We Think: Anti-Semitism Rears Its Ugly Head

We Think: Anti-Semitism Rears Its Ugly Head

February 22, 2017.

Our nation is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of overt, hateful, anti-Jewish acts.

They’re called examples of anti-Semitism, but that term continues to elude the public’s embrace of a single definition and often gets comingled with discussions of anti-Zionism and Israel that distract from the underlying point.

We’re calling these acts anti-Jewish here because the reasons for them, while important, should never be used as a rationalization for the acts themselves. Or to make them less offensive.

There is no defense or explanation that lessens the desecration of a Jewish community center – and dozens have been threatened recently.

There’s no defense or explanation that mitigates the painting of Nazi swastikas on grave stones and buildings – and there has been more of this lately.

There’s no defense or explanation that absolves those on the political fringe from engaging in anti-Jewish name-calling – and some are guilty of it.

It’s all hate speech and disgusting.

We addressed some of this in an article published on Feb. 20, which followed our interview with Ken Marcus, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center.

There has been a lot of reaction to the article, and to Mr. Marcus’ comments. Not everyone agrees, and that’s to be expected. But what is troubling is that some have reacted with a dismissive lack of empathy, instead wanting to highlight their own grievance.

To them we make this appeal.

There will never be unanimity on who is a bad actor or what is a legitimate grievance, but shouldn’t all of us speak as one when it comes to hate speech against Jews, Christians, Muslims, African-Americans and others. Let’s acknowledge it, reject it and agree that it will never be tolerated.

Then we can talk about individual grievances.

Tribune Staff
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