Rising Anti-Semitism in the U.S. Demands a Response Jake Fishman (‘20), Managing Editor “You stupid pig of a Jew!” A man in a business suit screams this at me as I walk down Avenue of the Stars. I ignore him, but he chases me for three blocks, continuing to scream at me, as I run down the street toward school, narrowly avoiding traffic. I thought my experience was unique, that I had been the victim of some isolated incident of anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Incidents like this are becoming a more common reality for American Jews. Just a few short weeks ago––a mere two weeks after the Pittsburgh shooting, which claimed the lives of 11 Jews who were sitting in shul on Shabbat––a group of Orthodox Jews on La Brea, right here in Los Angeles, were repeatedly harassed by a driver who later attempted to run them over with his car. Anti-Semitic attacks are not limited to the greater Los Angeles area. These incidents have been on the rise in general. The Anti-Defamation League released data that stated that 1.09 billion people in the world today hold anti-Semitic beliefs. The number of anti-Semitic attacks is up almost 60 percent from the end of 2016, according to the ADL, and
that includes bomb threats, harassment, vandalism, and physical assaults. The following is just a sampling of the anti-Semitic acts American Jews have faced in the past two months: • October 27: A shooting in Pittsburgh killed 11 Jewish worshipers. • October 31: An Irvine, Calif., synagogue was attacked by vandals who spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti onto a wall. • November 7: A man attacked three Orthodox Jewish women in North Hollywood by grabbing or attempting to grab their sheitls (wigs). • November 8: Two 13-year-old teens were arrested for vandalizing a shul and harassing Jewish children in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. • November 19: Windows of the Chabad of Peabody, Mass., were shot with BB guns. • November 20: A Duke University wall commemorating the victims of Pittsburgh was vandalized with swastikas. • November 21: A man harassed and attempted to run over several Los Angeles Jews with his car on La Brea. • November 25: A Williamsburg
teen beat a nine-year-old Jewish child while he was walking home. November 29: Swastikas were found in the office of Jewish Columbia University professor Elizabeth Midlarsky. December 2: A Chasidic man was attacked and beaten in Williamsburg. December 4: A Miami police sergeant was suspended after a video came out of his throwing a Hebrew Bible and a box with a Star of David on it into a pickup truck, claiming he was “taking out the trash.” (The sergeant’s supporters claim that the video was taken out of context and that the “trash” really was contaminated with mold. Believe what you’d like.) December 6: A woman attacked multiple Jews with a glass bottle in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. December 9: A man was arrested for vandalizing Jewish businesses in Aventura, Fla. December 16: A man, whose face was covered with a headscarf, was seen wielding a machete outside the Chabad of North Hollywood. The rise in anti-Semitism this country can be attributed
to the recent rise in popularity of both extremes of the political spectrum: radical leftists who are committed to destroying the Jewish state and all who are associated with it, and right-wing American nationalists who consider Jews to be foreign invaders. Both often spew unbridled, classic anti-Semitism, like the man who harassed me. This is extremely concerning, especially considering the large number of young people who are associating with these factions. According to Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director and CEO of the ADL, “Campus anti-Semitism has come from across the political spectrum. For several years now, alt-right and neo-Nazi groups have targeted college campuses to spread their
hateful ideologies and recruit young people for their movements. The ADL found that white supremacist propaganda on college campuses nearly doubled in the 2017-18 school year from the year prior.” As Jews living and thriving in the U.S. a mere 70 years after the slaughter of six million Jews, it is imperative that we take action against and protect ourselves from the rising hate. Our community needs more neighborhood watch, more shul security officers trained to protect Jewish institutions, and more police involvement. The general public must be educated on the Holocaust and the positive works of the State of Israel. With the number of hate crimes rising rapidly, something has to be done.
Marvel Versus DC: A Topic Worth My Time
Zevi Gersten (‘19), Opinion Editor Let’s begin with some simple facts: Marvel Comics is NOT related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). If you bring up facts to me that pertain to the MCU and not Marvel Comics, I will laugh at you for thinking that they are the same (if you really think Peter Parker is forever 17, you’re sorely mistaken). If you don’t read comics and don’t want to gain priceless knowledge that will further your standing in social circles, the office, and beyond, skip this article right now; I have no time for your small-minded exclamations like “BUT WAIT DIDN’T IT”––No. I have been stewing in the great pot of comic books my whole life. You are but a sapling; I, a mighty oak, or some other cool tree like aspen or spruce. I’m going to be blunt and I’m not going to apologize for it: Marvel Comics is, in my opinion (and in the opinion of many others), superior to DC Comics. For those of you who cannot read more than 100 words without dying, here’s a very VERY simplified version of what I’m going to say later
on: Marvel has dynamic characters who are capable of change, whereas DC produces flat superheros, seemingly incapable of change and with almost no coping mechanisms of any sort. HOWEVER: DC produces the more iconic superheroes (not like any of you people would know the members of the original Justice League), and we need to recognize that. In short, people who are drawn to the interpersonal and intrapersonal workings of the world tend to prefer Marvel, while people who acknowledge the past and appreciate it (or just enjoy high-stakes plots like “END OF THE UNIVERSE OMIGOD” stories) prefer DC. True fans of comics like me read both Marvel and DC because, as Hannah Montana said, “It’s the best of both worlds.” Yes, that was the only quote that works here. Shut up. Marvel made the characters outside the costume as interesting or even more interesting than their costumed versions. It is not often you will see Clark Kent struggle with heartbreak. But Tony Stark and Dr. Stephen Strange frequently have to deal with their interper-
sonal issues and lack of social skills. True, most if not all DC superheroes have dark origins, but the main issue with DC characters is that they rarely develop and frequently return to their origins as their motivation. You will never find a time where Batman wasn’t brooding in the dark or moping about because his parents were murdered 30-plus years ago and he can’t move on. Personally, I hate Batman because: what’s his superpower? Crippling depression and too much money? I have no pity for him. Use that money for some therapy or maybe take up a safer hobby like woodworking. I don’t know. I would be remiss not to give DC any of the credit it deserves. Everyone will say that they can name more Marvel superheroes than DC superheroes (assuming you don’t mix up Marvel and DC like some uncultured boor), but the recognition of Marvel superheroes should be attributed to the glory of the MCU, WHICH, AGAIN, IS NOT RELATED TO MARVEL COMICS. If you were to remove the MCU from your troglodytic (look it up) minds,
the vast majority of you would struggle to name even three Marvel superheroes. Like seriously, I challenge you to name three superheroes who aren’t mentioned at all in the MCU….don’t bother trying. I know you’ll fail. Marvel simply relies on the MCU to do all its advertising and does not care if you don’t know who She Hulk or Nova are. DC, on the other hand, has produced some of the most iconic superheroes of
all time: Superman, Batman, the Flash, Wonder Woman (who almost undid the damage done by the “Batman vs. Superman” movie, I might add, but that’s off-topic). In the end, the choice is yours. Go ahead and prefer DC comics over Marvel; I won’t judge (this is obviously a lie as I will, and I already am heavily judging you).