Anti-Semitism On The Rise
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Politics and Activism

Anti-Semitism On The Rise

There’s something more behind this recent surge of hatred.

Anti-Semitism On The Rise

In the last year (especially the past month), there’s been a huge rise in anti-Semitic attacks, many of which had been reported by the New York Times. The political climate seems to be turning against Jewish communities, and while anti-Semitism has been around for as long as Jewish people have been around, there’s something more behind this recent surge.

My questioning began with the statement by Trump on International Holocaust Remembrance Day that excluded any mention of Jews. Although the sentiment presented in the statement is nice, it fails to address the primary victims who continue to experience discrimination and violence.

As I began following this anti-Semitic violence, it became more apparent that these were not isolated incidents and that they had a root. This weekend (February 26th 2017), another Jewish cemetery was vandalized. The first was on February 21st, 2017. Other global instances in 2016 include graffiti, shouted slurs and attacks, according to the the Anti-Defamation League.

It needs to be addressed that the content of these anti-Semitic attacks includes a whole lot of swastika and neo-Nazi imagery, and a lot of it has Trump’s name all over it. While he professes to embrace love, unity, and peace, not all his supporters share the same views. In fact, many of them are self-professed fascists or members of the “alt-right”, which is just another term for neo-Nazi. And when we learned about the Holocaust in school, the first thing we learned about Nazis is that they hated Jews. It’s not hard to understand, therefore, why anti-Semitism is on the rise. Trump’s election prompted a radical, hateful minority to become more vocal and more prominent because his campaign was built on hatred, division, and nationalism.

What’s worrying is that because of this election, actual neo-Nazis now believe that their warped ideologies are majority opinions. As human beings and Americans, we have a duty to protect those who are being targeted. Please feel free to take this personally if you disagree: Nazis have no place in America. We are a country literally built by refugees escaping persecution. It’s incredibly revolting to me as an American (and as a human being) that hate is still being spray-painted on buildings and anti-Semitic violence is still par for the course.

The good news is that there have been and continue to be efforts to support Jewish people who have been attacked. For example, after the cemetery attack on February 21st, Muslim-Americans spearheaded a fundraiser to repair the Jewish cemetery that was vandalized, which resulted in a donation of over $100,000. In a New York subway, riders used hand sanitizer to remove swastika and other anti-Semitic graffiti. You can call out anti-Semitism as you see it— ditch the safety pin and “liberal tolerance” for neo-Nazis and their ideology. You can donate (if you’re able) to funds that support marginalized people.

As Gregory Locke, one of the passengers on the New York subway posted on Facebook, “"I guess this is Trump's America," said one passenger. No sir, it's not. Not tonight and not ever. Not as long as stubborn New Yorkers have anything to say about it.” I believe that this will not be a neo-Nazi America if people continue to stand up for one another and fight hatred. Not today, and not ever.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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