By: Blake Schaaf
What is Anti-Semitism?
Anti-Semitism is the descrimination of Jewish people just because of the fact that they are Jewish.
Resentment towards Jews has been happening since the 1st century BCE (Wieviorka). At first, many people thought that it was disloyal of the Jewish religion and their principles to not worship many emperors or gods since Judaism is monotheistic, meaning that the followers of that religion only worship one god. This is completely unlike the polytheistic religions where the followers worship many different gods and emperors, which is the main reason why Anti-Semitism and hate towards the Jewish religion started. This hatred towards Jews has carried through centuries, even though the perpetrators and the people who continue to show their hate towards Jews don’t exactly know what it stemmed from.
Who is Helping?
There have been many organizations that have began to help educate people across the world and give them training and resources to better their understanding of the problem of Anti-Semitism. The organization, ADL(Anti-Defamation League), was one that stuck out the most to me. Not only do they help fight Anti-Semitism in the US, but they do a very good job keeping that consistent around the globe. ADL collects information from surveys about how many people have Anti-Semitic views, where these people are from, and so on.
In 2014, a conducted survey showed that more than one billion people around the world had some kind of Anti-Semitic view. Being a Jewish person myself and growing up to respect and care about my religion, seeing a number like that is truly scary. This same survey “tracked attitudes in 102 countries and territories”, meaning that more than half of the countries in the entire world have citizens who hold Anti-Semitic views. Jewish people are vulnerable. Not only do we hold less than 0.2% of the global population, but more than 25% of the world shows ideas of hatred towards us. Another poll conducted by ADL was given to Jewish people, and it asked questions like, “Do you live in daily fear of being attacked because of your religion?” 40% of the surveyed people said yes (ADL Org). 40% of the surveyed people who are Jewish, said that they live their lives in fear of being attacked, simply because of their religion. Over the recent couple of decades, Anti-Semitic driven attacks have gone up in numbers pretty consistantly. In Europe especially, a survey was given to European Jews asking about the incidences in the past 5 years, and 80% of the people surveyed said that they have clearly noticed an increase in attacks against the Jewish community (ADL Org). After collecting many different surveys through many different religious lenses, ADL is able to pin-point where they need to do the most work. Over the past years, ADL has focused on heavily educating the middle east specifically in countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
How we can help:
Obviously, ADL isn’t the only organization that helps combat hate around the world, but it stood out to me because macro-level solutions need to be put in place first to get started in the right direction. If education boards across the country, and across the globe can come together to put in a mandatory textbook, or class, or something of that nature, people around the world would become much more aware of what is happening around them.
Here is the donation link to help fund what ADL is doing around the world:
Here is a link to my complete list of citations.