Opinion | Let’s Call Eyal Haddad’s Murder What It Is: Violent Antisemitism

Opinion | Let’s Call Eyal Haddad’s Murder What It Is: Violent Antisemitism

Michelle Rosenberg
Michelle Rosenberg
August 31, 2022

In the wake of the horrific murder of a French Jewish man Eyal Haddad at the hands of his extremist Muslim neighbor, French authorities are cautious not to label the crime as antisemitic in nature.

The perpetrator, Mohamed Dridi, brutally killed Haddad with an ax and burned his face. Dridi later turned himself in.

Despite reports that Dridi admitted he killed Haddad because he was Jewish, French authorities are steering clear of officially calling the murder a hate crime or religiously motivated in any way. Photographs have also surfaced which depict him burning the flag of Israel during a protest.

This is nothing new. Global aversion to formal recognition of violent hate crimes against Jews has increased.

It happened with the Colleyville synagogue hostage crisis.

After the 11-hour hostage situation at the Beth Israel reform synagogue in Colleyville, TX, the FBI’s Special Agent In Charge debriefed the media, saying, “The Texas synagogue hostage taker’s demands were specifically focused on issues not connected to the Jewish community.”

Malik Akram, a British Pakistani, stormed the synagogue on the Sabbath demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui – an Al Queda terrorist who blamed Israel for her fate in U.S. courts and demanded all jurors receive a DNA test to prove whether they were Jewish or not.

Akram’s demands of Beth Israel’s Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker were riddled with antisemitic tropes, including the belief that Jews are somehow connected to world leaders and possess the power to influence change.

Hostages inside the synagogue later confirmed that Akram spewed anti-American, anti-Israel, and antisemitic epithets throughout the 11-hour hostage.

Why didn’t the FBI immediately recognize this as an antisemitic hate crime?

As antisemitic incidents increase worldwide, why won’t leaders – like the French officials adequately recognize these events for what they are?

Antisemitism is one of the world’s oldest forms of hate, yet the world seems to blind itself from recognizing its magnitude in modern society.

Have other types of prejudice and discriminatory violence eclipsed antisemitism? Are Jews considered “too privileged” to be regarded as victims too?

Has society focused too heavily on a binary view of racism? One of the many critiques of Critical Race Theory is its view that racism is binary. There are “white” who are the oppressors and “people of color” who are the oppressed.

Jews are typically seen as “white” under the lens of critical race theory. Thus they are not seen as an oppressed minority despite being one of the most oppressed minorities in history.

When the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is analyzed through the lens of CRT, it is easy to see why progressives quickly condemn Israel. Israel is considered a “white” oppressor, and Palestinians are considered the “brown” oppressed.

The systemic aversion to publicly acknowledge Jew-hatred when it rears its ugly face hinders society’s ability to combat it.

Let’s call Eyal Haddad’s murder what it is: violent antisemitism.

Michelle Rosenberg

Michelle Rosenberg

Michelle Rosenberg is a proud holder of a Master's degree in Global Affairs with a concentration in Globalization and Security, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, both from Florida International University. Michelle's academic pursuits illustrate her commitment to understanding the complex dimensions of international relations and global dynamics. When she's not diving into the intricacies of global affairs, she cherishes time with her three beloved daughters and relishes exploring new places with her family

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