Rabbi Ariel Yeshurun responds to Hillel Fight

Rabbi Ariel Yeshurun responds to Hillel Fight

Dear community,

I am sure by now you were all made aware of the incident involving a Hillel kid at a soccer match.

I’ve been following the comments being made by some members of the Jewish community who are calling for a pacifying attitude because the Hillel boy is the one who initiated the fight. With all my respect to these people I am appalled by this attitude.

The truth is that in the context of shouting antisemitic hate slogans like “F*k the Jews” and “Hitler was right” and other obscene words it is absolutely irrelevant who picked the fight.

There should be zero tolerance for hate speech. Period. The two incidents (starting a fight vs. antisemitic language) are so incongruous and incompatible with each other that I am ashamed to read apologetic statements made by our own Jewish community and in leadership and educational roles.

Have we lost our moral compass?! Is there any equivalency between starting a fight and invoking the Holocaust?! Are we so tone deaf to our own hatred by antisemites that we blame the victim of an antisemitic attack by saying “but he started it”?!

I hear people from within the Jewish community saying things like “it’s been exaggerated” has it?! Really?! Can you exaggerate a “Hitler was right” statement?! Please show me how you can exaggerate a reference to genocide! And not just genocide! The most comprehensive ethnic cleansing the world has ever known! Are we really going to spin this one again on ourselves and apologize and say well the Jewish kid started it?! Yes he started a fight. Kids fight! Tensions run high in a game. It’s not right but it happens. Children fight all the time. But does that sanction such virulent and vitriolic hate speech?!

What if this was an African American kid who started the fight and he would be showered with words like the N word and “slavery was right” how would everyone react?!

So all you apologetic pacifists out there.. today you failed! You failed us and you failed yourselves. You failed to respect yourselves. You failed to stand for what is right. You failed to stand up for the injustice committed here and you failed worse by apologizing for it.

Rabbi Ariel Yeshurun