Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Anti-Semitism is Rising; Why aren't American Jews Speaking Up?

"Anti-Semitic hate crimes are on the rise, up 57 percent in 2017 from 2016, the largest single-year jump on record, according to the Anti-Defamation League. That increase came on top of the rise in incidents in 2016 that coincided with a brutal presidential campaign.

I have personally seen the anti-Semitism, in online insults, threatening voice mail messages and the occasional email that makes it through my spam filter.

If not quite a crisis, it feels like a proto-crisis, something to head off, especially when the rise of anti-Semitism is combined with hate crimes against Muslims, blacks, Hispanics and immigrants. Yet American Jewish leaders — the heads of influential, established organizations like the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Federations of North America — have been remarkably quiet, focused instead, as they have been for decades, on Israel, not the brewing storm in our own country.

But American Jews need to assert a voice in the public arena, to reshape our quiescent institutions and mold them in our image. And Jewish leadership must reflect its congregants, who are not sheep."
-Jonathan Weisman, "Anti-Semitism is Rising; Why aren't American Jews Speaking Up?"

Although, since this is a Jewish issue, of course there are other opinions.  Allison Kaplan Sommer writes a rebuttal in Ha'aretz:

"I don’t know precisely what American-Jewish community Weisman is describing, but his generalizations bear little resemblance to the one I’ve been reporting on. It is certainly true that anti-Semitism has surged during the rise of Donald Trump. But the American Jews I’ve watched have been anything but sheeplike in their response."

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