We are facing the alarming reality that antisemitism is on the rise. It is coming from the traditional far-right, far-left and Islamist sources. There is also mounting evidence that antisemitism is becoming more mainstream even in America. There are increasing numbers of attacks against Jews, including arson, vandalism, and direct physical violence and even murder in synagogues or other communal institutions. Jews are forced to adopt more and more security, living behind walls, metal detectors, and guards. Rabbis now regularly announce the location of synagogue exits, should the need to evacuate quickly arise.
We have witnessed antisemitism in the media, online in social media, in classroom textbooks, in student interactions, in teacher training, by school administrations, by professors, in the halls of Congress, on billboards, in some churches, in Jewish cemeteries through vandalism, and in physical assaults against Jews on the street. In our politically charged environment, antisemitic slurs, which would have been universally decried in the past, are tolerated . . . and then imitated. Extremists feel emboldened by each new instance of antisemitic activity. It is unthinkable in America that Jewish people, including their children, would need to go through “active shooter” drills.
In the last few decades, antisemitism has been imported by outside sources. The government of Qatar, which owns the Al Jazeera media network and AJ+, has donated over $1 billion to six U.S. universities to promote an anti-Israel and antisemitic agenda. In addition, the Saudi government has paid for Middle Eastern chairs at major U.S. universities while filling our public libraries with free anti-Israel books and videos for decades.
Antisemitic forces have aligned themselves with minority communities, which they work to manipulate in order to turn whole segments of society against Israel and the Jewish people. This is a coordinated effort on many fronts. Through lies, half-truths, and misinformation, they are able to distort and manipulate facts, replacing them with fictions that are widely accepted as truth. A 2014 study by the ADL shows that out of a population of 4.1 billion people on five continents, a stunning 26% (1.1 billion) harbor antisemitic attitudes.
The message of antisemitic forces, although false, is clear, simple, and oft-repeated, which has allowed it to gain a foothold in cities around the world. We need to be concerned.
It's time to draw clear, red lines.
IDEA (Identify, Define, Educate, Act)
Our overarching strategy is to push back on the Jew hatred around the globe that has risen over the years and is seeping into the mainstream in many countries. We plan to achieve this pushback by creating an awareness campaign that will keep the various elements of antisemitism front and center. We plan to make this a global conversation and shine a light on the world’s oldest hatred. Exposure to sunlight is one of the best disinfectants.
The hatred of the Jews is similar to the many forms of hatred of the “other” that have surfaced around the globe. The hate that drives antisemitism is the same hate underlying racism against black people, fear and hatred of immigrants, and intolerance of gay people. We need to expose and unequivocally condemn those who practice the evil of actively promoting hatred. We need to turn them into the pariahs that they are.
The tactics we use to fulfill our strategy and mission vary by target market. Some initiatives fall under the category of proactive education while others are forms of crisis intervention. Our educational efforts need to start at a very young age since children’s opinions are formed early. Our crisis intervention is driven and prioritized based on the need, threat, and resources on hand.
WE FOLLOW THESE STEPS: I D E A – We identify, define, educate, and act against the evils of antisemitism. We strive to empower current populations and future generations to stand up to and defeat antisemitism. We work to inoculate young people today with the tools and methods to combat this hate while instilling pride in being Jewish and Zionist.