(July 17, 2019) – There’s a meme I’ve seen go around a thousand times in Jewish spaces online—in Facebook groups, or Twitter exchanges between snarky leftist Jews—a still from a Yiddish lesson series on Youtube, with the phrase “The Jews Are Tired.” It’s an all-purpose response for Gentile fuckery—speaking for Jews, about Jews, around Jews, against Jews, utilizing us without our consent or input. Black background, white letters: The Jews Are Tired.
And after the past few days, in which a fleet of Republicans and the president himself have utilized Jews as human shields for racist rhetoric, the Jews are tired, tired, tired of being used as defenses against naked racism, tired of being used to justify conditions at detention camps. Just plain tired.
This week, Donald Trump banged out a series of twisted tweets demanding that four congresswomen of color “go back” to the countries from which they came, utilizing a classic schoolyard racist trope that still rings in the ears of every nonwhite person in this country. When the backlash came, he raised Jews up like a shield with a Star of David daubed on it in thin, flaking paint to defend him. The four Democrats he targeted, he tweeted later, “hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion” and “have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.” They are, he continued, “Anti-Semitic…Anti-America,” and “anti-Israel, pro Al-Qaeda,” among other salvos, all in the past forty-eight hours.