Ronald Lauder has it right. In fact, he said out loud, what many have been saying to ourselves. The label of “Antisemitism” does not clearly identify what permeates social media, public discourse, and the politics of both the far left and right.
The real label is “Jew Hatred.”
Lauder is not only correct on his recent Instagram post on the World Jewish Congress Page, but he is bold, direct, and smart. Lauder said, “If you attack Jewish students on a campus you are a Jew Hater. If you say Israel shouldn’t exist, you are a Jew hater.” His statements are real and true.
Scroll through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and the multitude of social media platforms to see it in real time. The evil of “Jew Hatred” is alive and evolving. It is growing into an acceptable societal norm without repercussions or reaction. In many of these spaces, this hatred extends to the words Israel, Zionism, and Zionists.
Make no mistake, these are words and rallying cries for hatred of Jews.
The examples are clear. The evolution of “Jew Hatred” is glaring on the Instagram pages of everyday users, stars, models, and, yes, elected officials. It takes many shapes and forms on individual posts. It is physical in the attacks of a young man who was brutally beaten at a “globalize the intifada” themed rally in New York City. It is intimidation when a student in Ohio has a painted swastika on his calf at a high school lacrosse game. It is arson when it hits a Synagogue in Gramercy Park South. It is indoctrination at CUNY when a professor defends terror and expresses sympathy towards murder of Jews. It is chilling in the protests of far left and right groups in graffiti that spews vile tropes birthed in Nazi Germany. And the list goes on.
The issue is what to do about it. We must change the narrative and identify it in all forms. Yes, there is a need to label these individual acts as “Jew Hatred”; but more must be done. The facts are that “Jew Hatred” is fed, watered, organized, promoted, and given talking points by users and groups located on our social media platforms. It is undeniable.
It is time that Social Media giants need to listen. On this issue, they are being flagged for violations of humanity of sorts. They need to understand that their creations are the vehicle and superhighway to this societal environment. They have allowed “Jew Hatred” to be socially acceptable on their respective platforms. Quite frankly, their response is unacceptable. When “Jew Hatred” is called out by organizations, social media influencers, and day to day users, their response is deafening and chilling. Instead of working with groups and experts, they shadow ban, gag, and silence through their algorithms and rules that safely shield themselves from critique.
That is why our State and Federal elected leaders have a responsibility to take a stand and show backbone in this fight. Right now, they appear to be too afraid of these corporate giants to hold them to account. They must pass meaningful legislation starting with enforcing accountability in our schools and colleges when it comes to issues of “Jew Hatred” and all forms of hate. Attorney Generals need to educate their staff about hate crimes and “Jew Hatred.” Congress needs to hold hearings with the objective of accomplishing something instead of finger pointing. Community leaders need to get actively engaged in the fight locally by collaborating and working together to form meaningful and effective strategies to assist law enforcement, educators, school institutions, and neighborhoods. If we fail to do so, we are part of the problem and not the solution.