Why Fighting Antisemitism Is At The Top Of My Retirement Agenda

At nearly 76 years old, what have I got to loose by putting all my cards on the table and sharing  why fighting antisemitism is at the top of my retirement agenda? But before you dismiss or scoff, read it and give it some thought and then if you want to discuss, let’s do so, but not before you read it until the end and choosing not to read it tells me you may be be a significant reason why I am devoting what’s left of my life to fighting antisemitism.

While my identity has been shaped by being the son of a Holocaust survivor and married to the daughter of Holocaust survivors, while it is an important reason, it is not the most important reason, though let me be clear, I am glad our parents are not alive today to see what is going on world wide.

Here are my reasons for fighting antisemitism and they may be quite different from what you hear from mainstream Jewish sources.

I am fighting antisemitism because I am fighting for all Jews, regardless of their nationality or where they live to be as excellent, good, average or inferior and any other religious group without being singled out for criticism, sanctions and collective punishment simply because they are Jews, regardless of where they live or worship (or don’t).

I am fighting for the right of all Jews to be individually judged by “the content of their [individual’ character” (Martin Luther King Jr…) and not by their ethnicity or religion because they are simply Jewish,

I am fighting for the right of all Jews to be able to live in peace where ever they chose to live without fear of discrimination or persecution.

I am fighting for more secure alliances and coalitions with all persons with whom we have a common cause for the betterment of all.

I am fighting to try to bring hurt and misguided Jews back to an understanding of who they are so that they no longer become useful tools of our common enemies.

I am fighting for the world to understand that with Jews, live everyone else, there are wonderful people and that there are awful people, but that probably has little to do with being Jewish, just as with other groups it has nothing to do with their ethnicity.

I am fighting against antisemitism because I believe in the old song lyric, that “you’ve got to be carefully taught…to love and to hate….” and that if you can be taught to hate, you can also be taught to love.

I am fighting against antisemitism to save both Jewish lives and the lives of those who may have a quarrel with us. I am tired of people dying over issues which can and must be resolved through mutual acceptance and respect.

I am fighting because I believe everyone regardless of faith, lack of faith, ethnic origin, sexual identity or whatever variable you pick is capable of cutting back on the hate so that we can live as good neighbors with acceptance and respect.

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one….” I hope someday others will join us…”and the world will live as one” (John Lennon, Imagine.” We can, we must do better than we are doing. Many of us have seen and have lived with what happens when it got worse. It’s time to stand united against antisemitism.

About the Author
Retired College Professor, President Emeritus & Co-Founder Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Founding Publisher and Editor Kol Central Pa; Philadelphia JCRC; Academic Engagement Network, Residing in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania