arrow2 Comments
  1. pheldermaus
    Apr 24 - 7:02 pm

    @ Leigh

    I enjoyed your well written post. Thank you.

    I cant argue with your perception or emotion. I can only offer my own point of view to start a discussion.

    I encountered some swastika themed jewelry here (i live in western US) and after some research I realized it was inspired by hindu/south asian symbols, rather than nazi influence. I dont know what you saw and if that was the same case but this is something to think about.

    I think we ALL sin to the PC g-d sometimes. it happens especially when we feel comfortable and safe with the people around us as there is (in my opinion) a different way we talk in public and in private. Now I dont know if ‘jewish’ comments today have to do with hate for the jews or it is an unfortunate piece of lingo that was never rooted out. We always need to ask – what is the context, and who said it? a stupid remark (even well rooted one) does not necessarily point to actual hatred and bias. the fact that so many of your peers mentioned that experience actually strengthen my theory.

    The last piece – the synagogue security – is a bit of an irony. you see, after 9/11 the federal gvnmt gave VERY kind grants to religious and cultural institutions for security. I can tell you from first hand experience that Jewish institutions – even those who NEVER experienced any threat – beefed up their security and took advantage of this ‘free’ money (that covers actual police and technology).

    my assertion (that earned me the title ‘anti-semite’ by one of the NV writers) is that there is MORE antisemitism in Israel (by Jews against Jews and against arabs) than in the US. dont buy it? try this:
    example from the last week: http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=216653
    or this: http://rottenjewishapple.blogspot.com/2011/04/worlds-most-anti-semetic-place.html

    again thank you for this post.

  2. Rachel Schiff
    May 03 - 9:28 pm

    Leigh,

    I deeply respect your interest in the topic of Anti-Semitism and Popular Culture. I am a Masters student in American Studies, emphasizing in Jewish culture and religion, at California State University, Fullerton. I was also president of CSUF Hillel and worked for Hillel of Orange County. In my youth I was victimized like your brother, which became the very core of my passion as a Jewish American.

    As I read your article, I felt this was a broad scope and sequence you presented to your readers. I, like you, usually feel that way. However, in modern context, popular culture’s tolerance for singling out minorities is on the decline. Yes, Mel Gibson is clearly not an advocate for peaceful dialogue, but he has not been received well since his anti-Semitic outbursts.

    “Don’t be such a Jew” is a very old term, harvested by authors such as Charles Dickens. I would be more concerned with the perversion of the term “gay” and how it is used in social context.

    In your reference to the Kotel versus Temple Emmanuel, which I am very familiar with both, you must look at the geography and social climate surrounding these locations. I agree, any need for protection is saddening, but again this is not new. In addition, the Kotel is heavily protected and you must go through metal detectors and a search from the Israeli Defense Force before entering. Temple Emmanuel’s security policy is not nearly as invasive. Anaheim California used to be coined “Klan-a-heim”, due to its vocal hate groups. Although they still exist, they are less prevalent. (Thank G-d)

    Your citing of the ADL was profound. These numbers still terrify me every day as I march through Orange County publishing Jewish articles and conducting research. Your call for awareness strikes a chord in our community, I am sure. But, there is good news. The American population, by large, is improving thanks to activists like the ADL and yourself.

    I encourage you to continue with your passion and address these issues in a myriad of ways. I, for one, am always for a positive, educated, civil, and harmonious call for action. You have the community’s attention! If you feel that there needs to be a response to the anti-Semitism, what are the steps that the Jewish American public need to take?

    It seems fitting to end this response in a prayer, so here it goes. May our concerns as Jews not be a concern to just those of the Jewish faith, but for all of humanity. And may someday our children look at the word “Anti-Semitism” in their old age and have to look it up in a dictionary that is terribly outdated.

    Shalom and a late Chag Sameach! Respectfully,
    Rachel Schiff

Leave a Reply