Protests over the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis have taken on a life of their own as riots broke out across the country. Rioters looted, vandalized, and burned stores, monuments, and buildings that had nothing to do with police brutality, but perhaps the most egregious case came in Los Angeles on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.
Rioters targeted a synagogue in Los Angeles, spray-painting graffiti reading “F**k Israel” and “Free Palestine” right below the sign with the name “Congregation Beth Israel,” the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles reported.
“Synagogue Congregation Beth [Israel] on Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles vandalized… Tell me this ugly hatred is still about [Black Lives Matter] or [George Floyd]?!” Lisa Daftari, founder and editor of The Foreign News Desk, tweeted with the photo.
— Lisa Daftari (@LisaDaftari) May 31, 2020
“Vandalism is never ok. Antisemitism is never ok. The answer to hate and bigotry is not more hate. We are better than this Los Angeles,” the Anti-Defamation League of Los Angeles tweeted.
Rioters damaged and looted several Jewish businesses and restaurants, Haaretz reported.
On Saturday evening, rioters threw a brick through the window of Congregation Beth Ahabah, a 200-year-old Reform congregation in Richmond.
Someone just threw a brick, shattering one of the windows of the Congregation of Beth Ahabah, a synagogue. pic.twitter.com/rnpvKpkZRJ
— Eduardo Acevedo (@edace2936) May 31, 2020
Leftist agitators like antifa are almost certainly exacerbating these riots. Fellow travelers like Students for Justice in Palestine have harassed Jewish students on campus in the name of advancing the cause of Palestine. Students for Justice in Palestine retweeted the anti-Israel Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement’s support for Black Lives Matter.
While the outrage over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor is justified, groups like Students for Justice in Palestine push a racialist argument against Israel, condemning the Jewish State as somehow white and championing Palestinians as supposedly oppressed “people of color.” A Tufts University student guide condemned Israel as a “white supremacist state.” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) defended the BDS movement, comparing boycotts of Israel to boycotts against Nazi Germany.
No social justice cause justifies anti-Semitism.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.