The Rise in Antisemitism: The Potential Ameliorating Action To Take

August 9, 2023

We are currently witnessing an unprecedented rate of change in human history. These changes are multifaceted and interconnected. Technological advancements, such as the internet, have had simultaneous and profound impacts on other aspects of our lives. For instance, digital technology, exemplified by companies like Amazon, has led to the bankruptcy of many small stores, thereby affecting not only economics but also politics. People now gather on social media platforms and mobilize street demonstrations, without a clear central leader. The influence of the internet is also observed in social behavior, like online dating, and even in the legal system, where issues of intellectual property become increasingly complex. The full impact of Artificial Intelligence is still to be revealed.In this environment, uncertainty and risks involved in deciding and implementing decisions is more complicated than ever. Finding easy solutions has become increasingly challenging. Humanity, however, needs an answer and it does not live with uncertainty for a prolonged period of time. Thus the search for fast and simple solutions, partly explains the ongoing spiritual revival, as people search for religious guidance to navigate through the intricacies of modern life. Alternatively, individuals may find solace in blaming a specific person or group for their problems, personifying the cause of problems — a scapegoat approach. For example, some blame whites for the problems faced by black Americans, racists the illegal immigrants, and the Republicans and the Democrats blame each other.When a country faces troubles, it is not uncommon for Jews to be scapegoated, even in countries where they are absent. It happened throughout history. People need someone to blame for their hardships.What to do?Stopping change to stop the rise of antisemitism cannot work. It is not feasible. Similarly, relying on the narrative of the Holocaust and the establishment of Israel as a means of protection is unlikely to solve the problem either. The Holocaust, no matter how convincing the evidence, some people needing a scapegoat may deny that the Holocaust ever occurred or may make Israel, not just the Jewish people, the scapegoat.What might ameliorate the problem, in my opinion, is that Jews should demonstrate to the world that they are an asset, not a liability. One interesting example seen on the internet is a post highlighting Iran's ban on using Jewish or Israeli products. The post goes on to list the consequences of following this ban, such as abstaining from using antibiotics or vaccines developed by Jews.Creating museums dedicated to Jewish pride, might change the narrative, like the gay pride movement changed how people treat the LGBTQ+ community. These museums would showcase the contributions of Jewish people in various fields, such as arts, movies, medicine, physics, chemistry, and so on. The museum would present pictures, testimonials, stories, and results, creating a sense of pride being Jewish. The goal is for someone to walk away from the museum and whisper, "I'm proud that my daughter is marrying a Jewish guy" or "my son is marrying a Jewish woman." Every new person added to the museum exhibit would receive a financial prize. The purpose is to encourage more contributions and the disclosure of Jewish identity, as many currently hide it due to shame or subconscious guilt associated with centuries of accusations.

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes