February 22, 2018

Here’s Why We Should All Be Paying More Attention To Antisemitism

Ever since the US election, racism has been on many of our minds. Whether or not you believe Trump has racist leanings, you can’t deny that his sometimes questionable statements have drawn attention to a worrying rise in racial hate crimes. As such, you’d be hard-pressed to see a positive side to his election for black US citizens. But, his stance on the subject has at least made racism in America too obvious to ignore. While hate crimes rose throughout Obama’s presidency, many of us were willing to turn a blind eye. Now, with incidents like Charlottesville, we’re in a position where such denial is futile. We all see that racism needs to change. And, we’re slowly taking steps to ensure it happens.

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But, when you look deeper, it becomes apparent that there are many other forms of discrimination at play. Recent years have also seen a worrying increase in anti-semitic acts and attitudes.

And, as we should’ve learned by now, problems which fall under the radar are most dangerous of all. Yet, a simple search for anti-semitic behavior will uncover a variety of news articles. And, to give you some idea of how far the issue has gone, here are a few incidents you might not have heard about.

Arizona has seen a marked increase in anti-semitic crimes. So far this year, fourteen have been reported, and it’s thought that more have gone under the radar. Crimes include a menorah being turned into a swastika outside a Jewish family’s home. The Anti-Defamation League believe crimes against Jewish victims have more than tripled in Arizona since 2015.

During the Charlottesville rally, the Jewish community also came under fire. Members of the ‘alt-right’ movement marched past the local synagogue shouting hateful slurs. Bystanders heard statements such as ‘Jews will not replace us’ and ‘Sieg Heil.’. Swastikas were also prevalent among protesters.

Cyberhate crime against Jewish individuals has seen a major rise. So much so that The World Jewish Congress called for a clampdown earlier this year. They urged Amazon to stop selling anti-semitic texts which exacerbate the issue. Facebook has also become a major area of concern. Groups like Toronto’s ‘The Students for Free Discourse’ gaining over 3,700 members. The group warns that members will be banned if they ‘report anybody for anything to Facebook.’.

UK universities were urged to clamp down on anti-Semitism earlier this year. Due to hateful rhetoric, Jewish students feared for their safety. Among reports were incidents of Holocaust denial fliers, and swastikas etched into walls

And, there are many more incidences cropping up daily. While individuals like European Jewish Congress president Dr Moshe Kantor are fighting issues like these, it’s past time more of us stepped forward and took notice. Otherwise, the situation is only set to worsen.

The main and possibly only way to get past issues like these is to become aware of them. So, do your research. Find out what’s happening, and educate the people around you. Together, we can fight against hatred.

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