Combating Antisemitism: How to be an Ally

Combating Antisemitism: How to be an Ally

Anti-semitism, a word the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as hostility toward or discrimination against Jewish people as a religious, ethnic, or racial group. Since the beginning of the outward practice of Judaism, anti-semitism has been prosperous as many people blame Jewish people for worldly problems. An example that can outline this kind of behavior is the current conflict between Israel and Palestine. People from Palestine wish to be free from Israeli control because of the harsh, and in some cases discriminatory, actions and controls they have over the country. This issue has caused many people to blame Jewish people for the actions of the Israeli government, which is quite unreasonable because not all Jewish people are Israeli. For instance, I am of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, which would leave my family’s ethnic history in Eastern Europe. This is complex, but is only a small fraction of the anti-semitism that Jewish people face on a day to day basis. 

CBS NY Local News (CBS)

In the U.S. alone, the Anti-Defamation League recorded 2,100 violent, discriminatory acts against the Jewish population this year, which can be recognized as a twelve percent increase in anti-semitic events than the previous year. During the Capitol building insurrection, men who were there in support of former President Donald J. Trump were seen wearing shirts saying “Camp Aushwitz”, one of the most deadly concentration camps noted during the Holocaust, and “6 million was not enough” in regards to all Jewish lives lost during the Holocaust.
On a global scale, The ADL found that in 2018 in an EU survey, 80% of Jewish people felt that antisemitism increased in their country and that 40% live in fear that they will be physically attacked.  

Jewish people are some of the most hated against groups, not only in the U.S., but also in the world. My grandfather, Stephen Arthur Feuerstein, tells me stories of what it was like to grow up on Manhasset, Long Island, with a low Jewish population. He tells me that he, and one other boy named Jerry Leiberman, were the only two Jewish people in his school. He used to watch his friend get thrown into steaming hot showers just because his religion was different. It pains me to hear how horrible my Jewish brothers and sisters were treated, but I also cannot sit back and say that I have also not felt I had been discriminated against. As a society, we can do so much better.

BBC United Kingdom
BBC UK

To start, we can stop making jokes about the Holocaust. Not only are they inappropriate, disgusting, and immature, they also are not funny. Additionally, we should refrain from using words and phrases that may not seem discriminatory to you, but actually are. Do not refer to Jewish people as “Jews.” That term is informal. With that being said, it is also inappropriate to make jokes or say that all Jewish people have big noses, curly hair, and are greedy. These are stereotypes that simply are not true. In other words, if you would not like me to make fun of the fact that you wear a cross or celebrate Christmas, then do not persecute Jewish people for celebrating their faith the same way you do. At the end of the day, we are all the same. Our differences make us better people and hating on one another will never solve our problems. In a world with so much hate already, let’s work together to share more love.

New York Times

 

 

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