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Jew-Hatred is on the Rise: 10 Ways to Fight Back

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17.06.2022

What might have seemed unimaginable to many American Jews just a few years ago has now become all too frequent. Anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and antisemitic incidents are being reported near and far. Those who thought that threats faced by Jews occurred elsewhere in the world, but not here at home, have woken up to new realities.

Underscoring the point, the FBI has reported year after year that Jews constitute a majority of victims of religiously-motivated hate crimes in the country, even as we are just two percent of the population. From the halls of Congress to the streets of New York, from high schools to universities, from a pro-BDS organization in Boston to thugs in Los Angeles, and from social media platforms to local zoning boards, assaults on Jews, accusations of conspiracy-mongering, and demonization of Israel, have been on the rise.

The overarching question is how to respond. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are ten ways to fight back:

First, elected officials should be held accountable for how they react – or fail to react – when Israel is maligned, or Zionism is vilified, or Jews are threatened, or, for that matter, when the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism comes up as a proposal for adoption.

Politicians who seek support in every election cycle should understand that these are issues that matter to many voters. They should not be allowed to get away with practiced soundbites or glib phrases when they appear in front of, say, a synagogue, but then take a different stance elsewhere.

Case in point: In the eleven days of fighting last year triggered by Hamas-launched rockets at Israel, some political leaders stepped up to express their support and clear understanding of the story line. But others, including a few who purport to be friends of the pro-Israel community, were missing in action or resorting to late-night whispered comments for fear, in their own minds, they could otherwise potentially jeopardize their careers. That is unacceptable.

Second, institutions need to be held accountable. Some schools and colleges support Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus who feel targeted, whether in the classroom or on the quad, while others have betrayed the trust of those students.

This is not about asking institutions to become full-throated supporters of a particular political stance, but rather ensuring that their environments do not become poisoned by hatred, bigotry, intimidation, bullying, or ostracism. Jewish and pro-Israel students have the right to feel safe, protected, free to express their views, and to be proud of their identity, no less than any others.

If those institutions fail, then they, too, need to be held to account by trustees, alumni, parents, prospective parents, and others. And this doesn’t just apply to educational institution, but equally........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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