New York Times Hosts a Clinic on anti-Semtism

The New York Times despicably demonstrated this weekend how one fertilizes anti-Semitism. In its simplest terms, it is conflating hatred of a Jew with all Jews, anger at one Israeli transformed into a hatred of the nation of Israel.

When the New York Times depicted the democratically elected Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, as a dog with an Israeli flag around its neck, it was falling into the convenient trap that it only could with a Jew: demonizing all Jews because of disdain for one.

I loathe Louis Farakhan, but in no way transfer those feelings to other black people. I despise Ann Coulter, but would never ascribe that hatred on other women. David Duke is repulsive, but I do not categorize all people from Louisiana that way. Most importantly, never would the New York Times, or other reputable papers, equate hatred of one person with an entire class, race or religion…..except the Jews. That is anti-Semitism in its simplest, purest and most organic form.

When it comes to the Jews, upset for one is demonization of them all. I know this – along with every Jew – because this has been our history, our identity and the guarded posture our parents and grandparents always readied us for. From slaves in Egypt to wishes of our mass annhilation by Haman to our expulsion from Spain to vicious pogroms in Russia to the unspeakable acts of the Holocaust in Europe to Iran hoping to radiate us like a cancer, Jews, unlike most other groups, are targeted wherever they are and whenever they live, and all Jews are lumped together. The act of one represents the whole.

Anti-Semitism has always slept lightly. Many forces have recently woken this beast, and the New York Times cartoon has assured that she is not going back to bed any time soon. For shame!!

About the Author
David-Seth Kirshner is the senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, a Conservative synagogue in Closter, New Jersey. He is the past President of the NY Board of Rabbis, President of the NJ Board of Rabbis and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Hartman Institute. Rabbi Kirshner was appointed to the New Jersey/Israel commission and is a member of the Chancellor's Rabbinic Cabinet at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
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