans obstruct most Democratic legislation. President Trump benefited from low voter turnout in Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee in 2016, and in fact Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey won both his elections – in 2010 and 2016 – thanks in part to low turnout among minority voters in Philadelphia.

    If Cullors wants to “bring this” to insensitive whites, maybe she should consider communities where large swaths of Trump voters live. She can start with Bakersfield, 100 miles north of L.A., and then choose from a wide range of red states and right-wing regions.

    =====

    So not only is he implicitly – if not explicitly – encouraging the riots to move to conservative/Republican areas “where Trump voters live”, he’s also being one of the gigantic flock of blind liberal Jews who pander to and thus encourage groups like blm, as so many have tried and failed throughout our history. I thought we were supposed to be good learners.

  7. @ garyz:
    I also disagree with Ticker, Gary. He seems to be so attached to his “religion”, i.e. Democratic Party politics, that he is blinded to what is going on.

    As I said before, the riots have attacked Jews, Christians, Trump supporters, and I will add, history, our culture, Torah and everything that is decent.

    At the moment, I have yet to figure out what to do about these terrorists and their allies. President Trump cannot handle the situation on his own, though he has not shrunk from taking leadership in order to protect the American people. Ultimately, of course, there should be lawsuits up the wazoo against the politicians that allowed these people to run rampant; but of course, much depends on the elections — IF Pelosi, the Dem governors and mayors, etc., allow them to take place.

    It’s a tricky situation. My wife and I have been praying a great deal about it.

  8. @ garyz:

    Your speculation is certainly possible, but perhaps the rioters would not have such an easy time in a strong Republican district. I believe that the first thing the residents would do would be to grab their firearms and let the looters have a good peppering. which would teach them that their own lives need looking after first.

    Just a thought. If I were there that is what I would do, and that is what the police should do. Kneeling in penitence to memorialize a violent life-long criminal-they must be mad.

    With all the prayers and appeals to deity there has never been a single documented incident of success.

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