By Rolene Marks
Everyday. Everyday we are reminded that it is everywhere. The cancerous hatred that is antisemitism is rapidly metastasizing around the world.
It has manifested in the images of swastikas on schools, the defilement of monuments to the Holocaust, the thin disguise as anti-Zionism – as if telling us that we have no right to self-determination as a nation makes it better!
The new phenomenon of politicised antisemitism that lurks the halls of the UK Labour Party, as well as the ill-disguised venom of the Ilhan Omar’s, Linda Sarsours et al that are pervading American discourse. The soccer thugs chanting “Jews to the gas” and the repugnant images of the hook-nosed, money hungry Jews, the vile BDS campaigns against our state Israel, the institutionalised obsessive hatred in the UN and in NGOs who have forgotten about the oppressed of the world with their disproportionate focus on Israel.
As I write this, it a matter of hours since news broke of yet another shooting in a synagogue in the USA. This time at the Poway Chabad in San Diego, killing one and wounding others. The attack occurred six months to the day of the deadly Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that claimed the lives of eleven. Communities around the world are reeling because an attack on one is an attack on us all.
Antisemitism is visible in WASP, exclusionary snobbery and the trolls on social media who hide behind avatars and cowardice. Social media is fast becoming the playground of the hater evident in the number of posts and comments as the medium is abused by these perpetrators to state their intentions or publish their manifestoes.
Every day. Everyday more news breaks about antisemitic incidents on university campuses. It is not just restricted to students but also faculty members and universities who seek to divest from co-operation with Israeli universities. While volumes can be written about this, two recent examples include:
– South Africa’s top university, the University of Cape Town (UCT) mulling an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. A resolution to this effect will be further addresed by UCT’s Senate on the 10th May.
– a chemistry professor from Vermont’s Middlebury University who posed the following question to his class:
“Calculate the lethal dose of poisonous gas that was used in the Nazi gas chambers during the Holocaust.” He has been suspended but antisemitism is becoming mainstream and it is our duty to fight it.
Every day. Every day we see how more and more complicit the media is becoming in disseminating anti-Jewish rhetoric. It is alarming that many media outlets cannot seem to make the correlation between some of their content and rising antisemitism. The most recent example of this is a cartoon published in the international edition of the New York Times that shows a blind Donald Trump, yarmulke on his head, being led by Netanyahu who is portrayed as a dog. This could quite easily have come from Der Sturmer circa 1939 and again traffics in a dangerous trope that was espoused by the Nazi’s and many hatemongers today who compare Jews as either controlling global leaders or as inhuman and like animals.
The New York Times offered a weak apology that excluded “we are sorry”.
Every day. It is happening every day and the silence of the world that has not learnt from the history of the Holocaust is deafening. Today, space has been created for Holocaust revisionism and blatant denial. This is the greatest insult to the Jewish people and compounds an already spreading hatred that must be fought. This week as we approach Yom HaShoah -Holocaust Martyrs and heroes Day in Israel – we are reminded again of what happens when hatred goes unchecked. It spreads like the malignant, rapidly metastasizing cancer that it is.
Every day we need a reminder. We need to be reminded that the Holocaust started with words – not gas chambers. We need to be reminded that hatred and intolerance is not just a Jewish issue, it belongs to us all.
The time is now. Do we choose to stay silent and complicit or raise our voices and take a stand? After the Holocaust we declared NEVER AGAIN. Never again has become every day. Whether it is the far left or the alt-right, political figures or campus activists, the media or non-governmental organisations and once-revered global institutions, this hatred needs to be checked.
NEVER AGAIN – well, it is happening again. Everyday. ENOUGH is ENOUGH