Thinking Citizen Blog — How Bad is Anti-Semitism? What Is the Best Metric? Are You Sure?
Thinking Citizen Blog — Saturday is Justice, Freedom, Law, and Values Day
Today’s Topic: How Bad is Anti-Semitism? What Is the Best Metric? Are You Sure?
My father had many positive traits. His ferocious anti-semitism was not one of them. The same can be said for his mother who was in other ways my absolute favorite person in my extended family as she taught me how to play the piano when I broke my leg in four places at age 14. She was also a model of hard work and loving kindness. However, she did firmly, passionately believe that there was a Jewish-Communist conspiracy based in Ottawa and that she could prove it. Anti-semitism comes in many guises. Today. excerpts from an article by New York Times columnist Bret Stephens in the form of a letter to Kanye West. What facts about anti-semitism do you know that the rest of us may not? What perspectives can you perhaps provide that others can not? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
FBI: JEWS 2.4% OF THE US ADULT POPULATION, WERE THE VICTIMS OF 54.9% OF ALL RELIGIOUSLY MOTIVATED HATE CRIMES
1. “So far, this has been one of the most underreported stories in the country — itself a telling indicator in an era that is otherwise hyper-attuned to prejudice and hate.”
2. “On many nights in New York City, Hasidic or Orthodox Jews are shoved, harangued, and beaten.”
3. “At times, the reporting has all but accused Jews of bringing the violence on themselves, with lengthy stories about allegedly pushy Jewish neighbors or rapacious Jewish landlords.”
NB: “At other times — such as after the attack in January on a Texas synagogue by a British Muslim man who had traveled 4,800 miles to get there — reporters have gone out of their way to find non-antisemitic motives for nakedly antisemitic attacks.”
ARE MOST OF THESE ATTACKS “REGRETTABLE BUT UNDERSTANDABLE EXPRESSIONS OF ANGER AGAINST ISRAEL”?
1. “It’s worth pondering the extent to which, in American culture today, Jews are excluded from inclusion and included in the the excluded.”
2. “That is, the Jewish people’s status as an oft-persecuted minority goes increasingly unrecognized, while the Jewish people’s position as a legitimate target for contempt and ostracism is becoming increasingly accepted.”
3. “Is the Jewish state so uniquely evil that, alone among 193 UN member states, it has no moral right to exist?”
NB: “Or is it the unique evil of antisemitism that directs this kind of obsessive hatred at one state only — while ignoring or downplaying the endless depredations of regimes in, say, Caracas, Ankara, Havana and Tehran?”
IS ANTI-ZIONISM ANTI-SEMITISM IN DISGUISE? HOW WIDESPREAD ARE KANYE WEST’S BELIEFS ABOUT JEWS? SPECIFICALLY, WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITY?
1. “Honest would be to acknowledge that antisemitism is as much a left-wing phenomenon as it is a right-wing one. Honest would be coming to grips with the fact — as Henry Louis Gates Jr. did in these pages in 1992 — that antisemitism infects corners of Black politics as much as it infects the politics of white supremacy.”
2. “Honest would be holding to account people who were complicit in your antisemitism — such as Tucker Carlson, who praised your “bold” beliefs while editing our your antisemitic remarks from his interview with you.”
3. “Honest would be coming to terms with the extent to which anti-Zionism has become the antisemitism of our day, echoing the sordid conspiratorial tropes about Jews as swindlers and impostors.”
NB: “Honest would also be admitting that you speak for more people than many Americans would have cared to admit. For that, but only that, you deserve thanks.”
FOOTNOTE — religiously versus racially-motivated hate crime statistics (FBI data, 2020 versus 2019)
1. “According to this year’s data, 62% of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ bias toward race/ethnicity/ancestry, which continues to be the largest bias motivation category. Participating agencies reported 5,227 race/ethnicity/ancestry-based incidents in 2020, a 32% increase from 2019. Anti-Black or African American hate crimes continue to be the largest bias incident victim category, with 2,871 incidents in 2020, a 49% increase since 2019. Additionally, there were 279 anti-Asian incidents reported in 2020, a 77% increase since 2019. The other largest categories of hate crimes include anti-Hispanic or Latino incidents, with 517, and anti-White incidents, with 869 in total.”
2. “Incidents related to religion decreased 18% from 2019, with 1,244 total incidents reported. The largest category included:
- 683 anti-Jewish incidents, down 28% since 2019;
- 110 anti-Muslim incidents, down 38%;
- 15 anti-Buddhist incidents, up 200%; and
- 89 anti-Sikh incidents, up 82%.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“Happy the man, and happy he alone,
he who can call today his own:
he who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.”
- Horace (65–8 BC)
For the last four years of posts organized by theme:
Two special attachments below:
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/2
Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to justice, freedom, the law or basic values. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to justice, freedom, the law, or basic values. Or just some random justice-related fact that blew you away.
This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply about something dear to your heart.