Antisemitism needs to be addressed



NOT SO HAPPY HANUKKAH: Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, begins Dec. 18, yet an increase in antisemitism has overshadowed countless Jewish holidays with fears of attacks looming.

Thousand Oaks, neighboring cities and nearby counties have made headlines over the past year for white supremacist demonstrations, many of which included underlying antisemitic messages. Recently, a group unfurled a banner over the 405 freeway in support of music artist Ye West’s antisemitic comments on Twitter.

There has been a rise in antisemitism worldwide over the last decade, and this dangerous ideology needs to be addressed.

Antisemitism is not an idea of the past, and the rise of social media has only enabled these harmful comments as proven by West. The rapid spread of information only allows false assumptions and hate speech to spread at a rapid pace.

“Once again, hate speech opens the door to hateful action,” wrote California Governor Gavin Newsom on Twitter.

Celebrities and political figures alike took to social media in support of Jewish people after West’s comment, but the problem remains that antisemitism continues to grow at an alarming rate, and little is being done to slow its spread.

In fact, the “2021 Audit of Antisemetic Incidents” reported a 34% increase in Jew-hatred instances from 2020 and the highest number of incidents in the report’s history, which dates back to 1979, according to Jewish News Syndicate.

The argument that antisemitism ended with the Holocaust is false, and every year, more and more Jewish people are falling victim to hate speech, stigmas and attacks.

In December 2021, around 40 Jewish bus passengers on their way to celebrate Hanukkah in London were attacked, according to CNN.

Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights, which symbolizes hope and miracles, yet for many people worldwide, the week–long festival was the source of fear.

Local temples are feeling the effects of antisemitism as well. For services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in September and October, temples hired more security than they had in past years and asked ushers to remain vigilant so they could identify potential attackers before they became a threat.

Luckily no attacks occurred, but these security measures only emphasize the impacts antisemitism has on Jewish communities, as significant Jewish holidays were coupled with feeling of uncertainty and fear.

Politicians such as Marjorie Taylor Green continue to portray Jewish people in a negative view as well. A Facebook post by Green from the 2018 California wildfires suggested Jewish people were in possession of “fire-causing space lasers” that were the source of the wildfires according to MSNBC.

This claim was quickly debunked, yet Green’s words are a reminder that Jewish people often become scapegoats for various problems, which only contributes to growing antisemitism.

Even more significantly, Green faced minimal repercussions for her comment and won reelection for the U.S. House of Representatives with 66% of the vote according to People, which only highlights the lack of action on ending antisemitic speech.

In order to stop antisemitism, the people spreading false information must be held accountable, and right now, that is not the case. Politicians and world leaders need to do their part to create a safe world for Jewish people, but individuals cannot be bystanders either. Change takes everyone, so the world needs to come together in support of the Jewish community.