After the Holocaust, we said never again. Never again would let our neighbors and our government kill us for who we are. But the phrase “never again” has become empty.
Yesterday, there was a mass shooting in Jersey City. When the dust finally settled, six people were dead (the suspects included). Among the deceased is a police officer who gave his life to protect innocent civilians and two members of the city’s growing Hasidic Jewish community.
It would be too obvious to talk about gun control and the serious need (which continues to be ignored by certain politicians) for reasonable gun control laws. But then again, it would also be obvious that the suspects were motivated by hate and antisemitism.
In Washington D.C., the man who goes by the title of President of the United States has signed an executive order to protect those of the Jewish faith against discrimination. Specifically, the executive order is in place to protect students, professors and staff on college campuses from being harassed because they are Jewish.
On the surface, this is exactly what is needed. But, like anything that you know who does, there is another side that could be easily ignored. In this executive order, Judaism is defined as a nationality. It is not a nationality. if it was, all Jews would come from one country. But we don’t.
Would one refer to Christians as a nationality? Or Muslims, Hindus, etc as a nationality? No. Like all faiths, we come from all over the world. There are two problems with this mis-categorization. The first problem is that it is wrong. Am I shocked that no one in the administration did their homework? Not at all.
The second problem is that labeling Jews as a nationality could lead to a slippery slope. In the years leading up the World War II, the term “the Jewish race” bounced around Europe like a ping pong ball. Let’s just say that these terms don’t bode well for anyone, especially those in the specific group being mentioned.
I wish we had a President who understood that he needs to be humble, mature, thoughtful and prepared for the job at hand. Instead, we have a man baby with the temper of a tantruming toddler, an ego the size of Texas and an intellect that is non-existent.
G-d help this country.