As always, I have a great deal to report, with much more going on behind the scenes. It has been an extremely productive month! Those who have been reading these updates for a while have surely heard that before, but fortunately it is no exaggeration.
The Conservative Political Action Conference ran from Feb. 27 to March 2 this year, and it offered an opportunity to meet and greet — with many active conservatives, organizations and media outlets represented. Dennis Black, the first and largest sponsor of the John Fredericks Show (syndicated across much of Virginia), claimed I was the first rabbi he’d met, and one of their best interviews. He took it upon himself to promote me up and down Media Row; I was interviewed by Jan Jekielek of The Epoch Times, Larry O’Connor on KABC Los Angeles, and others for which audio is not (yet) available. The Epoch Times interview is probably one of the best introductions to our organization — Mr. Jekielek was obviously interested in the CJV and our understanding of the issues.
We were forced to take on growing anti-Semitism this month, and in a number of contrarian ways. We issued three press releases, all of which took positions at odds with the conventional wisdom of the politically correct.
Left-wing American Jewish groups hastened to condemn Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he brokered a vote-sharing arrangement between two right-wing parties — one of which, Otzma Yehudit, they condemned as racist.
We did not offer our opinion on that party or the Prime Minister’s move. What we said was that if you’re going to intervene in Israel’s democratic government to condemn racism, this is an odd place to start. For decades, Arab Knesset members have supported violence against Israeli Jews and blamed the murders on the “occupation.” One even participated in the infamous Gaza “flotilla,” a PR stunt designed to re-open shipping of heavy weaponry to Hamas, while another was finally arrested when he used his member privileges to pass cellphones and coded messages to incarcerated terrorist leaders. To ignore all of that, while condemning a Jewish party that could only be seen as moderate by comparison, establishes a double standard.
Closer to home, the House of Representatives — and Speaker Pelosi in particular — failed to condemn the latest anti-Semitic outrage from freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar. Instead of removing her from committee assignments, as we and others have demanded since January, and instead of condemning anti-Semitism in particular, Democrats put forth a resolution that listed Jews in seventh place on a list of “traditionally persecuted peoples.” Had a congressman expressed hostility towards Pacific Islanders, this might have been appropriate, but in this case it was incredibly offensive — especially as some were outrageously asserting that Omar was being “attacked” for being a Muslim, black, woman refugee. She was thus able to crow about passage of a resolution which condemned those real but irrelevant forms of hate as well.
While we respect those who voted to condemn bigotry (“it’s the best we’re going to get from this Congress,” one representative told me), we issued a release and sent individual letters of appreciation to the twenty-four congressmen who had the audacity to vote against (or, in Rep. Steve King’s case, “present”) on what we called a “garbage resolution.” We knew they would face flak for this; indeed, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez predictably (and hypocritically) wondered where the “outrage” was that these congressmen wouldn’t support a resolution against hate.
Finally, the hateful Neturei Karta organization came to Congress, trying to meet with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. This publicity-craving fringe group continually embarrasses the Orthodox Jewish community by dressing as fervently observant Jews while rejecting rabbinic leadership, and visiting with the worst of anti-Semites for a PR appearance. Then-NYC City Councilman David Greenfield aptly termed them “two dozen mentally-unstable individuals” in 2016. It has reached the point where one of the clearest signs of a well-known, influential anti-Semite is that Neturei Karta wants to see them.
So, we said so. We “thanked” the Neturei Karta for providing their own, unique yet unmistakable proof that anti-Semitism had come to Congress, found in the offices to which they were drawn like insects to a bug zapper.
We also, finally, condemned the horrific violence at two New Zealand mosques on March 15. We took a morally consistent position with an implicit message for those who justify any form of terrorism or hate: “Violence against civilians is abhorrent in all cases, under all circumstances, and hate crimes have no place in civilized society.”
Condemnations of Israeli Party reflect Double Standard, Says Rabbinic Group, Feb. 26
Rabbinic Group Commends House Members who Voted No on Anti-Hate Resolution, March 8
Rabbis Thank Neturei Karta for “Unmistakable Proof” of Anti-Semitism in Congress, March 11
Responding to the Murders at Two New Zealand Mosques, March 15
Coalition Letter to Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Engel (Spearheaded by EMET, the Endowment for Middle East Truth), March 4
Thank You Letter to 24 Congressmen who did not support “Anti-Hate” Resolution, March 8
Yes, I Am a White Male — Deal With It
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, Feb. 18
Racist Hoaxes in a Remarkably Accepting and Diverse America
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, Feb. 20
No One’s Been Banned In Teaneck
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Feb. 21
When Crying Hate Is Hate Speech
Rabbi Yaakov Menken in American Greatness, Feb. 22
Hoax Victimology — and the Search for the Black Cat at Midnight
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, Feb. 23
Another Hate Hoax the Left Recently Promoted
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, Feb. 25
The Left’s hypocritical virtue-signaling over the Otzma Yehudit deal
Rabbi Dov Fischer in Israel National News, Feb. 27
And Now Reparations?
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, Feb. 27
A Cheat, a Con Man Testifies Before Congress
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, March 1
To topple a country over cigars, champagne and media coverage
Rabbi Dov Fischer in Israel National News, March 4
First They Came for the Catholics, Then for the Christians, and Then for the High School Kids
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, March 5
Tom Steyer, Jim Jordan, and Jerrold Nadler: On Fake News About Fake Jews
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, March 7
If Klobuchar Would Promise to Throw Dishes and Binders at GOP Senate Committee Chairmen, I Might Vote for Her
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, March 9
‘Broadening’ Is An Insult To Us All
Rabbi Yaakov Menken in the Daily Wire, March 11
Why Trump Wins on National Emergency
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, March 12
Did 22 Rabbis Handcuff Orthodoxy?
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld in the Queens Jewish Link, March 14
Legalizing Marijuana: A Heaping Pot of Hypocrisy
Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer in the American Thinker, March 14
Whatta Bunch of Phony Baloneys
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, March 17