We missed this, but lots of folks are talking about it. A week ago, two days after the Brussels Jewish museum killings on May 24, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote with singularly bad judgment on twitter:
At what point do the Jews of America and the Jews of Israel tell the Jews of Europe that it might be time to get out?
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) May 26, 2014
This was days before anyone had any firm idea of who had committed the horrific murders, five days before the news that a French man who had become radicalized by serving in the Syrian rebellion was arrested.
The tweet is a reminder of Goldberg’s visceral understanding that Jews are unsafe in the west. “The fear of anti-Semitism is the forge on which” he built his identity as a young Jew, he wrote in his memoir, Prisoners. “I believed a red river of anti-Semitism ran under the surface of America.” Jews led “the dog’s life of the Diaspora. We were a whipped and boneless people.” The cure then was that Goldberg moved to Israel.
Max Blumenthal has responded to Goldberg:
The American Jewish Committee’s David Harris in Haaretz surely agrees in part with Blumenthal. He chides Goldberg:
Such reactions are not helpful. They take complex issues and reduce them to the level of simplistic slogans.
Should we be outraged by violent attacks on Jews? Absolutely.
Should we be concerned about the electoral success of extremist parties peddling anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism? Certainly.
The pugnacious Goldberg seems proud of his tweet.
More on Brussels, from the Telegraph report on the arrest of a French man who had reportedly served with jihadists in Syria for the murders:
Our message “to these jihadists is that we will fight them, we will fight them and we will fight them”, [French President Francois Hollande] said.
France announced new policies in April to stop its citizens joining the Syrian civil war, aiming to prevent young French Muslims becoming radicalised and posing a threat to their home country.
This is a growing worry in a country that is home to Europe’s largest Muslim and Jewish communities.
Nearly 800 French nationals have travelled to Syria to fight alongside jihadists in the war-torn Arab state.
When Goldberg urges Jews to leave for Israel or the U.S., it raises the question, How safe are Jews in Israel? Everyone is worried about violence there for good reason; the Israelis are holding millions of people in occupation. And, the inevitable question: what is the contribution of Israel’s actions to fostering anti-Semitism?