On Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Fictitious Alliances – Muslims and Jews in America – what is the way forward?
The complex and often contentious relationship between American Jews and Muslims witnessed two momentous events that produced divergent results and emotions. On the one hand, anti-Semitic attacks on a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, brought about a rapid $120,000 online fundraising drive in the Muslim community and hundreds of volunteers to repair damage to the cemeteries and express solidarity. On a national level, Muslims mobilized to visit local synagogues and demonstrate their solidarity with American Jews in a time of rising anti-Semitism and threats directed to their houses of worship and cemeteries.
On the other hand, we have an extremely discordant event – the campaign against the candidacy of Representative Keith Ellison for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship. The outcome of the election is that Ellison lost in favor of Tom Perez, the choice of the party establishment, and the wounds of the campaign will not be easily healed. It was abundantly clear that the mainstream organizations of the American Jewish community heavily mobilized to defeat Ellison by utilizing directly and indirectly the charge of anti-Semitism so as to discredit him and his campaign. Let’s be clear, the creation of the new DNC deputy chair position and appointment of Ellison to this never before existing post was an attempt to dress-up another ugly smear campaign against an African American Muslim candidate to protect Israel’s influence over the Democratic Party.