Crown Heights and Israel have very similar problems. We are both located in the heart of a place where those who are not like us, hate us. Chabad is an epicenter of a major organization that does great good throughout the entire world. Israel is a holy and spiritual place that not only gives us the inspiration to continue but on a physical level, technologically speaking, is a leader in military and civilian technological advances throughout the world. Israel is a bright and shining light amongst darkness and violence.
If not for Chabad, Crown Heights would be a dump. It would rival Harlem or Brownsville or worse. We inject millions into businesses, the housing market, community programs, parks, schools, the politicians more then benifit from this. Our streets are cleaner, well taken care of, we make it a community people want to live in.
It’s because of all of this that Crown Heights has recently been attracting new people who are trying to avoid the high cost of living in the trendy Park Slope area. Go to Ocean Avenue, you will see how the Park Slope crowd has crossed over Prospect Park.
Sadly though there are other similarities that both Israel and Crown Heights suffer through. Both have sometimes daily attacks by our neighbors. Attacks that go unnoticed by the politicians and press. The world ignores our pain, our blood and our frightening and dangerous situations.
Every day rockets rain over Israel. Every day people are hurt, killed, adults, even children. The world remains silent. Two times in Crown Heights this week alone we were subject to violent attacks. One landed a 16 year old boy bloody and beaten and in the hospital, unable to even remember his name at first. The previous attack could have resulted in injury to little kids.
The only time people pay attention and get upset are when we attack our enemies. In Israel the only time the media and the politicians get upset is when Israel demolishes homes in Gaza or attacks terrorists. Then the world is up in arms, outraged and angered.
In Crown Heights, even though I do not condone what happened, the anger and outrage by the outside world and politicians and press, when a black man was attacked was amazing. Loud, strong, demanding.
The Brooklyn D.A is on a crusade to punish to the fullest extent of the law the men responsible for that attack. He releases reports, updates, threats, photos, issues unwarranted searches under false pretenses. If he went to this length for every attack we have suffered then maybe we’d all be safer.
The common thread is that when it comes to Jewish blood the world sits in silence. It has been like that for centuries. I just thought that in America, it would be different.