The school newspaper of University City High School

U-Times

Anti-Semitism on the rise

Daniel Pomerantz, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Donald Trump has enabled an atmosphere of intolerance in America. Since Trump’s inauguration, hate crimes have been on the rise.

Mosques have been destroyed, vandalized and even set to flames. Linda Sarsour, an Islamic women’s rights leader, has been threatened with physical assault. Even Muslim students have been targeted on campus with hate and propaganda.

Within one week in February, 31 Jewish centers across the country have received bomb threats. These bomb threats are not new. This is the fourth wave of bomb threats to JCCs (Jewish Community Centers), Day Schools and other Jewish centers in the past year.

One reason that this most recent wave got so much press attention is because it happened simultaneously with the recent Jewish cemetery desecrations. The vandalization of a final resting place for Jews in Philadelphia occurred less than a week after 150 headstones were vandalized and tipped over in University City in Chesed Shel Emeth, another Jewish cemetery.

So why is anti-Semitism on the rise? Trump and his administration could very well be a factor. During these early stages of the presidency, Trump has not been very vocal with regard to denouncing anti-Semitism. It also doesn’t help that his chief white house strategist is Steve Bannon, who has led the “far-right” Breitbart news organization which often reflects alt-right and anti-Semitic language.

Although he may not openly speak against the Jewish people, Trump has done as little as possible to not appear anti-Semitic. One of his best “strategies” is simply ignoring the issue altogether. When asked about the current rise in anti-Semitism, Trump boasted about winning the election instead of talking about the actual problem. When a Jewish reporter asked him a similar question, Trump scolded the reporter saying it was “not a simple question, not a fair question.” He would later say that day, “I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your life.” Whether or not Trump is a “real” anti-Semite, hate is on the rise and we have a moral obligation to help combat it.

This hate towards Judaism generally comes from stereotypes, and while it’s impossible to solve all of the issues, there are good ways to respond to comments and accusations when stereotypes are made. First off, if someone makes a Holocaust joke or a Jew joke, just tell them it’s not ok. Even if you’re not Jewish you can do this. Explain to the person that the words offended you on a personal level (if you’re Jewish or have Jewish friends) and a lot of the time people will listen. It has worked for me numerous times. Most Jew jokes are out of ignorance and discomfort, so confronting these harsh comments can change someone’s perspective on an entire culture and religion. Moral of the story, if you hear, see, or experience anti-Semitism, don’t be a bystander.

At the cemetery clean up, hundreds of people decided to step up and not be bystanders with regard to the headstone situation.  Even though politicians made the newspaper headlines showing their support by showing up, in my eyes the real headline is owed to the everyday people who care enough about an issue to help be part of the solution.

Many chose not to be bystanders by helping to clean up the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, regarding the headstone situation. Thousands of the community showed up, including Governor Greitens and Vice President Pence. Even though politicians made the newspaper headlines showing their support by showing up, in my eyes the real headline is owed to the everyday people who care enough about an issue to help be part of the solution.

 

 

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




The school newspaper of University City High School
Anti-Semitism on the rise