Biden team’s advice for Jews during wave of anti-Semitism? Look less ‘visibly Jewish’

Biden team’s advice for Jews during wave of anti-Semitism? Look less ‘visibly Jewish’
Image: Shoshana Dornhelm

The descriptor visibly Jewish was coined recently by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo following an attack on a Jewish man in Times Square. “I unequivocally condemn these brutal attacks on visibly Jewish New Yorkers,” Cuomo wrote in a tweet, adding, “NY is home to people from all faiths & backgrounds—everyone must be able to walk the streets safely.” [Emphasis added]

It was never clear precisely what the governor meant by “visibly Jewish” — whether he was referring, for example, to people with big noses. But his threat to sic the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force on offenders had little impact. A day after his warning, two more anti-Jewish bias occurred in an orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood, the first in front of a synagogue.

Three males inside a blue Toyota Camry parked outside the synagogue yelled anti-Jewish statements, according to authorities.

Police say they yelled “Free Palestine! Kill all Jews!” at four male victims standing outside the location.

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The four victims then entered the synagogue and locked the door, at which point two of the males exited the Toyota Camry and began to bang on the front door. …

On the way back to their vehicle, police say they kicked and destroyed the side mirror of a car parked near the synagogue.

Luckily for Jews, a member of the Biden transition team has a modest proposal for how they can avoid becoming a victim during these fractious times. Aaron Keyak, whose Twitter bio reveals that he “led Jewish engagement for the Biden-Harris campaign and transition,” tweeted, “It pains me to say this, but if you fear for your physical safety take off your kippah and hide your magen david. Obviously, if you can, ask your rabbi first.” (Kippah is the Hebrew name for the skull cap worn by observant Jews.)

The idea is not new. Jewish men in Germany were urged to stop wearing the caps in 2017 during a spate of attacks by Muslim youth. I just wonder whether Team Biden would offer the same advice to hijab-wearing Muslim women if the role of aggressor and victim in the current attacks were reversed.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."

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