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Islamism and progressivism are driving antisemitism in the US

The increase in antisemitic violence, both in the educational system and outside of it, is raising red flags in several states. What will the authorities do to stop this?

Islamism and progressivism fuel antisemitism (Voz Media)

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The rise in antisemitic incidents, often driven by a strange alliance between Islamists and leftists, whose hatred against Jews momentarily outweighs their differences, is increasingly targeting even progressive Jews. This escalation of violence within the community is causing growing concern.

Below are some of the unfortunate and increasingly recurring antisemitic incidents that have occurred recently in states such as California, Michigan, Virginia, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

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Attacks on businesses, homes and Jewish institutions in California are increasingly frequent. The state's universities are also the scene of displays of antisemitic hatred, while university officials look the other way.

Recently, a group of pro-Hamas students disrupted a graduation party at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. The celebration was taking place at the dean's house, on private property. However, that did not stop the protest. The leader of the organization Berkeley Law Students for Justice in Palestine even took away the microphone from the dean and accused him of being “Islamophobic.”

The protest was organized on social media with posts depicting the dean holding a bloody fork and knife and a message that read: "No dinner with Zionist Chem while Gaza starves," clearly intending to intimidate Dean Erwin Chemrinsky.

In an article published in The Telegraph, Joel Kotkin stated that Chemrinsky, a well-known progressive, was visibly disturbed by one of these posts. “Nothing has prepared me for the antisemitism,” said the dean, who is Jewish.

It is important to point out that around 1,200,000 Jews live in California. This is significantly more than France (around 500,000), Canada (more than 400,000) and the United Kingdom (more than 270,000), the three countries with the largest Jewish population in the world after Israel and the United States.

Joel Kotkin said, “The redefinition of Jews as serial oppressors harboring genocidal ambitions has its roots in the educational and cultural industries that constitute the heart of progressive power.” He added that “the anti-Jewish shift is all the more heartbreaking given that Universities like Berkeley, which I attended a half-century ago and where some of my family have lived for 70 years, produced numerous Jewish Nobel prize winners.”

As mentioned above, antisemitism in the state is becoming increasingly stronger in the educational system. At the University of California, anti-Israeli professors and students are taking over campuses while authorities look the other way. In fact, as Kotkin pointed out, Jay Sures, a member of the academic institution's Board of Regents, criticized a statement issued by the Council of the Faculty of Ethnic Studies from the university to the board, stating that it was riddled with “falsehoods, inaccuracies and anti-Semitic innuendos.” He said that “they seek to legitimize and defend the horrible savagery of the Hamas massacre of October 7."

Another striking event occurred at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, where the HEALS curriculum includes a course called Structural Racism and Health Equity. According to Red State, freshmen recently attended a two-hour lecture called Housing (In)Justice in Los Angeles: Addressing Homelessness and the Practice of Solidarity.

As demonstrated by the YouTube recording published by The Washington Free Beacon, guest speaker Lisa Tiny Gray-García criticized capitalism by equating a communist prayer to a pagan entity, advocating concepts such as “Mama Earth” and condemning the “settlers” of Los Angeles, claiming that people like her were and are victims of a “violent expulsion” and a “genocide,” and that many people die because of capitalism and private property. The Washington Free Beacon reported that she praised the massacre carried out by Hamas on October 7 and urged students to chant “Free Palestine.”

Elementary schools and their progressive agendas are also not exempt from antisemitism. In fact, the ethnic studies program, shaped by the Critical Race Theory, is clearly anti-Zionist and erases thousands of years of Jewish history.

Outside of education, life for California Jews is not easy either. Kotkin listed some hateful events that happened in the state that concern the Jewish community.

Recent pro-Hamas demonstrations caused at least one Los Angeles synagogue to move its services. Others have been vandalized as protesters blocked Fairfax traffic, an area where a large number of Jews reside. The AIPAC president's house was recently attacked with smoke bombs and red paint. The technology and film industries have given in to anti-Zionist pressures. 2,000 actors signed a declaration accusing Israel of committing “war crimes” without condemning Hamas, and the list goes on.

Regarding Silicon Valley, Nickolas Targ, a veteran Jewish activist and Palo Alto native, told Kotkin that “many [technology executives] are more concerned about their social justice profile than their Judaism.”

Rising antisemitic events in California have boosted gun sales in Jewish neighborhoods. Charles Jasper, director of the security company Aegis Private Security, which also offers weapons training, said in statements to KTLA that his business has doubled since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Kotkin believes that despite the increase in antisemitic incidents, California Jews, who have predominantly aligned with the Democratic Party and progressive circles, are unlikely to switch sides at this time. However, the members of this community are immersed in an intra-party struggle with an increasingly antisemitic left. Notably, all nine state congressmen who called for a ceasefire in Gaza are progressive Democrats. Nevertheless, some moderate Democrats have launched a counterpunch. The organization Democratic Majority for Israel is confident it can curb the pro-Hamas trend within the party.

In his article, Kotkin calls on California Jews to prioritize their survival over their ideology, inviting them to work with any politician who guarantees the security of the community and that of Israel.


In February of this year, an article titled Welcome to Dearborn, America's Jihan Capital was published, which generated great controversy. Steven Stalinsky, executive director of the Research Institute Middle East Media (MEMRI) warned in the letter that the imams and politicians in Dearborn are siding with Hamas against Israel and Iran against the United States.

Stalinsky claimed that after the October 7 massacre and before the Israeli offensive in Gaza began, several demonstrations and marches in favor of Hamas were held in various parts of Dearborn.

The author said that on October 10, an event was held at the Ford Performing Arts Center to celebrate the attack. During the event, Imran Salha, an imam at the Detroit Islamic Center in Dearborn, told the crowd that the Jewish state's past actions had put “a fire in our hearts that will burn that state [Israel] until its demise."

At another rally held on October 14 in front of the Henry Ford Centennial Library, Stalinksy said that Imam Usama Abdulghani called the October 7 massacre “one of the days of God” and a “miracle come true.” Likewise, he defined the attackers as “honorable” and added that they were “lions” who defended “the nation of the messenger Muhammad.”

Stalinksy also mentioned that the Islamic Center of America, a major mosque in Dearborn, held a memorial service on December 30 of last year in memory of a Hezbollah terrorist who was killed in an Israeli airstrike.

In another event, the Hadi Institute, which runs an Islamic Montessori school and calls itself a youth community center, held a Martyrs' Commemoration on January 5. Stalinsky said that the event honored Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Quds Force who was killed by the United States in January 2020, and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, leader of the Popular Mobilization Forces. Abdulghani even praised Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, who routinely calls for the destruction of the United States.

Stalinsky stated that support for terrorism in southern Michigan is nothing new. A 2001 State Police assessment of the state, which was submitted to the Justice Department after 9/11, called Dearborn “a major financial support center” and a “recruitment area and potential support base” for international terrorist groups.

In the extensive article, Stalinsky mentioned Ahmad Musa Jibril, whom he called the most influential English-speaking jihadist sheikh. He claimed that he promoted holy war among his tens of thousands of followers on X and Telegram. On October 7, he shared a post that said: “The hearts haven't been overjoyed like this in so long” and another in which he expressed the hope that Allah "purify the earth from the aggression of apes, pigs and hypocrites." Likewise, he uploaded a video calling on Muslims in the West to start normalizing the term “jihad.”

Stalinsky also indicated that Dearborn's radical policies are complicating Biden's path to re-election. Michigan is a state that Democrats must win, so there is concern in the president's entourage. The Associated Press reported in late January that local leaders turned their backs on Julie Chávez Rodríguez, Biden's campaign manager, during a recent visit to the Detroit area. “Little bit of advice — if you’re planning on sending campaign officials to convince the Arab American community why they should vote for your candidate, don’t do it on the same day you announce selling fighter jets to the tyrants murdering our family members,” Abdullah H. Hammoud, the Democratic mayor of Dearborn, posted on X.

Stalinsky finished his article by calling on counterterrorism agencies at all levels to pay attention to what is happening in Dearborn.

The article, as expected, sparked a great deal of controversy. The mayor of the city stated in an interview for MSNBC that the article is “extremely inflammatory,” while Mallory McMorrow, Democratic majority leader in the Michigan Senate, posted on X that the article is not only “irresponsible, but ... dangerous,” NBC News reported.


In March, there was controversy in the Fairfax School District, in Virginia, for allowing parents to opt their children out of a presentation with a Holocaust survivor, claiming that there were students who could have “different experiences,” according to The Daily Wire.

This situation would be completely understandable if parents believed that their 12-year-old children were not mentally prepared to hear such a strong and heartbreaking testimony. However, that did not appear to have been the reason why parents were allowed to opt their children out of the presentation.

Fairfax County contains a hotbed of Islamic extremism. The Daily Wire reported that there is a mosque there that was attended by several of the 9/11 hijackers and the Fort Hood bomber. It was led by Esam Omeish, father of Abrar Omeish, who until this year was a member of the school board. She voted against a resolution to hold a minute of silence for the victims of September 11 and another for the victims of the massacre perpetrated by Hamas on October 7 in Israel. She also said that the United States' victory at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II was "unfortunate" and gave a graduation speech encouraging students to "remember their jihad" and "reject capitalism." Additionally, during a speech given at a fundraising event organized by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Omeish described her intention to integrate a pro-Palestinian agenda into textbooks and curriculum. She seemed to suggest that was her motivation for running for the school board, as reported by Fox News.

Regarding 9/11, Omeish recommended that public school teachers use a "culturally sensitive" curriculum guide, and opposed the use of terms such as "radical Islamic terror," "Islamic terrorists" and "jihadists."

Last year, the young woman also flaunted how "Muslim power" was controlling the decision-making: "We need the Muslim community to turn out, because when we turn out, we are numbers, we are money, we're votes, and that means power." She added: "I cannot tell you ... how many times people talk about the Muslim power ... Why? Because they saw us show up! And that meant something, and now we're making decisions."

Although Abrar Omeish's way of voting and reprehensible expressions deserve the condemnation of any good American, the young woman was president of the Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign in Virginia in 2020. This was just one more demonstration of this peculiar alliance between progressivism and radical Islam.

As the saying goes, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Abrar's father, Esam Omeish, is not only known for having directed the mosque attended by terrorists who attacked the United States. Omeish, who was born and raised in Libya, was removed from the Virginia Board of Immigration when the state was governed by Democrat Tim Kaine after a video was released showing Omeish supporting violent jihad against Israel.

Clearly, anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, and anti-Western sentiment is shared by Islam and progressivism.. However, the conflict between both sides is getting closer to the surface every day, since the left doesn't seem to be as open to letting parents decide for their children when it comes to certain issues.


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New York State is also no exception to the wave of antisemitism driven by the left and Islam. Although hatred against Jews does not only occur in the academic field, the truth is that recent events at Columbia University have put the school in the spotlight. In fact, Elie Buechler, a rabbi at the Orthodox Union Jewish Learning Initiative at Columbia University, recently asked the university's Jewish students not to come to campus and stay home because of the risk of being attacked, after being threatened in anti-Israel protests.

The rabbi stated that neither university officials nor the New York Police can guarantee the safety of Jewish students. “It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved ... It is not our job as Jews to ensure our own safety on campus. “No one should have to endure this level of hatred, let alone at school,” Buechler said.

President of Columbia University Minouche Shafik issued a statement saying that all university classes would be held virtually on Monday (when anti-Israel protesters took over the campus instilling fear and threatening Jewish students).

In the days of protests, violent students chanted anti-Israel slogans, threatened Jewish students with violence and even prevented many of them from coming to campus. Some videos on social media show students shouting: "Never forget October 7," "We are Hamas" and "We don't want Zionists here," among other threats.

Antisemitic students set up more than 60 tents last week on campus. Police detained around 108 students. Less than 24 hours later, dozens of students returned to campus and set up 30 more tents.

Amid tensions, campus police prohibited students from entering campus and deactivated Jewish professor Shai Davidai's access card. He was on his way to campus and had to walk by the area occupied by anti-Israel students. He said, “They are not letting me on main campus. But listen to the irony: I was just told that [that I am [to be] let on the campus of the business school where I’m teaching tomorrow. So they are willing to use Jewish brains, but they don’t want to let Jewish people in.”

The protests also gained national attention due to the participation of Isra Hirsi, daughter of Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who has been called antisemitic for some of the statements she made against Israel and Jews.

"I'm an organizer with CU Apartheid Divest Columbia ( Student for Justice in Palestine), in my 3 years at Barnard College I have never been reprimanded or received any disciplinary warnings. I just received notice that I am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing genocide," she posted on her X account.


Yale University, in Connecticut, has also experienced some concerning antisemitic events. Recently, police stormed the campus and arrested more than 45 people who were trying to imitate the camp set up on the Columbia campus.

Previously, Jewish journalism student Sahar Tartak, editor-in-chief of The Yale Free Press, was stabbed in the eye with a Palestinian flag. She told the New York Post: “There’s hundreds of people taunting me and waving the middle finger at me, and then this person waves a Palestinian flag in my face and jabs it in my eye ... When I tried to yell and go after him, the protesters got in a line and stopped me.”

The student said she tried to report the attack to campus police. However, officers told her that they couldn't do anything and had her go to the hospital to get her eyes checked.

Another video posted on social media shows an Orthodox Jewish student being harassed by a group of people who were blocking him from walking on campus.

Yale University President Peter Salovey stated that "Yale does not tolerate actions, including remarks, that threaten, harass, or intimidate members of the university’s Jewish, Muslim, and other communities."

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There have also been antisemitic protests at various universities in Massachusetts.

Several students at Emerson College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Tufts University set up tents on their campuses.

"We were definitely inspired by what’s going on at Columbia," said Owen Buxton, senior at Emerson College. “They put out the call for universities across the country, and we answered,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jewish students have expressed concerns for their safety. Avi Balsam of MIT said: “We haven't had any physical violence yet ... But, I mean, there was a protest on Friday at which people were chanting, 'From the river to the sea, Palestine is Arab' ... which I see as a direct call for ethnic cleansing or genocide against Jews in Israel. That's very worrisome to me.”

Before the antisemitic protests took place on university campuses, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) presented a report on the significant increase in hate incidents against Jews during the year 2023.

According to the ADL, last year there was a 190% increase in antisemitic acts, compared to 152 incidents in 2022. Massachusetts also recorded the fifth-highest number of anti-Jewish hate incidents by state, behind California, New York, New Jersey and Florida.

The ADL also indicated that incidents of vandalism increased by 90% (139 in 2023 and 82 in 2022) and harassment incidents by 444% (293 in 2023 and 66 in 2022). The organization also reported eight physical attacks in 2023; double that of the previous year.

Data from the ADL's New England Region division reported a total of 623 incidents of antisemitic assault, harassment and vandalism in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont during 2023, representing a 205% increase in the total for 2022. Of those incidents, the ADL reported that 351 occurred after the October 7 massacre by Hamas in Israel.