Sunday, December 29, 2019

As if I Thought the Times' Antisemitism Was Bad...

Yesterday, I posted about the New York Times publishing a pseudoscientific op-ed piece that trafficked in antisemitic tropes, and last night, there was a heinous antisemitic attack in Rockland County, across the river from my beloved City of Y______. This machete attack was a terrorist attack, pure and simple- it was a attack perpetrated in the heart of a largely Hasidic village, in the home of a religious leader, during a religious celebration. The intent of the attacker was to show the Hasidic community that they weren't safe in their own community, in their own homes, to sow terror.

There has been a wave of antisemitic attacks in the New York metro area, including a previous assault on a Hasidic man in Monsey and a mass shooting at a Jersey City kosher market.

There has been a lot of tension in Rockland County, specifically East Ramapo, regarding the funding of the public school system- it's largely perceived that the Hasidic community is trying to defund public schools while funneling tax dollars into yeshivas. The attacker in this instance wasn't quite a local, he was a resident of a nearby town the next county over. I doubt that he was keeping abreast of the school district controversy. There is also a history of animosity between the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and the African-American community in the region (both the Hasidic and the Caribbean-American communities are also expanding from Brooklyn to Rockland as members seek affordable homes).

I don't have any answers here... I was raised to believe that diversity was a good thing, that getting along with people of all colors, creeds, and ethnic origins was not only the mark of a civilized society, but the path to a richer cultural life. I really don't spend a lot of time in Rockland (I joke that I draw a dragon on that part of the map while acknowledging that I am long overdue for a trip to Khan's Mongolian Grill), but it's in my backyard. It pains me to see such barbarism so close to home.

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