Reaching a boiling point: racism redux

In Australia, six teen-aged boys jumped aboard a school bus and threatened to slit the throats of the young Jewish children returning home from school. “Heil Hitler,” they bellowed; “Kill the Jews!”

All my life I believed that racism, especially its violent manifestations, was something done by skinheads and KKK members who were too ignorant to see the beauty of diversity. I knew that racism still existed but I thought it was weakened and that it was no longer acceptable to be displayed in public.

Then this year #Hitlerwasright started trending, and my newsfeed filled with messages of hate. One boy wrote that all Jews look the same and another suggested that Jewish baby strollers are perhaps only used to push around stolen goods. A girl from my school frequently posts photos of her and friends at events holding signs promoting a modern version of the ancient blood-libel against the Jews.

When I’ve responded to these malicious lies about Israel and Jews with facts, I’ve been discounted. “After all,” they say, “Jews control the media.”

If Jews ran the media, why is the news so anti-Semitic? Why does the world scrutinize Israel’s every move? Israel, one of the only places in the Middle East that protects women’s rights, gay rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of press! Women are not butchered in “honor killings” like in Pakistan. Gay couples are not slaughtered for their love like they are in Gaza. There is no genocide going on in Israel and yet a few hours drive away in Syria and Iraq whole communities are eradicated by the hundreds of thousands.

Yet despite the egregious human rights abuses going on in many other countries, the Islamists and their “progressive” apologists obsessively focus on Israel, accusing her of all sorts of imagined crimes. The juxtaposition of false charges against Israel, while ignoring the obvious large-scale mass murder of surrounding countries, makes it clear that Israel is being criticized not because it has done something wrong but because it is Jewish. But even in “Jewish” Israel, minority rights are fully protected, and people of varying religions and backgrounds are all accepted as full citizens. No apartheid. No genocide.

Ironically, the clearest example of racism in the region is the “international community’s” chastising of Israel for defending itself from Hamas’ attempted genocide against the Jews. (As stated in Article 7 of the Hamas Charter, “The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: 0 Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him”) Could Hamas’ call for genocide against the Jews be any clearer?

Thanks to anti-Jewish hatred and a media either ignorant about, or complicit in, fostering anti-Jewish bias, the world is again encouraged to attack Jews without fear. In Belgium, a shooter murdered visitors to a Jewish Museum and in Tunisia a Jewish man was stabbed. Attacking and murdering innocent civilians based on their religion is not a display of humanitarian activism, it is racism in its truest form.

Unless the West acknowledges that unfounded attacks on Israel are spurred by racism and foster further ignorance, I fear that the world will fall again to a hatred that will consume it. Increasing numbers of French Jews are already planning to emigrate out of fear that more Jewish shops and homes will be set afire by the petrol bombs of rampaging Islamists. Will this violent racism reach a boil in America as it has done through Europe? Will I have to one day flee my home? Will you?

About the Author
Eliana Halevi studied media bias with CAMERA in Israel in 2012. She is currently a Junior in the Honors College at the University of Arizona.
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