We Can’t Remain Silent

Simmering beneath the surface around the world, especially at college campuses in the United States, is a hostility toward a group of people because of who they are. This hostility has resurfaced with troubling undertones in the wake of Hamas’ barbaric attack against Israel.

I’m not Jewish.  I’m Catholic.  I can’t remain silent as antisemitism rages across our society.  I’m writing this column as an American who values our free society.

Antisemitism is surging across U.S. cities and college campuses with many protestors unaware of what they are protesting or the true cause they are supporting.

On college campuses, Jewish students are facing harassment, being verbally assaulted, and some are even being locked in a school cafeteria because of their identity.  Turn on the news and you hear about protests and walkouts happening on campuses in places like New York. The threats made against Jewish students at Cornell University saw the arrest of the student who made the threats.

Missouri is not immune to the protests and walkouts taking place on college campuses across the country.  Jewish students I spoke with at Washington University feel the university is not acting with the same sense of urgency to reports of violence and threats reported by Jewish students compared to reports submitted by their Muslim counterparts.  I was also told some students are changing how they dress to blend in to avoid drawing attention to themselves.  Students should feel safe on college campuses and schools, like Washington University, should be doing all they can to protect all students from threats of violence.

What is taking place on college campuses, and in cities around the world, brings back painful memories of what the Jewish people faced preceding and during the Holocaust.

Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.  “Never again” was what the world said after we discovered the horrors of the Holocaust.  It’s troubling that some even claim that the Holocaust never happened.  We owe it to Holocaust survivors and their families to educate future generations of what happened to the Jewish people during the Holocaust to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.

Equally disturbing is the lack of historical knowledge about Israel and the Middle East.  Israel has been home to the Jewish people for thousands of years.  After World War II, the modern state of Israel was reestablished as a homeland for the Jewish people.  Conversely and historically, a Palestinian state has never existed.  The Iranian propaganda effort has tricked the uninformed, especially those on college campuses, into believing Israel has taken over a Palestinian homeland that has never existed in the first place. The Palestinians could be living in their own state if their leaders had not routinely backed away from a peace treaty with Israel.  Israel wants peace and has extended its hand to the leaders of the Palestinians, only for those leaders to continuously turn their backs on any peace deal.

The Hamas slaughter of Israelis took the simmer of antisemitism and made it boil in cities and campuses across the country.  It’s imperative we push back against antisemitism with facts about the true reality of what is taking place in the region.  Hamas’ vile attacks cannot be allowed to warp the minds of college students and those who lack the historical knowledge about this part of the world.  We must stand with Israel in this war against a barbaric enemy.

Iran is the main force pushing this pro-Palestinian agenda through their terrorists’ proxies like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  We must call out Iranian leaders for who they are, the true face of evil.  These evil forces seek the destruction of Israel because of what it represents, the Jewish people living in their historical homeland.

We can’t remain silent as antisemitism surges across our country and the world.  Today, the vile forces in Iran that funded the Hamas slaughter of innocent Israelis are cheering this heinous attack and the rapid spread of antisemitism.  We must stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters and call out the antisemitic hate engulfing the world.  We cannot allow history to repeat itself.

About the Author
Keith Beardslee is vice president of Seen Read Heard. He specializes in managing the public profiles of CEOs, major corporations, national trade associations, candidates, and public policy campaigns. Previously he managed the day-to-day communications for Congressman Billy Long and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer. Keith began his career in the office of Governor Matt Blunt. Keith visited Israel, sponsored by AIEF, in the fall of 2017 and spring of 2023.
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