MODERN-DAY ANTI-SEMITISM

This blog comes with a warning label. Jews beware: this blog will shock you, disturb you, and anger you. I know that while researching this blog I went through all those emotions and others as well. Anti-Semitism is alive and well in the 21st Century, not only in the Muslim world, which one would expect, but all over the world, even in the US. To be sure, it is more subtle than in prior iterations, such as in the Middle Ages, the Spanish Inquisition and in Nazi Germany, but it is pervasive nonetheless. I have espoused this in previous blogs, but in view of recent events I feel compelled to speak out more explicitly at this time.

The Anti-defamation League has just released the findings of its most recent study into anti-Semitism. Some of the key findings were as follows:

1. 25% of respondents worldwide are “deeply infected with anti-Semitic attitudes.”

2. Approximately one-half of them had never heard of the Holocaust.

3. Only about one-third believe the descriptions of the Holocaust are accurate. I fear this percentage will decrease over time since (a) Holocaust survivors, the so-called living proof, are dying off, and (b) the Holocaust is not being taught in many schools (or is being taught in a sanitized way).

4. Anti-Semitism is growing on college campuses (more on this later).

One would expect these attitudes in Muslim countries, but they are present in the US as well. The Obama Administration has done little to defuse the situation.

1. It refuses to acknowledge violent acts committed by Jihadists as “terrorism,” e.g. Behghazi attack, Fort Hood, etc.

2. It cozies up to radical Muslim groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

3. It has been soft on Iran and Syria.

4. It did not admonish or rein in Secretary of State Kerry following his “Apartheid” remarks viz a vis Israel.

5. President Obama refused to meet with Mr. Netanyahu when the latter was in NY for UN meetings a few years ago and been generally cool toward him.

6. Under the guise of “fairness,” President Obama’s weak support of Israel and obvious antipathy toward Mr. Netanyahu has sent a clear signal to the rest of the world that the US’s support of Israel is not nearly as strong as it has been. This has given “cover” for certain people to criticize Israel, which is code for anti-Semitism.

7. Whereas the PC police have bent over backwards to appease Muslims, denoting and criticizing every perceived insult, it has not afforded Jews the same courtesy. Anti-Semitic comments, harassment and stereotypic comments toward Jews are often characterized as free speech. Two incidents reported today illustrate this unbalanced attitude. A NYC taxi driver was seen wearing an armband with a swastika symbol. He was reported and, subsequently, suspended, but the point is he felt he could wear it in the first place. On the other hand, at the University of St. Thomas some students arranged to bring a real live camel onto campus to celebrate the end of the school year. It was a lighthearted gesture, but some students objected on the grounds that a camel was offensive to “middle eastern” students. A bit of a “stretch,” don’t you think? The camel was cancelled. Who would have thought that Joe Camel, a symbol of Camels cigarettes for many years, was politically incorrect.

Regarding anti-Semitism on college campuses, below please find some of the more egregious examples:

1. A survey conducted by the Institute for Jewish and Community Research found that over 40% of students felt there was anti-Semitism on their campus.

2. The Anti-Defamation League’s annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents reported that such incidents nearly tripled from 2011 to 2012.

3. At the UC Irvine campus an anti-Semitic speaker, Amir Abdul Malik Ali, referred to Jews as “the new Nazis” and the “Party of Satan.” He also said that “Jews’ days are numbered.” Apparently, the school administration saw fit to allow Mr. Ali to address the students, not once, but many times. On the other hand, a Muslim group at the same campus disrupted a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren under the guise of free speech.

4. Similar threats and incidents of harassment were and are being reported at college campuses all over the country. Time and space do not permit me to mention all of them, but you get the idea.

CONCLUSION AND PREDICTION

Incidents such as the above are supposed to be outlawed by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but so far the Obama Administration has chosen not to enforce those prohibitions as far as Jews are concerned. Selective enforcement seems to be the current administration’s hallmark in many areas, not just this one. Years ago, in one of his comedy routines aptly entitled “Politically Incorrect” Jackie Mason used to say that political correctness had risen to such a point that every group of people was protected from jokes at their expense except for tall, white, young, Anglo-Saxon WASPs. Now, it appears one can add Jews to that list.

Throughout history, rather than taking personal responsibility people have sought to blame Jews for their problems. This attitude tends to deepen during difficult economic times such as what we are experiencing now. I predicted this in one of my blogs last year. Apparently, once again, history is repeating itself.

So, what can Jews do? We need to be vigilant and proactive. Be more cognizant of what is going on in the world. We need to bring incidents of bigotry into the light, and we need to support political candidates who will fight bigotry of all types.

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One thought on “MODERN-DAY ANTI-SEMITISM

  1. Larry – really – just as “rather than taking personal responsibility people have sought to blame Jews for their problems” – you cannot lay anti-Semitism at Mr. Obama’s feet! Indeed, you trivialize the underlying problem by doing so.

    You apparently think very highly of the Anti-Defamation League and exhort us to “bring incidents of bigotry into the light.” Two years ago I attempted to alert the Anti-Defamation League to an overtly anti-Semitic advertisement in, among other publications, “Metropolitan Golfer.” I never heard back from ADL; that advertisement continues to run.

    You need to clarify your definition/view of free speech. Was the NYC taxi driver doing anything other than exercising his right to free speech? Or do you espouse a double standard – free speech as long as it doesn’t conflict with your personal views?

    Hopefully you know that I have long shared your underlying concern that anti-Semitism lives, as does all manner of human prejudice. Did anyone besides me catch Al Roker’s throwaway line on Tuesday’s Today Show? After a review of Donald Sterling’s most recent interview debacle, Tamron Hall pointed out that perhaps his most abhorrent claim was that Magic Johnson hasn’t done as much for his community as Jews do for theirs, since that comparison pits blacks against Jews in some sort of hateful competition. Al Roker, completely missing Ms. Hall’s point and exposing his true anti-Semitic heart, threw out “Yes, we see all the good that Madoff did.” Guess how well my complaints to NBC went?

    So, Larry, I really hope you will write a follow up blog and tell me, please, how can we effectively “be vigilant and proactive.” (And I hope you “mispoke” when you asked “what can Jews do?” You surely didn’t mean to hurt or exclude me, did you?) Do I need to just lay the problem of prejudice off onto our government? Prejudice starts in the home, the family and in peoples’ hearts and minds – not in the voting booth! Individuals cause the problem and individuals need to rid themselves of their fear which causes their hatred.

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