The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism


To the Editor:

Re “Why Jews Are Worried” (Op-Ed, Aug. 21):

Deborah E. Lipstadt did an admirable job noting the distinctions between the anti-Semitism of the Nazi era in the 1930s and the increased level of anti-Semitism we are witnessing today.

Although the impetus for the various anti-Semitic acts may be distinct from one another, the common denominator is that they are all fueled by an innate sense of animosity toward one particular religious group. That hatred is compounded by the fact that anti-Semitism is becoming not just acceptable (to some) but also quite routine.

This brazen assault on freedom of religion is particularly troubling and runs counter to the democratic ideals of a civilized society. The recent uptick in anti-Semitism is akin to a conflagration that is becoming increasingly difficult to extinguish.

As Jews, we do not always need to press the panic button, but we must sound the alarm so the international community takes heed of the acute nature of this growing and disturbing problem.

Teaneck, N.J., Aug. 21, 2014

To the Editor:

Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.

The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.

As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.

Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014

The writer is the Episcopal chaplain at Yale.

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