NY politician blames Jews for being victims of black “knockout” attacks on them

A NY politician and ally of the new mayor of NYC has written a letter essentially justifying random physical attacks on Jews. Oh, she gives a disclaimer that she would never ‘blame the victim’ but then goes on to do exactly that. She wrote that members of the black community have “genuine concerns” about the influence of Jews. It is the success of many in the Jewish community that spark resentment in the black community:

“Many African American/Caribbean residents expressed a genuine concern that as the Jewish community continues to grow, they would be pushed out by their Jewish landlords or by Jewish families looking to purchase homes,” Cumbo wrote. ”I respect and appreciate the Jewish community’s family values and unity that has led to strong political, economic and cultural gains… While I personally regard this level of tenacity, I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success.”

Mike noted recently in our comments here that of late he’s been hearing people make comments about Jews that it wouldn’t have been acceptable to make a few months ago — he linked it to the division between Israel and the U.S. on the Iran deal: ” It seems like this debate has changed something, like some Rubicon has been crossed and it’s now acceptable to say things about Jews that you couldn’t just a few months or weeks ago.” I’d planned to address this in the comments but I think a discussion about this is important and so I’m going to give my take here.

There are several important issues. First, Mike may be right that this newest estrangement brought about by Obama may have opened the door for his supporters to publicly express essentially Anti-Semitic sentiments. The deal is, those sentiments were there but it wasn’t PC to openly express them — they needed only some (any) event that would let that Rubicon to be crossed. It is certainly a crossing of the Rubicon when you get the rank and file jumping onto the Anti-Jew bandwagon and, once that Rubicon is crossed, getting low-information converts is easy.

Here’s the other deal. When I made Aliyah back in 2005 I wrote a number of blog posts about what influenced me to make the leap and, over the years, my political transformation from Left to Right. At the time I made Aliyah I noted that I was strongly on the Left but on the Israeli Left — a completely different beast than the American or European Left back then. Even then, being on the Israeli version of the Left was viewed by the elitists among the American and European versions as being a real right winger.

The reason I left the American Left and a strong reason that I moved countries was because I was deeply involved in the liberal movement and was deeply disturbed by the Antisemitism, not always barely couched in “I’m only against Israel’s policies and not against Jews in general” disclaimers, that I was encountering. I’m talking 1998-2003 and not interactions with your average Democrat voter.

Trickle down economics may or may not work but I had a strong feeling and stronger fear, having looked at historical examples of the psychological dynamics, that it was only a matter of time before the behind the scenes elitist policy pushers and agenda setters would have a trickle down breakthrough and one that might well cross party lines and become general consensus. I wanted to have children and raise a family and I was not willing to bet their lives or the lives of their children that I was wrong. It turns out that I can’t have children but the dynamics I see unfolding, both in the U.S. and Europe, are right on target with the fears that made me pack up my worldly possessions and move here. The only thing I was off on was how quickly things would change: I didn’t see it starting to happen this fast at all. But it is happening and has been happening and I’ve no compelling evidence to show it won’t continue.

I wrote a number of blog posts about feeling like we were re-entering the 1930s and I felt paranoid and was accused of being paranoid for them. Things today are very different from the 1930s (and the decades leading up to them) but there are some things, some dynamics, that have a neon sign blinking fast and furious ‘Warning. Repeat. Danger.” We ignored the signs way back then. Maybe, it is time, finally time, for us to pay attention and not stick our heads in the sand or look at red herring excuses and try to address those because they are straw men.


8 responses to “NY politician blames Jews for being victims of black “knockout” attacks on them”

  1. David K from Philly says :

    She’s a dirt bag. I read the whole comment on her Facebook. Not only does she blame Jews for the black community’s inability to foster educational and economic growth – by referring to the criminal actions of some blacks as a spurious (quote)hate crime(unquote), she intentionally relegates the behaviors of the Knockout crimes to that of a “so-called” curiosity – when, in reality, they are nothing less than outrageous acts of hate. It’s a nuanced position.. but, nevertheless, one that is all too endemic among some in the black community – that blacks can’t be racists so, therefore, we should quote “hate crime” until we find something more politically correct and culturally soothing to replace it.

    It’s a hate crime. Plain and simple.

    I agree that a lot of factors have contributed to an uncovering of anti-Semitism not just in America – but the world. It’s always been there, though. Any visit to the unmoderated comments section of a news story about Israel or Jews will expose a cornucopia of anti-Semitic hate and bigotry.

    • Lynne says :

      David K from Philly, this horrible woman ! How appalling! I absolutely agree with every word of your comment.

      • David K from Philly says :


        I have several black friends and one who I hang with often – sometimes several times a week. (I say that last part so as not to come off as one of those “Some of my best friends are black!” types. We’ve known each other ten years and talk or hang out all the time. Last week I helped him hook up a new HDTV.)

        Anyway, because of the nature of how we met, we’re really close and openly talk about racial issues. He and his wife are both Obama supporters and all that – I mean, if a Jewish guy ran for president I’d probably be more inclined to support him base on that fact, too.

        That said, my friend is also very critical of the black community for a lot of the reasons I stated in my original comment. He openly admits that most of people that make up black culture are hostile to education and anyone within the black community who wants to make a better life.

        Perfect example: his wife (also black) has two Masters degrees in psychology and education. Between jobs, she worked as a teller in a bank. She drives a Volvo. While she was working there her direct co-workers were also predominantly black. They would refer to her as “Michelle Obama”… and meant it in a derogatory way. They were making fun of her because she was educated, spoke and articulated herself intelligently, and had a great work ethic.

        Now, whether you actually like the real Michelle Obama or not is irrelevant. The fact that these people were hostile toward the fact that this black woman was doing the best she can to educate herself and provide a comfortable, stable home for her family is abhorrent. And, it’s the type of endemic hostility toward education and success that is viral in the black community.

        It’s also the reason I take great offense at the councilwoman’s remarks. Just like my friend’s wife, it has nothing to do with Jews and everything to with the internalized self-hatred and hostility toward education within the black community. Instead of trying to better themselves, they’ll do whatever it takes to bring others down. I hate to say it, but that’s a classic sign of anti-social, sociopathological behavior. The fact that it affects an almost an entire culture is as remarkable as it is distressing.

        David K from Philly

        • Lynne says :

          David K from Philly, I have similar experiences as a teacher. I blame the media and the entertainment industry, too. Teachers and the education system could do better as well. The media could focus in a positive way on those who are successful in the Black community, highlighting their lives and achievements while ignoring those in the entertainment industry who promote negative stereotypes within the Black community. The media could focus on examples (there must be millions of them) of White and Black Americans working together, studying together, and doing positive things for their communities.

          • David K from Philly says :

            Meh. I disagree somewhat. I do agree that the media helps to perpetuate certain things. But, ultimately, it simply reflects the community and what people are/see/want to see. I squarely put the problems facing the black community on the black community itself.

  2. Mike says :

    I think that much of what Yaeli says is correct. The anti-Semitism is pre-exisiting and what happened is that the debate over Iran has opened up the public space for the expression of existing anti-Semitism.

    It’s a somewhat strange time. You can live as a Jew in the U.S. quite easily and experience very little anti-Semetism, particularly if you avoid or ignore any discussion of Israel. And even though the surveys used to measure it clearly understate the problem, anti-Semitism rates in the U.S. are low, especially compared to the rest of the world.

    This doesn’t mean anti-Semitism is non-existant and there are some alarming trends. What concerns me the most is when I talk to teens from synagogue. Almost all of them have experienced some form of anti-Semitism at school. It’s ranged from a teacher asking why Jews killed Christ to a kid throwing pennies at one of our teens while saying “pick up the pennies you cheap Jew.” Fortunately the Jewish kid involved is more than capable of taking care of himself.

    We’re an isolated community here and so it’s hard to get help from groups like the ADL and AJC. I think the parents and kids feel they are on their own dealing with this stuff and I suspect the kids aren’t telling the adults everything, and of course if it’s happening here, it’s happening other places.

    This seems separate from the left-wing anti-Semitism we are all so aware of but is connected to it. We all know that the further left you go, the more anti-Semitism you find. So I won’t spend time here on that.

    What infuriates me is the silence of leaders in the center and left of center who don’t share the far left’s Jew hatred, but who remain silent about it, ignore it or even apologize for it. It’s this silence about and really a willingness to accept anti-Semitism, even by those who don’t hold those views, that is the real danger. And right now there’s no pressure to make these people take a stand, so it won’t happen.

    It’s this silence that will allow anti-Semitism to grow. What it essentially says is that Jew hate is is a reasonable position. People might disagree with you, but to believe Jews have too much power or manipulate the government or Wall Street or whatever is okay. The silence says reasonable people can hold such views which leads to the incidents our kids suffer through.

    My estimate is that we are about 20 years away from real problems in this country, but things do seem to happen quicker now and I could be wrong. I would say there is time to stop the trend, but nobody is really putting in any effort, so I almost think it’s too late and the outcome is a forgone conclusion. I hope I’m wrong, but…

  3. Lynne says :

    Mike and David K from Philly, you both make excellent points. You’d be surprised to hear that many “ordinary” people believe that the Jewish people control everything for their own benefit and to harm others. As a teacher, I got to hear that over and over and not just from kids. Some congregations in the US actually preach anti-Semitism in their churches. My brother occasionally accompanied his wife who is Episcopalian to her church services, but when he heard the anti-Semitism, that was the last time he ever did. He said it was shocking and offensive and he made an appointment to discuss that with the preacher, who gave no real satisfaction in his responses. It’s a problem in so many respects. Many people have no idea of the size and composition of the Jewish community in the US and worldwide. They just don’t have real facts and information. They ignore the contributions of the Jewish people in the US, because the media does not cover it very often, if at all. Michael Dell in Texas and his wife have funded all kinds of help for children of Texas—all the kids in Texas— including a world-class hospital here in Austin. Children can receive care at no cost when they are unable to afford treatment. They treat first and work out financial arrangements later….and I am from New Orleans where I know of cases where over the years kids died because they could not pay for care. I’ve never seen an article highlighting Michael Dell’s contribution to the health care of children and his many contributions to the community. The media does not see fit to cover it.
    A professor once told our class that the media had the power to put the facts before the people and change that narrative “in five minutes”, but it benefits them and the leaders to keep that falsehood in place, to cover up the real power in the US, which is certainly not the Jewish people or any other minority. I have absolute contempt for the media; it is mostly propaganda and irresponsible “news” (we as a society do not benefit from hearing or reading ghastly details of crimes). I see it as a huge part of the problem in the US, keeping the citizens divided.

    • David K from Philly says :

      I’m actually quite proud of my Jewish brothers and sisters for this. According to most anti-Semities, Jews control the banks, the White House, Congress, Hollywood, the courts, the media and well, just about everything.

      Only 16 million Jewish people in the world and we managed to take over and control the other 7 billion.

      Assuming that’s true (it’s not, but lets say it is), all I have to say is: Dayum we’re good!!!


      P.S. J/K It’s Friday and sarcastic humor is a must before the weekend.

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