29 December 2019   Leave a comment

There have been a strong of anti-Semitic acts of violence in the US over the last month, culminating with an attack on a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York. But the violence in the US has also been mirrored by acts in Europe:

“In Europe and the United States, Jews have been repeatedly assaulted on the street. Tombstones were desecrated in Slovakia. In London, anti-Semitic graffiti was painted on synagogues and Jewish-owned stores. A Belgian daily newspaper accused a lawmaker who is Jewish of being a spy for Israel. A Polish town refused to install small brass plates that commemorate Holocaust victims. In Italy, the town of Schio did the same because, the mayor said, they would be “divisive.” (Divisive to whom?) This intolerance is coming from right-wing extremists, progressive leftists, and other minorities who, themselves, are often the object of persecution. Anti-Semites seem to think it is open season on Jews. And maybe, given the many incidents, they are right.”

These acts of violence have been legitimated by the nationalist rhetoric of several political leaders in the world, including many in the US. For example, President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, who was raised a Roman Catholic, claimed that he was “more of a Jew” than George Soros, a Holocaust survivor. Many other religious and ethnic groups have been harmed by the rhetoric, but there is a particularly insidious character to anti-Semitism which has a horrific history. It is a serious mistake to think that the problem of anti-Semitism is simply a problem for Jews. It is an existential problem for us all.

Posted December 29, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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