THE LESSONS OF PITTSBURGH

Rabbi Yechezkel Moskowitz

There is a saying in Judaism: “Whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved the lives of all men.” It would go without saying that taking an innocent life is analogous to destroying the entire world.

Indeed, on Oct. 27, 11 worlds were destroyed in a hateful act of misplaced vengeance — by the anti-Semitic, Trump-hating Robert Bowers. There, in a fleeting moment, the little Jewish community of Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh was cast into darkness.

I spent shabbat in Squirrel Hill as a teenager. It was a quiet and peaceful suburb with a really nice and welcoming community. I — like the entire American nation, Jews and non-Jews alike — reeled in shock over such an abhorrent act of hatred toward the Jewish people.

But this is America, the home of the free and the brave. We as a people were united in mourning with the families of the victims and the entire Pittsburgh community. This mourning culminated with a proclamation by our president stating unabashedly that as Americans we “must stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters to defeat anti-Semitism and vanquish the forces of hate. Those seeking their (the Jews) destruction, we (America) will seek their destruction.”

For a fleeting moment, I thought to myself, perhaps we are at the cusp of uniting as a nation. Perhaps this is rock bottom, perhaps we are at the point where we can heal and allow for a future where respectable and constructive discourse is once again the norm.

But alas, this is America. The Democratic Party — the liberal progressive community — sprang into action, politicizing this immense tragedy. Using their weapon, the media, and their organized protesters, the left unabashedly proclaimed that the blood of these innocent Jews was on the hands of President Trump.

The absurdity worsened when a vigil in front of the white house turned into a Trump hate fest, with those gathered at the vigil-turned-political-rally  pointed their finger at the White House and yelled “our blood is on your hands.”  This was followed by a speaker who had the audacity to call the slaughter in Pittsburgh “a state sanctioned pogrom.”

For the finale, Linda Sarsour — the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York — took the microphone and proclaimed, in typical two-faced fashion, “In the face of overwhelming hate, we choose unrelenting love and unity. We recommit ourselves to dismantling antisemitism and all forms of racism.”

One needs to revisit the years of hatred Sarsour has propagated against anyone who believes that Israel, as a Jewish state, has a right to exist. Most pointedly, Sarsour has argued — at the ISNA convention, in reference to Israel — that Muslims should not defend or “actually try to humanize the oppressor,” in reference to Israelis.

In other words, according to Sarsour and her advocates on the left, Jews living in Israel are not human.

The virtue-signaling of the left, the self-proclaimed arbiter of what’s considered hate and racism, has created a reality where the left is in fact the one that is perpetuating hate and division across this country.

Let’s start with the facts. It is the left that has mainstreamed the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish rhetoric. It is the left that has mainstreamed anti-Semites Keith Ellison and Louis Farrakhan. It is the left that has accepted a candidate like Andrew Gillum who throws politically conservative Jews and Gays out of synagogues because he does not agree with their political opinions. It is the left that has exalted Al Sharpton, who has never apologized for inciting an anti-Semitic riot in Brooklyn. It is the left that supports the Arab Boycott of Israel and calls the indigenous rights of the Jewish people in their age old historic homeland “occupation.”

And yes, I do fear for the future of the Jewish people in America, and make no mistake it is not because of the fringe white nationalists, but it is because of the left allowing for the mainstreaming of Jewish hatred and there is almost nothing we as a community can do about it.

So, let me set the record straight.

The blood of our people is on the hands of openly anti-Semitic leftists. It is not on the hands of the White House.

I said it: the blood of our children and innocents is on the hands of the left just as much as it is on the hands of the extreme right. And it is as much of an atrocity for the pro-terrorist left to cynically protest the blood of our people being spilled in Pittsburgh as it is for the murderer who did so!

As far as I am concerned, the only hope we have is to stand proud with our president. As Israeli Ambassador to America Ron Dermer said, the president’s statements on anti-Semitism were “the strongest ever made by a non-Israeli leader.” With President Trump and the Republican party at his side, I feel there is hope for my people to continue living in this land of loving kindness for years to come. Under the left, it’s a different story entirely.

I pray to God that the people of this great nation see past all the rhetoric and come to the polls to assure the midterm elections have a favorable outcome. I hope that people see the facts and take note who is bringing our country together. President Trump loves this country and wants us to be united one nation under God. We must succeed to defeat the liberal progressive agenda in these next two election cycles because, to be honest, the alternative is terrifying indeed.

Rabbi Yechezkel Moskowitz is director of the Moskowitz Policy Forum and special assistant to Cherna Moskowitz.