Like most people, I awoke on Oct. 7 to news of Hamas’ horrific attack on Israel. The barbarism displayed by the Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians was enough to make anybody’s blood boil. The indiscriminate slaughter of innocent men, women and children in communities across the south of Israel was the biggest loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust.
You would think that this modern-day pogrom, carried out by terrorists who seek the destruction of Israel and the eradication of the Jewish people, would elicit a unified response from the international community. Alas, the scenes of horror in communities like Sderot, Ashkelon, kibbutz Be’eri and Re’im — where people were cut down in horrific fashion by Hamas fighters simply for being Jewish — drew mixed reactions from countries around the globe and even neighbors here at home.
Indeed, instead of mourning with Israelis and calling for the return of the hundreds of hostages kidnapped into the Gaza Strip, world leaders have condemned Israel for leading an “occupation,” and even gone so far as to actively side with Hamas. Sadly, other “leaders” who have warped views on this situation can be found closer to home, like U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who proudly defended the use of virulently antisemitic chants at pro-Palestinian protests, most notably, “From the river to the sea!” which is a call for the destruction of Israel.
We must condemn such antisemitic speech, whether it comes from faraway capitals or the halls of our own Congress, which is why I continue to advocate for the censorship of Tlaib and for the Biden administration to take a strong stand against nations that seek to undermine the United States’ greatest ally, Israel.
Not only have we seen institutional antisemitism at work on the world stage, but it has even permeated the streets of our neighborhoods as well as the campuses of American colleges and universities. Just turning on the news puts the depth of hatred on full display, with Jewish students being subjected to hate and ridicule by pro-Palestinian protesters simply for wearing kippahs — a clear sign that these protesters’ real issue is with the existence of Jews, and not just the policies of the State of Israel.
Anthony D’Esposito represents New York’s 4th Congressional District.