Since last summer, it seems like the majority of Jews have recognized that anti-Semitism is a real problem. At first, we thought that only Muslims were anti-Semitic. Afterwards we realized that the Europeans, too, are generally disinclined toward us. Shortly after, we realized that American campuses display anti-Semitic mannerism. Now, finally, we have discovered it’s a problem that the whole world shares.
Back in 2011, long before the majority of us knew that this was once again an issue, the very direct Sarah Silverman put it very simply: “If there’s one thing we should realize is [that] in general, the world hates Jews.”
Now that we’ve all grasped it, we’re treating it like entertainment, as though it is a sports event. We keep scores, statistics, monitor trends, and calculate odds…
If you search the exact phrase, “Anti-Semitism Reaches Record High,” you will get hundreds (!) of results from the last five years alone. So either we are terrible at math, or the records of anti-Semitism really are being broken every other week.
And yet it’s so natural to keep score. “So Jill,” her husband, Alex, calls out to his wife, completely absorbed in the tablet PC before him, “did you read about the rise in anti-Semitism in [pick a place]? It’s spiked 13.5% since the same time last year, and is expected keep rising now that the tension in Gaza is picking up again. The Times says it’s a steeper spike than in pre WWII Germany.” “Really,” says Jill, clearly uninterested, “don’t forget to pick up Danni from practice at 6 this evening, OK?”
I like sports. I used to do a lot of it when I was younger. But we’ve become so used to thinking about everything in the context of sports or entertainment that we inadvertently treat this issue as another type of sport. Even those intent on fighting anti-Semitism treat it as a competition, where it’s us against them, the good against the bad, they bring their money, we bring our money and we’ll see whose money wins.
Forget about it. The majority of the world hates Jews. Blowing millions of dollars trying to prove that you’re not as bad as they think you are won’t work because they are already convinced you are corrupt.
What will work is to use the ultimate Jewish “doomsday” weapon, or panacea, depending on your perspective in this conflict. Whenever the goyim are out to get us, the trick that always works for us (when we remember to apply it) is to stick together. When we stick together, one way or the other, we walk out standing.
It’s no coincidence. Since the days of Abraham, through the days of Moses and his own share of “Desert Storms,” to the days of Israel’s modern era wars, when we were together, we succeeded, because unity is the essence of our people. We invented “love your neighbor as yourself,” and we conceived, “that which you hate, do not do to your neighbor.” When we practice these tenets, we become a light for the nations, a role model they expect us to be.
The very purpose of their hatred is to compel us to unite, because we won’t do it under any other circumstances. And when we unite, they can unite as well. If we don’t make the first move, they won’t be able to, although they know that this is what they, and everybody needs today.
They are waiting for us to unite among us and show the world how to do this. Why is this so difficult? Our human egos are so blown out of proportion that we cannot overcome them. The one exception is the Jews. At the foot of Mt. Sinai we united as one man with one heart, and by so doing became a nation. For some time during our history, we managed to overcome our egos and practice “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Now we’re practicing the opposite. It is said that the Temple was ruined because of hatred without cause, hatred for the sake of hatred. When we are fragmented, along comes an evildoer. But he comes only to “remind” us to unite.
If we look at history, it’s easy to see that the more the nations hate us, the more united we become. It’s almost like a reflex. But it also an indication that the reason why they hate us is to force us to unite. If we unite, they will unite as well, and put an end to war. But if we don’t unite, they will stay parted and will blame us for it. They won’t verbalize it; they will simply say, “You are the cause of all the wars and problems in the world.” It is for us to understand that our disunity is the hindrance to their unity, and therefore the cause of all their wars.
In short, the proactive approach I think we need to take is to establish our unity, in order to serve as an example of unity to the world. We don’t need to teach them how to unite; they’ll know how when they see it. We just need to work on our unity, together, as one, in order to bring peace to the world. Not to ourselves, but to the world.