The World is Watching

The World is Watching

Author: Daniel Socolow on March 4, 2017

Acts of violence against Jews and Jewish institutions in America, including threats of violence, have increased dramatically since Trump’s win. Since January 2017, there have been over 125 anti-Semitic acts and threats against Jewish institutions, schools and cemeteries, far more than in any other like period since the end of World War II.

As a Jew in America, as a grandfather in America, it is terrifying to think of the fear today being instilled in our children. Jewish children over the centuries have been victims of hate time and time again. That it is happening today in America is sad and shameful.

But it is also naïve to have been lulled into believing that America will always provide a relatively safe harbor for Jews. Events on the ground today suggest otherwise; the uglies in large numbers have come out of their holes seeking innocent and easy victims.

Actually, while acts and threats of violence against Jews have increased dramatically of recent, they have never been far beneath the surface in this country. Even in quiet times, violence against Jews has continuously been at the top of hate crimes identified by the FBI, always exceeding such crimes against other groups -- even those against Muslims.

And the silence is deafening. It is not today, and never has been, at the top of agendas. Even Amazon turns a deaf ear to criticism, refusing to stop publicizing and carrying a broad collection of books denying the Holocaust. The company proudly includes positive reviews of these books and offer prime discounts so that readers can get their copies fast and without paying extra for delivery.

A recent study by the Anti Defamation League suggests that there are now one billion adult anti-Semites in the world, one quarter of the world’s population. Jews are now living in a time when post-Holocaust taboos against anti-Semitism have eroded and acts of hate are again on the rise.

America has always been a beacon of civility and more of a safe harbor for Jews than almost anywhere else in the world. But the rise of hate crimes is putting us to a test. And, we are not doing nearly enough to respond. If we allow these acts to continue at the current rate and pace, we will be effectively signaling to the world that hate crimes against Jews are an accepted part of present day reality.

And, I assure you that the world is watching.

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.

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