From the Editor

Some Things Stay the Same

05.31.12 1:24 PM ET

Perhaps you thought that after last week’s race riot in south Tel Aviv—and the international disgust it sparked—Israel’s pogromists would take a break. No such luck. Yesterday, dozens of demonstrators congregated outside south Tel Aviv’s central bus station to denounce African asylum seekers and the leftist “traitors” who support them.

Yet again, the thugs saw a black man passing by and began beating him. Only this time, their victim turned out to be an Ethiopian Jew. Upon realizing their mistake, the assailants apologized.

They apologized! Do we laugh or cry? For centuries, gentiles mistakenly set upon by anti-Semitic mobs saved themselves by screaming that they were not Jews. Now Jews save themselves by screaming that they are not gentiles. And when before, in the long history of human bigotry, has a black man saved himself by proving that he is also a Jew. Oh what Lenny Bruce could have done with this.

The ringleader of this travelling Chillul Hashem is Baruch Marzel, a disciple of Meir Kahane who, according to Yedioth Ahronoth, has distinguished himself with violent attacks on Palestinians, Israeli leftists and the Israeli police. Marzel, like his mentor, hails from the United States, where as Naomi Paiss recently pointed out, Kahanism was born not merely as an anti-Arab and anti-Soviet vigilante movement but as an anti-black one as well. The more things change, it seems, the more they stay the same.