The atmosphere on the streets of the U.S., on the public airwaves, on social media, and in the papers prohibits any criticism whatsoever or any language that does not condone and unequivocally “understand” the violence, rage, looting, burning, and occupation of public property. Should someone attempt to question the violence, the chaos, and the destruction, he or she is labeled a racist and white supremacist.

The U.S. seems to be in the throes of a coast-to-coast pandemic, not only of the coronavirus but also of national lunacy under the guise of racial justice. Truth is no longer a commodity available to all, but a prisoner of the ever-growing silent American majority standing and watching in disbelief. Those questioning the inherent danger lurking behind the demand to defund police forces or the irresponsible and criminal demand by one of the leaders of Black Lives Matter that if the U.S. “doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system,” are censured, punished, and targeted. At the same time, those looting, burning, attacking police, and toppling statues of historical figures are not held accountable or arrested, but are treated with immunity. This pretty much sums up the current reality in the United States.

As Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic political leaders have taken a well-publicized knee in support of Black Lives Matter, the Main Streets of America are being burned to the ground and the Democratic Party’s message is quite clear: the Democratic Party will support the continuing violence and destruction — just vote for the Democratic Party. Democrats are demonizing President Trump’s calls for law and order, and blaming Republicans for the murder of George Floyd. The Democratic leaders deliberately, out of cynical anti-Trump political considerations, are clearly ignoring or at best sanitizing the violence and the assaults coming from progressives and violent Americans. The more sinister and subliminal message being conveyed by the Democratic Party to the American public, as we approach the November presidential elections, is the following: only we, the Democratic Party, can rein in the protesters and put a stop to the violence overtaking the U.S. Only we, the Democratic Party, can instruct the Democratic mayors and governors to intervene and stop the violence; just vote for the Democratic Party in November.

Not surprising, though largely ignored by the Democratic Party and their liberal cohorts in the media, is Black Lives Matter’s long history of antisemitic rants and support for anti-Semitic black leaders such as Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. A frequently heard chant in recent weeks has been “Kill the Jews” ( Rants linking police brutality in the United States with the Israel Defense Forces maintaining security against Palestinian attacks are flooding the internet. Black Lives Matter has been pushing a conspiracy theory that Israel trained the police officers to use military techniques for law enforcement and are, therefore, equally responsible for the deaths of black Americans. The insinuation is obvious: American Jews as supporters of Israel are complicit in the deaths of black Americans.

As the ground shifts below the trembling feet of American Jewry, one can easily observe the self-censorship overtaking American Jews, the fear in their eyes, and the self-imposed avoidance of the limelight. What’s behind the silence? Most American Jews know in their hearts that they must hide what they really think out of fear for retribution that might very well destroy their livelihood and the safety of their families. What was once the most secure nation in the world for diaspora Jews has become a kind of open prison with no early release on the horizon. A climate of intimidation has overtaken America, and American Jews are the first to feel the heat.

Part of the reason for the failure of American Jewry to fully understand these new threats coming from the progressive liberal left has been due to a Pavlovian reflex to focus on neo-Nazis and right-wing conspirators rather than admit to the changing identity of Jew haters in America. American Jewry have ignored this growing threat for as long as they could, out of “political correctness” and a misguided commitment to a liberal political agenda that does nothing to advance the well-being of American Jews. American Jews minimize the attacks and violence directed towards Jewish institutions and synagogues coming from progressives, Black Americans, and Islamists.

It seems as if the leaders of American Jewry have yet to wake up and acknowledge these old/new dangers to the community and will continue to deny these politically inconvenient threats. These Jewish leaders have refused to learn from history and have failed to understand that by promoting tolerance and support of those who are intolerant of the Jewish community and of American society as a whole, they are inviting violence, destruction, and a surge of antisemitism against American Jewry.

The single most important question that we should be asking ourselves is when American society as a whole will reach a tipping point. When will American society stand up and shout, as Howard Beale ranted in the movie Network, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” This expression seems more relevant now than when the movie was released nearly 40 years ago, and seems to predict the world we live in today, which is filled with fake media, fake journalism, and an upside-down interpretation of reality when looters and arsons are justified social warriors and police officers are labeled murderers.

The character Howard Beale gave the following abbreviated speech in the movie Network, and his monologue still resonates with me today: “I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad … Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it … We sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be! We know things are bad — worse than bad — they’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms … Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad! … All I know is that first, you’ve got to get mad. [Shouting] You’ve gotta say: ‘I’m a human being … My life has value!’”

Black Lives Matter demands a “reckoning” of biblical proportions from American society. Let’s be honest, what we are talking about is “payback” and maybe even extortion. I grew up in the South Bronx fifty years ago, experiencing inner-city urban reality, living as a white minority among black and Hispanic Americans. Life was tough, but the challenges made us all the more resilient and ambitious to move ahead and make something of ourselves. Today’s reality of “Burn, Baby Burn” will not create equality or social justice. Only by standing up and protecting common values can we begin the long process of healing America. Standing up to the mob begins by not denying the greatness of American society.

Ron Jager grew up in the South Bronx of New York, and made Aliyah in 1980. Ron is a 25-year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, where he served as a field mental-health officer and as commander of the central psychiatric military clinic for reserve soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Ron served as a strategic adviser to the chief foreign envoy of Judea and Samaria. To contact him, email


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