Political correctness harms Jews
Op-ed: As long as political correctness prevents journalists and politicians from reproaching intellectual, communal and religious leaders for promoting and tolerating anti-Zionist Jew-hatred, Jews will have their hands tied while being exposed to relentless assaults as representatives of Zionism.
Donald Trump has been lambasted for stating that Mexico sends its criminals and rapists to the USA and that in New Jersey thousands of Muslims cheered 9/11. This reaction is telling. There is no evidence that Mexico pushes its criminal underclass to emigrate and that people in New Jersey celebrated the collapse of the World Trade Center. Yet Trump was assailed for being bigoted, not for lying. In contemporary politics lying is forgivable - addressing painful truths is not.
The painful truths that Trump’s words addressed are that Mexican-Americans are overrepresented in crime statistics and that much of the Muslim World was not overly saddened by 9/11. Tabling a discussion on how crime rates among minorities in America can be reduced and how anti-American sentiments in the Muslim World can be combatted would have been the constructive reaction to Trump’s words. Instead, discussion of these crucial issues was stillborn in the name of political correctness.
Many Jews sincerely believe that any criticism of religions, cultures and their leaders must be muted. After the Holocaust, many Jews are concerned that that such criticism could generate animus which in turn escalates into hatred, persecution and mass murder.
However, it is high-time to admit that the ideology of political correctness is no longer serving society or the Jewish people. The enemies of Israel have replaced the word Jew in their repertoire with the term “Zionist” and exploited political correctness to advance their destructive ends. Why? If we agree that Zionists are supporters of the right of the Jewish people to have a sovereign state in Israel, we see that Zionists are neither a religion nor a culture. Thus they are deprived of all the privileges to which political correctness entitles minority religions and cultures.
The fact that over 95% of Jews are de facto Zionists makes this situation all the more absurd. To be Jewish in the 21st century is practically synonymous with being Zionist. This renders any distinction between Jew and Zionist an academic sophism. Yet most people in the world pay no price for espousing anti-Zionism and supporting the exile of six million Jews from their homeland.
The Anti-Defamation League routinely monitors anti-Semitic sentiments around the world. According to its survey of 100 countries in 2014, 26% of the world’s population harbors anti-Semitic opinions. As staggering as this number appears, it is an underestimation of actual anti-Semitism. If anti-Zionist opinions were tracked, the percentage of people openly ready to deny Jews the basic human right of a homeland would be much higher.
We need the mainstream media to pluck the courage to call a spade a spade and inform educated readers and viewers that there are religious and cultural milieus which are rife with anti-Semitism. As long as political correctness prevents journalists and politicians from reproaching intellectual, communal and religious leaders for promoting and tolerating anti-Zionist Jew-hatred, Jews will have their hands tied while being exposed to relentless assaults as representatives of Zionism.
We do not need a return to the age when cultural and racial stereotypes were assumed to be infallible. Nevertheless, we do need the mainstream media to engage in honest reporting and promote candid discussions about harmful cultural and religious phenomena – even when political correctness stands in the way of mending them.