Antisemitism threatens Jewish and non-Jewish individuals alike

Hatred toward Jews and their culture should concern people outside of the ethno-religious group.

Caleb Britt, Staff Writer

With the celebration of Hanukkah beginning last Sunday on the night of Nov. 28, a resurgence of antisemitic behavior surfaced yet again. Though antisemitic incidents occur year round, the holidays become a time when antisemitic behavior tends to escalate, CBS reports.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance defines antisemitism in the following way, antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Though antisemitism does largely concern acts of hatred toward those in the Jewish community, this definition also makes it clear that antisemitism can be directed to those outside of the community. Non-Jewish people are at risk of being the victims of antisemitic behavior in addition to being directly impacted by the threat of  hateful actions that target the Jewish community.

HATRED INSPIRED BY ETHNO-RELIGIOUS DISLIKE

Jewish people have endured hatred directed to them simply based on the fact that they are Jewish. The tendency to show dislike or hatred toward Jewish people stems from a confused ideology that Jewish people are the source of all evil or that they have some agenda to wreak havoc in society.

Though the ideologies that perpetuate antisemitic behavior can be easily debunked with a brief understanding of history, those who believe those lies seek to tear down the Jewish people and culture. The Anti-Defamation League recently launched its Shine A Light national initiative that aims to raise awareness about antisemitism through education and partnerships with businesses.

Like the ADL, people everywhere need to be concerned about the antisemitism that occurs regularly because of the way that it threatens Jewish and non-Jewish people alike.

THE IMPACT OF ANTISEMITISM

Although it is difficult to believe that antisemitism still exists, the ADL tracks recent anti-Jewish incidents that take place in the United States everyday. In addition to that, the FBI publishes annual reports that contain data on anti-Jewish hate crimes. The FBI reports that in 2020 8% of hate crimes in the United States were directed toward Jewish people, impacting 1,004 victims. 

On the eve of this year’s Hanukkah, CNN reported antisemitic flyers that were left on the driveways of residents in Beverly Hills containing propaganda crediting COVID-19 to some agenda of the Jewish people. Flyers with the same message appeared on driveways in Missouri just days after the Beverly Hills incident, according to NBC.

While some may be discouraged from speaking out against antisemitism for fear of judgement, it is necessary. In a similar way that those in the African American community were defended by individuals outside of their community, Jewish people also need the support of fellow humans that will stand up for them and their basic right to exist equally with others.

UPHOLDING AMERICAN-CHRISTIAN VALUES

In a country that boasts “justice and liberty for all,” it is important that people from all religions, cultures and nationalities are protected from hatred directed toward them, including the Jewish community. The failure to condemn the actions of the agressors of the Jewish people will imply an unspoken tolerance for antisemitism.

Christians are especially responsible for this call to protect the very people that God chose and sent his Son to a part of. This Christmas season is a reminder of the love that Jesus of Nazareth called us to practice as true followers, which can be appropriately applied in the context of combatting antisemitism. 

Until Jesus comes again, it is on the shoulders of those outside of the Jewish community and in the Church to stand with the Jewish people in protecting the victims of antisemitism and continuing to put out the lies that keep the hellish flame alive.

 

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