“It pains me to say this,” tweeted Team Biden staffer Aaron Keyak not too long ago, “but if you fear for your life or physical safety, take off your kippah and hide your” Star of David. Keyak’s official White House title is “Jewish engagement director,” and his tweet revealed a lot about Team Biden’s views on anti-Semitism and cultural politics in 2021 — none of it good.
Keyak, an Orthodox Jew, is a longtime Beltway swamp creature and Democratic Party hack. During the 2020 marketing campaign, it was his job to inform Jewish voters that then-President Donald Trump was their No. 1 enemy, that his supposed philo-Semitism was a ruse.
Trump was arguably probably the most pro-Israel and pro-Jewish president in US historical past. Fulfilling a promise made by a number of of his predecessors, and dismissing the objections of the foreign-policy institution, Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. To the amazement of the world, he additionally brokered historic peace deals between the Israelis and a number of other Muslim states.
How to paint Trump as dangerous for Jews and Israel? Easy — by mendacity.
Repeatedly, Keyak echoed the “both sides” calumny, the false notion that Trump praised the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville in 2017. Trump, Keyak stated, had “inspired . . . anti-Semites to feel encouraged” and thus “made me feel unsafe in my own country.” Trump’s presidency, he wrote within the lefty Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “has helped embolden white supremacy throughout America. He has routinely refused to condemn their hatred.”
All lies. But all, apparently, in a day’s work for a Biden apparatchik.
Of course, it was exactly the wobbliness of President Joe Biden’s help for Israel that emboldened Hamas to attack the Jewish state. And it was the following battle that led to a wave of bodily assaults towards Jews throughout America — none of them, it’s protected to say, perpetrated by individuals in MAGA hats.
And what, on this dire scenario made potential by his boss’s fecklessness, is Keyak’s suggestion to his fellow Jews? To put away the outward indicators of their religion and peoplehood.
It was heartening to learn the replies to Keyak’s tweet: “Nobody should have to hide who they are to be safe in America.” “That type of submission never led to anything good.” “Interesting — I didn’t fear for my life or physical safety under Trump.”
Having lived in Europe for twenty years, I’m not unfamiliar with the thought of Jews concealing their identity. As the Continent’s Muslim inhabitants has grown, so, too, has the quantity of brutal public violence towards Jews. The “genteel” anti-Semitism of European cultural elites, normally disguised as opposition to Israel, usually abets the street-level Islamist thuggery.
The consequence: Even as European Muslims audaciously block visitors by praying within the streets, European Jews don’t dare dangle a tiny Star of David from their necks.
In 2013, 49 % of Jews in Sweden stated they didn’t dare to put on such objects in public; the corresponding figures for France and Belgium have been 40 and 36 %, respectively. In the years since, these numbers have solely risen.
Hiding one’s Jewish identity, alas, is at all times just one step in a grievous means of retreat. The first step is explicitly distancing oneself from Israel. The second step is eradicating the kippa and Star of David. And the third step is flight.
“Facing record levels of anti-Semitism,” reported National Geographic in 2019, “many French Jews are joining an exodus to Israel. A third of all the French Jews who’ve emigrated to Israel since its establishment in 1948 have done so in the last 10 years.” The development is current throughout Western and Northern Europe.
Where are these Jews fleeing to? Many select Israel, useless to say. But others settle in America.
Yet with our new president lavishing reward on anti-Semites like Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib (and sending combined messages on the vile Linda Sarsour), and together with his errand boy Aaron Keyak urging his fellow Jews to ditch their yarmulkes, what sort of refuge can America be?
You don’t have to be Jewish to be distressed by the thought that America, underneath Biden, stands out as the subsequent Western nation Jews flee.
Bruce Bawer is the writer of a number of books, together with “The Victims’ Revolution.”