ANTI-SEMITISM ON THE RISE

 A report from the U.S. State Department details “an upsurge” across the world of anti-Semitism — hostility and discrimination toward Jewish people.    This report was presented to Congress  was dedicated to the memory of  U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, a survivor of the Holocaust, the extermination of 6 million Jews during World War I   Congressman Lantos was the only Holocaust Survivor ever to serve in Congress.  Congressman Lantos passed away in February 2008.The report documents various types of anti-Semitic behavior and Holocaust denial activities worldwide and goes on to state ”

Traditional forms of anti-Semitism persist and can be found across the globe. Classic anti-Semitic creeds, such as ‘The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion’ and ‘Mein Kampf’ remain commonplace.”

Being the grandchild of “Fiddler on the Roof” descent (Russian Jews forced from their villages in Russian Pogroms), I am certainly familiar with true anti-Semitic behavior and simply anti-Semitic ignorance and stereotypes. (I separate the two as one is the product of simple ignorance and the other is the product of hate.  I would have to say that the instances of my exposure to true “hate behavior” related to being Jewish has few and far between.(that I am aware of)  I have not found Dallas, Texas to be a hotbed of anti-Semitic thought processes but I have experienced it.   Because my last name does not have a stereotypical Jewish sound and I don’t have a stereotypical Jewish look as non-Jews define that, I am often privy to a bevy of ignorant anti-Semitic rhetoric. Jewish Stereotypes are rooted deep in world history. We all have long noses, are politically left and control all of Hollywood and major financial institutions and will try to “Jew you down” in any bargaining situation..  I have heard it from people I knew both in a personal and business context who had no idea I was Jewish because I did not “look the look”…. (I have actually had this said to me).  I have no doubt that for every time I am on the receiving end of such remarks there are 10 others made behind my back…….

The national poll of 1,000 American adults conducted April 26 through May 6, 2002 found that 17% of Americans – or about 35 million adults.

This means that in general (very general) about 2 out of every 10 people I know thinks less of me to some degree because I am Jewish.  I know a lot of people…….

I guess the whole point of this is that I have a perception of anti-Semitism in the Middle East and other places worldwide but I have absolutely no conception of the state of anti-Semitism in my own country.   I have lost touch with or maybe ever even developed a concept of what anti-Semitism means to personally to me as it exists within my sphere of existence.