Here we are, a day after the brouhaha surrounding the cancellation of the Israel event at the Queens Museum and its reinstatement.
Are we supposed to breathe a sigh of relief and be happy that the show will now go on? Sure, the pro-Israel community applied a lot of pressure and the museum caved in, so we can look back with satisfaction that we “carried a big stick” and got our way.
But is that it? Do we put this episode behind us as if it never occurred? We are relieved that this dirty little affair ended favorably. However, we should be angry – seething mad – that it occurred at all. IT SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE.
It is reprehensible that the head of a museum would bow to “Palestinian” pressure to cancel an Israel event, and on ridiculous grounds that the event is political. We know that the museum head – President and Executive Director Laura Raicovich – is pro-BDS. Perhaps she was more than happy to comply with a little outside pressure from anti-Israel forces, and regardless of any legal, moral or ethical consideration, was all too happy to try to prevent an event celebrating Israel.
Another consideration is: did she believe she would get away with it? As was seen, only because of intense pressure from the Israeli Consul in New York, several New York City politicians, and lots of negative press against the museum, did the museum reverse its decision.
Unfortunately, this is likely a harbinger of things to come. To quote a 1964 Bob Dylan song, The Times They Are A Changin’. Anti-Semitism in America is on the rise, as is the normalization of the demonization of Israel. Students on our college campuses are harassed for supporting Israel and are woefully unprepared for the challenges they face, and attacks and threats against Jews and Jewish institutions throughout the country are becoming more commonplace
With the bogus theory of “intersectionality” becoming more respectable, Israel is being portrayed as responsible for the woes we face, regardless of how irrational and absurd the charges actually are. It is becoming more acceptable to be anti-Israel / anti-Semitic.
Even though we may have won the battle of the Queens Museum, there never should have been a battle to begin with. Our enemies are pushing, poking and prodding wherever they can to weaken us in the court of public opinion, and we cannot allow them to succeed.
In response, our guard must be up 24/7 and our vigilance relentless. History, truth, morality and justice are all on our side, yet we are not getting our message out loudly and clearly. We can no longer sit back and continue to be attacked, only to respond ineffectively and too late to mitigate damage. Yes, our defenses must be up, but we must also be on the offense. We must attack – in the media, in academia, and on the street.
We can no longer be someone else’s punching bag. We are not playing a game, and the stakes are too high.