American Kristallnacht?

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

A few weeks ago, I lamented how Americans had gone to bed on October 7 in 2023 and woken up in Nuremberg 1933. All across the country, activists flooded the streets and especially college campuses to protest not the bloody massacres of civilians by a self-professed genocidal terrorist government in Gaza, but to blame the Jewish victims of the murders, rapes, and kidnappings. Could this possibly get worse, I wondered?


Wondered is probably the wrong word. Predicted is more apropos. Yesterday, America moved from Nuremberg 1933 to Kristallnacht 1938 or something very close to it, especially in the City of (ahem) Brotherly Love.  Palestinian activists took aim at a Jewish business that have no connection to Israel, other than the birthplace of its owner:

An anti-Semitic mob was blasted by Pennsylvania’s governor for screaming threats into a Jewish-owned falafel store in Philadelphia.

The group marched at the Goldie’s location in Center City chanting: ‘Goldie, Goldie you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.’

The Philadelphia chain is owned by Mike Solomonov, an Israeli-born, Pittsburgh raised chef who has won the James Beard Award in the past.

In New York City, another mob tried to shut down businesses the night before while demanding an “intifada revolution.” For context, the intifada was Yasser Arafat’s name for a wave of terror attacks against Jewish civilians in an attempt to start a war — after being offered a two-state settlement by Israel and Bill Clinton:


Plus, back in Pennsylvania, UPenn students also called for an “intifada” here at home at the same time that another mob tried shutting down a Jewish business in Philly:

Earlier in the day, either the same mob or another similarly pro-Hamas demonstration attempted to shut down the Museum of Natural History before moving into a shopping district. They wanted to force their way into the museum to decolonize it, or something:

And last week, another pro-Hamas mob made sure to make its anti-bigotry known by calling an observer a “k*ke” (via Townhall’s Matt Vespa):


A few months ago, these scenes would have been unthinkable. No one doubted that latent anti-Semitism existed on the fringes of both ends of the political spectrum, but this has exploded on the Left into mainstream thought. We have seen an unending stream of anti-Semitism and intimidation of Jews since the early days of the war, and that was bad enough. Now, however, it’s spilling into the streets and taking aim at Jewish businesses and Jewish communities, and all with the same purpose: to marginalize Jews and push them out of public life, just as intended in 1930s Germany.

And all of this has emerged in just a few weeks. In America.

Usually, it’s too easy and glib to draw parallels between modern events and the Nazi era (hence ‘Godwin’s Law’ as a critique of poor argumentation), but this is getting a little too close to ignore. The constant rallies against Jewish “colonizers,” the demand for terrorist wars against them (as “intifadas” were and are), and the efforts to chase Jews off of college campuses and now their own businesses have a very ugly and dangerous precedent in the past century.

One key ingredient to all this — and another parallel to 1938 — is a lack of intervention by civic authorities to put an end to these intimidation tactics. Universities that freak out over “microaggressions” in any other context have done nothing to protect its Jewish students or enforce order on campus. Cities that insisted on safe spaces for other minority communities have abandoned Jewish life and businesses. The implicit message in this curious acedia is that the power structures in place in both the academic and civic arenas support the aims of these mobs and tactics they use.


Governor Josh Shapiro sees the same parallels in Pennsylvania, rather than a Godwin’s Law application:

Where were the police in Philadelphia? For that matter, where was Shapiro himself while this took place? Presumably the governor could have called in a state police force to restore order, or at least gotten on the phone with Mayor Jim Kenney to demand that the mob be pushed back from Goldie’s. Did Shapiro do that? Or did he just tweet about it?

Across the board the last few weeks, nothing has happened to these mobs except a lot of impotent hand-wringing. This impotent response began in its most recent form three-plus years ago in Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta, Washington DC, Portland, and other major cities. The progressive fascists learned that local and state authorities would not act to defend the public or maintain order, and in some cases ceded significant territory as “autonomous zones” to gangs for months rather than oppose ‘decolonization.’

It is no surprise, then, that these progressive Brownshirts see an open field to use force to impose their will at any time, and now see Jews as a ripe target for the next phase of their ‘decolonization’ efforts. That history clearly has emboldened these mobs to escalate their tactics and strategy and amplify their attacks on Jews in America, both on campuses and in the streets. We are building to a very ugly finale at some point where we won’t be merely talking about parallels to Kristallnacht but experiencing an American version of it — thanks to our modern Brownshirts of progressive fascists that form mobs and act with impunity while those in power look the other way at best.


It’s time to enforce the law and restore the disincentives to these kinds of mob tactics. Otherwise, get ready for lots of broken glass, and a lot worse, in the days to come.

Update: Initially, I misspelled ‘Kristallnacht,” but I have fixed it now.

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