We are currently in the midst of the period between the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah and the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur. It is a solemn period of gratitude, apologies and the resolution to be a little bit better next year than this. Among my many items of thanks is the enduring gratitude I feel toward this nation, which opened its arms to my parents some 80 years ago when they fled for their lives from the Nazis.
But it has also brought home for me the current level of unease that I feel about the current situation. Four-and-a-half years ago, a gunman walked into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pennsylvania and started shooting indiscriminately at worshippers inside, killing 11. Lately, we have Elon Musk blaming the (Jewish) Anti-Defamation League, which has been reporting on the explosion of antisemitic hate speech on “X” (Twitter), for its plunging ad revenues. Fact: According to the FBI, Jews account for just 2.4% of the U.S. population but a full 63% of the reported religious hate crimes target Jews.
Antisemitism is nothing new, but now, it’s on the rise. A recent report by the Anti-Defamation League found that the number of antisemitic incidents reported in the U.S. increased by 35% from 2021 to 2022. La Plata County is not immune.
Our government used to serve as a steadfast bulwark against antisemitism. No longer. Former President Donald Trump opined that the neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville included “some very fine people.” He dined with Kanye West, who once tweeted, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia says that the wildfires in California might have been caused by a Jewish space laser.
The Biden administration recently announced the creation of a National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, including “100 actions to raise awareness of antisemitism and its threat to American democracy.”
Cue our “representative,” Lauren Boebert, who quickly tweeted: “When they say stuff like this, they mean they want to go after conservatives. Their tactics are straight out of the USSR’s playbook.” Wow. Wow.
This of course is the individual who said: “The church is supposed to direct the government. I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk.” Of course, the church in question isn’t just any church. It’s her church.
In Boebert’s view, it’s always the conservatives that are the true victims. Of her 3rd District constituents, only her supporters are worthy of defense. She wears her religious beliefs on her sleeve but is not willing to even take a public position against hate speech, threats and violence directed at minorities.
Boebert is all about “freedom,” but her version of freedom is a warped one. It doesn’t include the concept that all people, even minorities, have the right to live their lives undisturbed and in peace. Christian conservatives have the freedom not only to espouse their values (I agree!) but also to impose them on others.
Also, everyone should have the freedom to own any kind of firearm. If, heaven forbid, there is a future synagogue shooting incident in CD-3, she will be the first one to offer her “thoughts and prayers,” of course, while vigorously denying that her words and actions might bear even a shred of responsibility for the event.
Our weapons to fight this aren’t AK-47s, but rather ballots. When Congresswoman Boebert comes up for re-election, vote like your soul depends on it. Send her packing. She’s not fit to represent the good people of CD-3.
Larry Gross is 68 years old and is a full-time resident of Durango.