A Jewish dance troupe in Germany is attacked by young boys throwing stones. Welsh men bandy racial slurs about and tell the Jews to â€œgo home.â€ Helen Thomas barks out a similar request. What is all of this hatred doing in todayâ€™s world? Itâ€™s time to take a stand and nip this racism in the bud before it gets worse.
Anti-Semitism is on the rise, ladies and gentleman, and weâ€™re its last defenses. As the young Jewish people of today, weâ€™re the statesmen, the lawmakers, the important people of tomorrow, the ones who have a say in how our countries are run. If anyone can convince a young person of something, chances are itâ€™s another young person, a peer, a friend. Take a stand on anti-Semitism.
If you hear our people being denigrated, say something. Thereâ€™s an old saying that, if you stand by and do nothing while people are murdered, itâ€™s as bad as if you were the murderer yourself. Every time we give someone a free pass for saying something derogatory about Jewsâ€”whether itâ€™s that weâ€™re money-grubbers or that we donâ€™t belong in Israelâ€”you must speak up. If you donâ€™t, youâ€™re just as bad as the person spewing hatred.
Donâ€™t get violent, though itâ€™s tempting to give into emotions when such a sensitive topic is raised. Use your library voice, a calm, firm tone, to educate your peers. Say, â€œHey, thatâ€™s offensive. I object to you saying that,â€ or something to that effect. Seeing a real, live person affected by their wordsâ€”the Jew of their insult materializing in front of them, that the object of their offensive speech is not just some phantom, but someone who can is genuinely hurtâ€”might make a world of difference. For those of you who think this idea is a bunch of nonsense, it might well be, but you never know until you try.
Participate in a multi-ethnic community project. Get together with a local Muslim group or other people that feel similarly appalled and do some sort of project to help your communityâ€”just be sure to do it together. Maybe your synagogue and a local mosque could help build a community center that both organizations could use equally. Make sure to involve the young ones, too. Putting in hard work together for a mutually beneficial goal shows current and future leaders that there arenâ€™t that many differences between the two groups, after all.
Educate one another. Work together with local religious and community leaders to promote tolerance. Show everyone all the good that Jews have done for the world and the atrocities and unfairness they have suffered in the past. Let other cultures show how their people have been unfairly treated, too. If we have a common past of oppression and hatred of racism, itâ€™d be that much easier to realize that what we have in common is so much more than what we divides us.
Call it clichÃ©, but something needs to be done. I refuse to sit by and let our people, our heritage, be destroyed again. I wonâ€™t stay quiet, and neither should you. Speak up, act out, and promote justice wherever you go.