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Combating Anti-Semitism

May 25, 2023

by: Janet Aslin

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Anti-Semitism is on the rise globally.

Thursday, 25 May 2023 | Hosted by the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM), representatives from over 55 organizations gathered in Manhattan on Tuesday for the New York Symposium against Anti-Semitism. The event drew a diverse group together to discuss solutions to rising global anti-Semitism. Two of the featured speakers were New York City (NYC) Mayor Eric Adams and well-known Israeli activist, Natan Sharansky.

It is no secret that anti-Semitism has been rising globally. The symposium’s location was not chosen accidentally. NYC is home to 1.6 million Jews, making it the city with the largest Jewish population in the world. There was a sharp increase in anti-Semitic activity around the world in 2022 but NYC has been especially hard hit. Data reported by the Anti-Defamation League showed the highest rate of anti-Semitic attacks in the US occurred in New York state.

Taking that one step further, the Times of Israel studied the police reports from NYC and reported that “throughout 2022, there were 263 hate crimes reported, an average of one anti-Semitic incident in the city every 33 hours.” NYC has an incentive to address ways to curb the increasing violence against its Jewish residents.

In his remarks NYC Mayor Eric Anderson gave a clarion call for action, stating that much of the problem stems from social media. “Young people are being fed hate every day. If you aspire to be like someone, even when they do positive things, you’ll aspire to be like them when they start to do negative things. Don’t underestimate the power of Kanye West [whose anti-Semitic posts caused an uproar last year].”

Mayor Anderson also suggested, “Some of our greatest legal minds need to come together and sue the social media companies that are destroying our communities and our cities and feeding our children the hate and despair they’re witnessing.”

Natan Sharansky is a prominent Israeli who has dedicated his life to service of others. He was a “refusenik” (a Soviet Jew who was denied permission to emigrate to Israel) who spent a total of nine years in Soviet prisons and later an Israeli politician, human rights activist and author.

When Sharansky addressed the forum, he said, “The most important beachhead in the struggle for the future of the Jewish people are on our campuses.” He also highlighted his concern that Jews may not be united against anti-Semitism as they have been in the past. The reason for this being that the issue has become highly politicized. No matter whether you are liberal or conservative, Sharansky concluded that “People on the left have to fight anti-Semitism on the left, and people on the right have to fight anti-Semitism on the right.”

Although the narratives may not be new, one encouraging factor is that the dialog took place. At less than five years old, CAM is beginning to have a global impact in the fight against anti-Semitism.

The organization’s website offers the following vision. “With the Holocaust receding into historical memory and Jews facing a growing proliferation of threats, fresh approaches are needed to confront this age-old societal scourge. CAM fosters groundbreaking alliances that transcend traditional divides and forges relationships with policymakers at the global, national, and local levels.”

Transcending the divisions and forging relationships are worthy goals. Face-to-face conversations will go a lot further to coming up with solutions than the back and forth name calling and hatred expressed on social media.

Posted on May 25, 2023

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 25, 2023)

Photo Credit: Anna i Adria/

Photo License: Wikimedia

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