Friday, January 13, 2012

Achtung! Antisemitismus, immer präsent doch in der Regel unter dem Radar, ist jetzt immer häufiger offene und ist in das Licht der Welt erscheinen!

Attention! Anti-Semitism, always present though typically under the radar, now is more frequently overt and is appearing in the light of day!

I wrote the title of this article in loosely translated German for effect. When speaking about the subject of anti-Semitism using that language tends to be a very effective attention grabber for all of the obvious reasons!

Does this topic fall within the scope of The Political Commentator?

The Political Commentator has as its core stated mission the discussion of global events that have the potential to impact the lives of all Americans around the world.

Recently however I have been inclined to include more of the occasional article that discusses the rising scourge of anti-Semitism and the general increase in the incidence of anti-Semitic bias crimes in the United States.

The basis that I use for making this statement is the anecdotal evidence accumulated simply by watching the evening news and by reading the morning newspaper.

But then how, in the context of this blogs mantra regarding its focus on events with the potential to impact to the lives of "all Americans," does this inclusion of bias crimes targeted against Jews seem to be anything but a non-sequitur.

A non-sequitur because the Jewish population in the United States is a mere 2.5% of the total.

But as a Jew who reads, listens, sees and who for the most part understands the bigger picture, it appears that the covert expression of hatred (i.e. anonymous comments in chat rooms) is being supplanted more and more by overt acts of hatred (i.e. firebombs and the scrawling of anti-Semitic slogans and symbols) creating what I felt was a need to respond in some way.

To let those who would like to simply ignore the fact that any type of crisis exists, while these incidents build both in number and severity, know that this represents a clear and present danger.

And bringing it back around for those other 97.5% of Americans who are not members of the Jewish faith, recall this statement that's been attributed to pastor Martin Niemoller during WWII (source) and understand the potential global context of the problem of silence and ignorance:

First they came for the communists,
 and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, 
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, 
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
 and I didn't speak out because I was Protestant.

Then they came for me, 
and there was no one left to speak out...

Jews take heed!

In the Jewish enclaves in and around the east coast and beyond, my fear is that the greatest risk facing this small segment of the population is its own ignorance, reticence, self-delusion and/or blindness to the fact that any significant problem with hate exists.

Events like the ones that have occurred so far in the new year in New Jersey should serve as a wake-up call and a reminder that what, where and how we live every day is not necessarily the reality of what exists in the world at large.

That to simply acknowledge briefly or ignore these events altogether is to ignore the reality of what we as a religion continue to face despite any passage of time.

The Holocaust was decades ago and we should be able to assume that the phrase of "Never Again" is not just a phrase but in fact reality, but truthfully we cannot.

We should be able to assume that hatred for the sake of hatred or hatred that is based on old and tired stereotypes is a thing of the past, but we cannot.

We should be able to assume that what happened in Germany and throughout other parts of Europe before and during WWII could never happen again regardless of the state of any economy or any of the struggles that people face on a day to day basis, but can we? No we cannot!

What Jews need to ask themselves, and then fully understand the answer, is that denying the presence of a problem does not mean that the problem doesn't actually exist!

"... Concern is mounting over an apparent wave of anti-Semitic assaults and vandalism in the New York City area since November, with the latest two incidents being investigated as hate crimes..." (Source)

Remember that as has been proven throughout time, you can run, but you cannot hide!

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