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The difference between a political opinion and being Antisemitic

As a reminder, prejudice is to ASSUME (usually with negative emotions) about a group of people. So, to be ANTISEMETIC, a person is assuming and thus ignorant of Jewish people and their culture, usually with negative thoughts and feelings about Jewish people and culture. 


Actual Definition

Antisemitism: hostility towards, denigration of, malicious lies about, or discrimination against Jews as individual Jews, as a people, as a religion, as an ethnic group, or as a nation (i.e., Israel).
Like any prejudice, this can range from unintended harm, from spreading misinformation to intentional damage, like hateful slurs to pixelated harm, like voting for the law to harm a group of people or acting out a hate crime.

(Read more on the basics of antisemitism here.)



Sharing the war/conflict happening in another country with an EQUAL weight of perspective is one thing. Another problem is when a person or organization shares only one side of a story. While not all News networks do a great job of being unbiased, everyone is biased; at least on major news networks, reporters do have to be upheld to a certain level of fact-checking.

But with social media, anyone can share anything. From as complex as photoshopping and deepfaking videos to as simple as showing one person's perspective, it is straightforward to have your opinion manipulated to meet a particular narrative.

Terrorist groups like HAMAS use a newer tactic to manipulate others, and that is through the spread of misrepresentation of facts, gaining followers online and on college campuses. This is not just conncerning for terroism but also in the rise of online cults as well.

Here a current list of some known terrorist groups https://www.dni.gov/nctc/groups.html


Spreading misinformation about a group of people is discriminatory and harmful.


The most famous example is misunderstanding and spreading incorrect information about words like Zionism.


Zionism means to have the right to come back to one's homeland. The right to have our government. The right to be safe from persecution. History has shown the Jewish people are not safe in other people's countries and that we should have our own country to govern where we can be safe and defend that safety. 




". First, the fundamental vulnerability of the Jews to persecution and humiliation required total, drastic, and collective treatment. Second, reform and rehabilitation — cultural, no less than social and political — must be the work of the Jews themselves, i.e., they had to engineer their own emancipation. Third, only a territorial solution would serve; in other words, that establishing themselves as the majority population in a given territory was the only way to normalize their status and their relations with other peoples and polities. Fourth, only in a land of their own would they accomplish the full, essentially secular, revival of Jewish culture and of the Hebrew language."

Read more here Zionism 101


The problem we see with young people today is that they conveniently forget history. WWII was not that long ago. Maybe talk to a Holocaust survivor or go to a Holocaust museum to check your memory of what happens when people become extraordinarily political and polarized.


Before Nazi Germany Occupation



After (Minim death estimate)


If you are not Jewish or from a culture that has gone through something this horrifying, you have no idea, no level of comparison feeling to understand why the country of Israel is so essential truly.


Growing Up the only way I was allowed to be Jewish in Public was to make fun of myself or stay quite.

I think this article "Is It Funny for the Jews?" by Jason Zinoman brings up a lot of issues around making fun of Jewish People today.



How would you feel if, growing up, you could only be Jewish in front of non jews (Gentiles) if you had to laugh at stereotyped or cruel portrayals?

If you are from a minority group in The United States, then you DO know what it feels like. You do know how these microaggressions lead to macro aggressions.


I will never forget the terror that washed over my whole body when the shooting of a synagogue in Pennsylvania happened in 2018. I have a Jewish family there, and I lost my breath. Are they safe? Did they know any of them? They are all Jewish people, and they are for my family; someone hurt my family.

From left, Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, and David Rosenthal; bottom row, from left, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Dan Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger.


"Your hateful act took my soulmate," she said, according to Pittsburgh ABC affiliate WTAE.



Only in the past few years have I felt the need to be in a Jewish community and to express being Jewish. Because I no longer want to suffocate.

Like my gender, like my sexuality, like my disabilities, I don't want to be made fun of.

I want to feel safe to be me.

I want to be expressed and represented correctly.



So, please. Be kind to your Jewish coworkers, friends, and classmates.
They are very concerned, confused and it's
NOT FUNNY.


Jewish People are beautiful, we are diverse and our freedom from oppression is just as important and equal to the oppression of many peoples happening here in the USA and around the world.



“Four Mothers,” Mevasert Zion Absorption Center, Israel. Photo: Zion Ozeri


There are not many of us left. I will end this with the most touching scenes I have seen on television about a gentile connecting to Judaism and some recommendations for how to stop the hate.




If you would like to learn more about how you can help stop antisemitism when you see and hear it, Here are some recommended books and organizations


Books




  • Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah E. Lipstadt

  • How to Fight Anti-Semitism by Bari Weiss

  • People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present by Dara Horn

  • Uprooted: How 3000 Years of Jewish Civilization in the Arab World Vanished Overnight by Lyn Julius

  • Jewish Space Lasers: The Rothschilds and 200 Years of Conspiracy Theories by Mike Rothschild


“The Secret,” Mevaseret Zion Absorption Center. Photo: Zion Ozeri


Organizations

  • JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee): The leading global Jewish humanitarian organization. What started with a cablegram in 1914 requesting the American Jewish community’s support in aiding starving Jews in Ottoman-era Palestine continues to serve as a beacon of hope for Jews and others in 70 countries today. They act whenever and wherever they are needed, propelled by their Jewish values and their commitment to mutual responsibility.

  • American Jewish Committee: The AJC is a global advocacy organization for the Jewish people, combatting antisemitism and countering radical extremism. The AJC also builds inter-religious alliances and protects human rights generally. The AJC was instrumental in the Civil Rights movement when it filed an Amicus Brief in Brown v. Board of Ed. 1954.

  • Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America: Through education, advocacy, and youth development, and its support of medical care and research at Hadassah Medical Organization, Hadassah enhances the health and lives of people in Israel, the United States and worldwide.

  • Anti-Defamation League (ADL): The leading anti-hate organization in the world. Its mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” The ADL combats extremism and protects civil rights generally. Founded in the aftermath of the antisemitic lynching of Leo Frank in 1915, the ADL continues to counteract and prevent hate crimes, spearheading anti-hate crime legislation.

  • Jewish National Fund-USA: They plant trees in Israel, build houses and parks, source water solutions, buy fire trucks, improve the lives of people with special needs, boost tourism, support Aliyah, promote Zionist education and engagement, build medical centers and trauma centers, fund agricultural and culinary research, and run an American semester abroad high school in Israel.

  • Lev Lalev: Lev LaLev serves religious girls ages 7-21 who come from impoverished, unstable, or otherwise at-risk homes. Some of their parents have passed away or suffer from physical or mental illness. Some girls have suffered from neglect or abuse, or have been deprived of adequate food, clothing, or shelter. Often, the children brought to the organization are rescued from the streets. Others come directly from school because it is unsafe for them to return home. Many arrive at Lev Lalev with only the clothing on their backs. They've also created a special division for girls ages 18-21, specifically devoted to preparing for life outside the orphanage through employment opportunities and access to higher education.

  • Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center: Yad Vashem is entrusted with the task of commemorating, documenting, researching and educating about the Holocaust: remembering the six million Jews murdered by the German Nazis and their collaborators, the destroyed Jewish communities, and the ghetto and resistance fighters; and honoring the Righteous Among the Nations who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem continually strives to meaningfully impart the memory and meanings of the Holocaust to future generations.

  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: A living memorial to the Holocaust, the USHMM inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Since its dedication in 1993, the Museum has welcomed more than 47 million visitors, including 100 heads of state and more than 11 million school-age children. Their Holocaust Encyclopedia, the world’s leading online authority on the Holocaust, is available in 19 languages.

  • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research: YIVO is a research institute, an institution of higher learning, an adult education organization, a cultural organization, and a world-renowned library and archive. Their mission is to preserve, study, share, and perpetuate knowledge of the history and culture of East European Jewry worldwide. YIVO’s Archives and Library represent the single largest and most comprehensive collection of materials on East European Jewish civilization in the world. See also the American Jewish Historical Society which documents Jewish presence in the United States and also happens to be the oldest ethnic, cultural archive in the US.

  • The Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America: The largest Sephardic benevolent organization of its kind in the United States. Their mission is to support the financial, social, educational, and religious welfare of Sephardic families who derive their lineage from the Ladino-speaking Jewish communities of Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans.

  • American Sephardi Federation: The ASF, a partner of and housed in New York’s Center for Jewish History, documents, preserves, and perpetuates the history, traditions, and rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic communities as an integral, indeed essential, part of the Jewish experience.

  • International Association of Jewish Free Loans: An organization dedicated to building, strengthening and promoting an international network of interest-free lending institutions. They provide mentorship, networking, and educational opportunities to existing free loan agencies and support new and developing programs to encourage economic empowerment and self-sufficiency through the provision of interest-free loans.

  • Combat Antisemitism Movement: A leading new voice in the fight against antisemitism. CAM fosters groundbreaking alliances that transcend traditional divides, reaches diverse audiences with initiatives geared for specific demographics, and forges relationships with policymakers at the global, national, and local levels. They address all modern-day manifestations of Jew-hatred, as outlined by the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.

  • StandWithUs: An international, non-partisan education organization that supports Israel and fights antisemitism. The organization does not advocate specific policies for Israel. Their goals are to counter antisemitism, educate the public about Israel, empower others to educate their communities, and make it possible to have reasonable, informed conversations about Israel’s history, policies, and humanitarian aid.

  • HIAS: Founded as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to support Jews fleeing persecution and poverty in Eastern Europe, HIAS draws on Jewish values and history to provide vital services to refugees and asylum seekers around the world and advocates for their fundamental rights so they can rebuild their lives.

  • Community Security Trust (CST): CST's mission includes promoting good relations between British Jews and the rest of British society, represent British Jews, protect Jews from the dangers of antisemitism, help victims of antisemitism, promote research, and speak on antisemitism and associated issues.

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