Can America be America when Jews are beaten in the streets?

Indeed, street attacks represent a larger marker of exclusion and persecution. How many times have we seen that nightmare become a recent reality, and not just for Jews? It’s still hard to wrap one’s mind around the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a young black man who was chased through Georgia streets, cornered, and killed.

We’ve seen Asian American men and women assaulted, unprovoked, in broad daylight, including a notorious incident when a man beat an elderly Asian American woman as bystanders merely watched.

Compounding the pain and injustice is a partisan fact: All too many people care more about crimes and hurt more for victims when those crimes and those victims promote partisan interests and advance partisan narratives. One of the great tragedies of anti-Semitism is that it’s found in extremist movements from left to right. Hatred of Jews is so embedded in a variety of even opposing factions that you often can’t begin to presume the faction of the assailant when a Jewish man or woman is beaten in the street, shot in a deli, or knifed in a house.

This much we know, however: If the founding pledge of safety and freedom for Jewish citizens was a leading indicator that the American promise would be kept, then rising danger to Jewish citizens should be cause for profound alarm.