Why Is Anti-Semitism Making a Comeback?

(New York Times) Nita Lowey and David Harris - Why, when American Jews have felt unmatched levels of inclusion and equality, is anti-Semitism making a comeback? Anti-Semitism dates back millenniums. Its ability to reinvent itself should never be underestimated. Even here in the U.S., it never entirely vanished. The resurgence of anti-Semitism could be a result, in part, of the vanishing legacy of the Holocaust. Recent surveys reveal abysmal levels of knowledge among young people about what happened to the Jewish people in the Second World War. Social media may also be playing a role. In the past, anti-Semites lived in small ideological circles with limited reach. Now the Internet amplifies the voices and influence of these otherwise marginal groups. We need to recognize the problem for what it is: an epidemic. We are no longer talking about isolated, occasional actions but a regular phenomenon. There are multiple ideological sources feeding this hate; it is not a result of a single political outlook. There is no one-size-fits-all profile for the perpetrators of these attacks. We cannot allow this situation to become the "new normal," as if attacks on Americans because of their religious or ethnic identities are now an expected part of our everyday lives. These attacks violate everything that Americans should hold dear. An attack on any American group is a threat to the pluralistic fabric of our nation. In a survey of American Jews by the American Jewish Committee, released in October, 31% said that they had taken steps to hide their Jewish identity in public, while 25% said they now avoided Jewish sites. This is unacceptable. It is not our America. Nita Lowey is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York. David Harris is the chief executive of the American Jewish Committee.

2020-01-01 00:00:00

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