A ‘Critical Moment’: Broad Coalition to March against Anti-Semitism on National Mall Tuesday
On Friday, “Washington Watch” guest host and former Congressman Jody Hice had a chance to sit down with Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the coalition for Jewish Values, about the dramatic rise of anti-Semitism across the country. To push back on that astonishing wave, thousands plan to descend on the National Mall on Tuesday for a pro-Israel rally. For more on that event and Menken’s perspective, check out his interview below.
HICE: Well, listen, let’s just jump right into this. Tell us about the event that’s coming up next week.
MENKEN: This rally on [November] 14 is actually even surprising to me — how incredible [that] everybody is coming out for this particular rally that organizations that ordinarily don’t participate in rallies or only do their own thing here. There’s incredibly broad unity in favor of standing up at this critical moment to oppose anti-Semitism and support Israel.
HICE: It really is amazing, and I know we plan to be there ourselves to show our tremendous support. But, you know, as you look at this, it really is a massive event. It looks like it’s just turning [out] to be a huge thing [with] multiple groups from all across [America]. … What are you hoping that comes from this? You and other organizers, what do you want to see as a result of this rally?
MENKEN: There needs to be a pushback. I mean, look at America and college campuses, these horrific celebrations of barbarism, the people who are backing the horrific rapes and murders that took place on October 7 — and now they’re out there in force calling for a ceasefire, which would be an opportunity for Hamas to regroup and rearm while the families of the hostages and, of course, the hostages themselves, continue to suffer. The call for a ceasefire right now is immoral and wrong, and therefore it is important that those who wish to be a voice for what is moral and just and good, stand up in response and say, “No, Congress, do not listen to these people.”
HICE: Absolutely. You know … I think most people are absolutely shocked at the dramatic increase of anti-Semitism across the country and the protest of individuals that seemingly are supporting Hamas terrorists. It’s just shocking to see what has happened. On the flip side of that, I think you have to be encouraged as you see the response of people beginning, as you say, to push back against this anti-Semitism. And even with this upcoming march, it’s got to be incredibly encouraging to see how people are beginning to stand up and push back.
MENKEN: Well, it really is an inflection point for America. We’re less than a century from the Holocaust. We know what happens when … this level of hate is allowed to continue to spiral out of control. And I think a lot of Americans were shocked when groups like students for Justice in Palestine and Black Lives Matter took their masks off. They showed you this was never about a Palestinian state or a government, or, in the case of Black Lives Matter, about standing up against racism. Oh no. The agenda here was hatred towards the Jews and the Jewish people, and for values in general. And it’s time for all Americans who still appreciate that values stand for something and that they, in fact, built this first-world country and the world’s pre-eminent superpower. That all comes out of a set of values that, sadly, these people do not share. And it’s time for us to stand up against it.
HICE: Well, and many are standing up against it. What was your take on the [congressional action against the representative] from Michigan, Rashida Talib, as she was censured for her anti-Semitic remarks?
MENKEN: [There’s] actually a key difference between censor and censure. She was not censored. She’s allowed to spout her anti-Semitism. She’s allowed to say what she feels, but it’s all the more important to shine a light on that. Let her say what she thinks and let Congress censure her. What was most heartening about that was watching 22 Democrats cross the aisle to vote to censure one of their own, because her comments were blatantly hateful. They were blatantly over the line. There’s no such thing as a first-world army that bombs civilians, much less a hospital, deliberately. Yet she made that accusation again and again and again, even though the army of the Jewish state has Muslim Arabs in it. She absolutely wants you to believe that it’s the Jews who are the racists while she is the problem.
HICE: Absolutely. Real quickly, where can people go to get more information about the march coming up [tomorrow]?
MENKEN: There is a website unique for this item, MarchForIsrael.org. It is a collaborative project again between a lot of very large Jewish organizations that, if anything, you know, they were very slow to come to recognize how anti-Semitic the Left, the progressive Left truly was. Otherwise, you know, we’re going to continue posting bulletins of our own at CoalitionForJewishValues.org, but I think MarchForIsrael.org is your best place.
HICE: Great. Rabbi Menken, always great to see you. Thank you for standing in the gap. And thank you for joining us on “Washington Watch.”