Dina Porat
Dina Porat
Photo: Oren Agmon
A memorial for victims of the attack on a synagogue in the German city of Halle

World leaders must be smarter about combating anti-Semitism

Opinion: Attack on Israeli students in America and vandalism of Jewish graveyards in Europe are only some of most recent anti-Semitic incident in the Diaspora; politicians are trying to fight the phenomenon, but are they going far enough?

Dina Porat |
Published: 12.19.19, 23:46
The French parliament has recently adopted the working definition of anti-Semitism, just like U.S. President Donald Trump, who recently signed a decree ordering budget cuts for universities who do not provide adequate protection for their Jewish students.
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  • A few leading internet providers signed an agreement that states their commitment to block or otherwise remove any anti-Semitic online content as fast as possible.
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    מקום הפיגוע בגרמניה
    מקום הפיגוע בגרמניה
    A memorial for victims of the attack on a synagogue in the German city of Halle
    (Photo: Gettyimages)
    The Austrian parliament publicly denounced the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), along with its Czech counterpart, who decided to not only ban anti-Israel organizations, but also to publicly act against anti-Semitism within its borders.
    Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, spoke against anti-Semitism in his weekly sermon, and even referred to the Jewish people as "our brothers and sisters who must never be hunted again."
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    צלב קרס שרוסס על מטה חבר מפלגת ברקזיט היהודי בלונדון
    צלב קרס שרוסס על מטה חבר מפלגת ברקזיט היהודי בלונדון
    A swastika graffitied in London
    (Photo: Brexit Party)
    The European Union has also vowed to act against the rise of anti-Semitism, with France's army and police force protecting more than 800 Jewish institutions around the country.
    But still, Israeli student Lihi Aharon was verbally and physically attacked on the New York subway just days after a deadly attack on a kosher market in New Jersey.
    Jersey City itself is rife with graffitied swastikas, anti-Jewish posters and the occasional verbal attack in the vein of "too bad the Nazis didn’t finish you all off."
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    ישראלית הותקפה ברכבת על רקע אנטישמי ותקפה בחזרה
    ישראלית הותקפה ברכבת על רקע אנטישמי ותקפה בחזרה
    Israeli student Lihi Aharon after being attacked on the subway in New York
    A group of young Jewish students was brutally attacked in the University of Indiana, formerly a bastion of fair treatment for Jewish students and Israel.
    And as we all know, the situation in Europe is no better.
    An Israeli student was viciously assaulted in Paris after speaking in Hebrew on his phone, some 100 Jewish graves were vandalized near Strasbourg and a 300-year-old Jewish cemetery was desecrated in the British country of Kent.
    In recent years, there has been a noticeably wide gulf between the efforts of various government bodies around the world to stop anti-Semitism and the actual rise of the hatred against Jews.
    The growth of anti-Semitism has not gone unnoticed by world leaders who are trying to combat the phenomena by investing in both the protection of and education about their Jewish communities.
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    A swastika si daubed on a church notice in Virginia
    A swastika si daubed on a church notice in Virginia
    A swastika si daubed on a church notice in Virginia
    And even though some leaders attend support rallies held by and for the Jewish community, anti-Semitism is nonetheless still on the rise.
    The efforts to educate the masses usually pass over the radical crowds around the world, especially in Central Europe and northern and western America, while those that are educated on the dangers of anti-Semitism aren't actually the ones who exhibit anti-Semitic behavior.
    The refusal of anti-Semitism to die is likely rooted in political considerations, such as radical Islam's relentless fight against Israel or ongoing left-wing support for the underdog, which in this case happens to be the Palestinians.
    Religious and social reasons are also to blame, such as the rise of classical anti-Jewish sentiment among the world's right-wing, or its objection to immigration, which tends to draw ire to any and all perceived as different, such as the Jews - and especially the wealthy ones.
    That is the challenge that lays before us, we must bridge that difference, we must work to ensure that the efforts to eradicate anti-Semitism, reach the everyday people.

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