What is anti-Semitism?

I believe that far too many members of media organizations, religious leadership, and institutions of higher learning are trapped in a lexicon of common usage and are not yet sufficiently qualified to discuss anti-Semitism. And to the extent that they interact with almost everyone else, that’s a serious problem. They should become thoroughly familiar with the differences and distinctions between anti-Semitism and other words of attitudes like bias, stereotype, prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry. What is just unpleasant is not actually anti-Semitism and must not be considered anti-Semitism. If everything and anything can be labeled anti-Semitism, then the real meaning is so dumbed down and numbed down that it has far too little meaning. A broad and inconsistent definition is a huge obstacle in a PR war.

Rather, anti-Semitism is defined by actions like discrimination and racism. The Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s took on an even more evil form of racism, institutional racism … Jim Crow laws, mistreatment by the judicial system, etc. What elevates anti-Semitism above even institutional racism is that it represents “genocidal racism”, which includes denial of sovereignty.

But if this concept makes anyone squeamish, I implore them to not turn their eyes and minds away from the conditions that our Jewish brethren were forced to endure for thousands of years from every land they were chased from (those who successfully evaded the soldiers). The denials of their human rights, land, education, and equal standing in the eyes of their rulers; their inhuman conditions, and their humiliation and mistreatment were intended to annihilate them. At PJTN, we are unambiguous in calling this horrendous history global genocidal racism. 

Many Christians find the second–class standing of American Jews prior to the middle of the 20th century incomprehensible. But that was reality. They don’t realize that the 15 million Jews in the world are the only survivors of 2000 years of Christian anti-Semitism, and that many Jewish people, who did not grow up in a Jewish enclave, have heard the word Christ-killer far too many times. And they don’t know that for the past 100 years Henry Ford, Hitler, Mel Gibson, and Louis Farrakhan types have kept the lies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion an enduring threat, not only in the Middle East, but also on every continent, even today. But they do know this book’s false claim that these 15 million in a world of seven and a half billion are a real threat to control the whole world. Yeah, right!

So it’s completely understandable that Jewish people have been conditioned to look for signs of impending danger and that, for many, it is preferable to be more cautious than less cautious. In a sense, some might also say that anti-Semitism is situational. So however uncomfortable anti-Jewish speech and attitudes make our Jewish brethren, those who have not shared the Jewish experiences can’t be expected “to get it.”

Campus anti-Semitism has a not so cleverly disguised component of genocide. Far too often, university leadership’s nonresponsive, foot dragging, circle the wagons, “it’s just free speech” tactics are nothing more than passive-aggressive institutional racism. Institutions of higher learning have a responsibility to the students to ensure that civil discourse is the order of the day and attempts to disrupt, intimidate, and denigrate should be dealt with by the code of conduct of the institution.  But most of all, we should all want Jewish students to have exactly the same legal rights as all of the other students, including unqualified freedom to express themselves, freedom to organize and hold events, freedom to put ads and notices in the student newspaper, freedom to post on the school website and Facebook pages, and freedom from professors, instructors, and administration personnel who are the supporters, collaborators, and enablers of those who target Jewish students. Holocaust education should not be denied by individuals’ claims that the subject matter makes them uncomfortable.

There should be no reluctance whatsoever on the part of any state or local government, Board of Regents, or college or university to adopt the US State Department definition of anti-Semitism. The United States State Department has adopted this definition to monitor and report on anti-Semitism in every country in the world and there is no reason why that should not be the definition by which we in the United States monitor and report on anti-Semitism until campus -anti-Semitism is no longer tolerated.

About the Author
Ron Dolinsky