Guest Column
As someone who fled an intolerant Iran, I know why antisemitism must end | Column
Rising antisemitism must stop now before it morphs into something even worse.
A police vehicle seen the morning of May 27 at the Florida Holocaust Museum. The St. Petersburg Police Department is investigating swastikas painted overnight on a wall of the museum.
A police vehicle seen the morning of May 27 at the Florida Holocaust Museum. The St. Petersburg Police Department is investigating swastikas painted overnight on a wall of the museum. [ KIRK SIMPKINS | Times ]
Published June 4, 2021

“The Jews are guilty.” Residents right here in Tampa Bay awoke last Thursday to this chilling message painted in black, bracketed by swastikas, on the side of the Florida Holocaust Museum in downtown St. Petersburg. During the preceding weeks, Jews in Florida and across the country reeled in horror at the vitriol displayed by haters in the streets of our major cities.

Amanda Makki
Amanda Makki [ DUPONT PHOTOGRAPHERS | Provided ]

Soon after news of the vile vandalism at the Florida Holocaust Museum broke, a Jewish friend messaged me that he hoped the museum would leave the graffiti in place and hang one sign above it that read, “This is How it Starts” and one below reading “Inside is How it Ends.” This is the same friend who, when we discuss rising antisemitism hate in the United States, chastises me for using the term antisemitic, which he believes whitewashes the violence leveled at Jews and the Jewish State. He prefers calling it “Jew-hatred,” plain and simple.

In the Bal Harbour section of Miami Beach, a Jewish family visiting from New Jersey was terrorized by men in an SUV who pelted the family with garbage and shouted, “Free Palestine,” and “We’re going to rape your daughter, we’re going to rape your wife.” A stranger in a nearby car emerged with a pistol and chased the SUV away.

In one week during this last Hamas-Israel war, the Anti-Defamation League recorded more than 17,000 messages that were variants of “Hitler was right.” Two Sundays ago, during a “Stand with Israel” rally here in Tampa, pro-Palestinian protestors called for the eradication of Israel and shouted chants in Arabic calling for the death of Jews.

If there is another country in the world whose eradication, along with the annihilation of its people, is advocated, I am unaware of it. Only the one Jewish State in the world is threatened with impunity this way.

When I was a child, my family fled Iran to escape the Ayatollah Khomeini and his mullahs who shouted anti-Christian and anti-Jewish poison on a daily basis. Quickly, their exhortations resulted in street violence, then government-sanctioned violence. The world saw a country transform into a violently intolerant society where Christians, Jews and even Muslims were hunted down, imprisoned, tortured and murdered.

When one reads histories of ordinary Germans during the rise of Nazism, the passivity with which they viewed the scorching hatred, alienation and dehumanization visited upon German Jews shocks the conscience and the soul.

We are witnessing now how the Holocaust began. Propaganda in the media accused Jews of all sorts of crimes against Germany and the German people. Today we see this in social media — and on the side of a Holocaust museum in St. Petersburg.

As Americans, let’s resolve the terrible Jew-hatred in this country and make certain that what stands as testament to the worst of humanity inside the Florida Holocaust Museum is never repeated anywhere on Earth.

Amanda Makki was a 2020 Republican candidate in Florida’s 13th congressional district. She is a lawyer and frequent guest commentator on Fox News, Fox Business and Newsmax. She has been published in the Tampa Bay Times, Washington Times, Washington Examiner and on and lives in St. Petersburg. She tweets at @amandamakki.