Where is antisemitism today? Right in the Irvington district in Portland, Oregon. Painted in large, clear red letters was the word JEWS on the side of a neighbor's home. The Portland Police Bureau refused to designate this action as a hate crime. However, they will be keeping a watch on further developments. Writing this on a home is an antisemitic act. Those who have experienced antisemitism know. What's happened in Portland was the convention of hate-mongers called The Hammerskin Nation that are out to get Jews and Blacks. I'm sure we'll see more activities of this type.
On NE Alberta Street "Jews"was written on storefronts. This happened before the Hammerskins had their convention. People there understood that this act was antisemitic.
Last week a children's show "Between the Lions," from Iowa Public TV aired on OPB. The segment of "Here come The Aliens" had an outer space alien lurking around described as "sickly green" It had a long nose and a Jewish star on its body. Allen Chalfen was in horror as he viewed this program, called OPB and cancelled his membership. This type of antisemitism happened in the 40's. Now it's happening again.
Let's start with more frequent and sharper attacks on Israel where the attacks are singling out Israel out of all proportion to any other country in the Middle East. Natan Sharasky said that legitimate criticism becomes antisemitism when in turns into demonization, double standards and deligitimization, which is happening right now. British National Union of Journalists voted to boycott Israeli goods. They did not criticize any Palestinian group or action. The same thing occured with academics in England. A few American academics countered and they finally dropped their boycott plans.
Words can sway people into false knowledge. Jimmy Carter's new book accused Israel of apartheid. The reason was the wall. He forgets the fact that the wall was constructed when the West Bank towns sent suicide bombers to kills Jews and called their terrorists "martyrs". Yet, the wall between Mexico and the US is bigger and is keeping out people who only want jobs. Israel has many Arab citizens, but no Jew can become a Jordanian, let alone enter their country. No Jew can ever enter the future state of Palestine, and no Jew can ever visit Saudi Arabia as a tourist. Carter gave Israel a black eye with his name calling, and the idea sticks with people and shapes their attitude towards us.
Professors Walt and Mearsheimer's new book about the "Israel Lobby" has brought about an anti Israel movement on many campuses. Jews make up between 1-2% of the population in the USA and have AIPAC as the spokesperson for Israel. AIPAC does not fund their campaigns, but though they do not have voting power or money, these professors say they control the US foreign policy. It couldn't be that congress has listened to the speakers and found they were in agreement with them.
In the Muslim world "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and "Mein Kampf" are best sellers. These books are as antisemitic as possible, the latter being written by Hitler himself. Hamas has a charter against Israel that cites the Hadith:"The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say "O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him." Hezbollah's leader Nasrallah in 2002 said: "If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."
Antisemitism didn't come about because of "occupation" of land legally acquired in 1967 after being attacked first and then winning after that attack. It's because we are Jews. During Rosh Hashanah, the shofar (ram's horn) plays a melody that is like a code. The message is: Wake up! We just hope that Olmert is awake when he agrees with the US to give away the West Bank; some of us think he's asleep. Many Christians in the USA agree with us.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN moderator's recent 3 part program segment, "God's Jewish Warriors" contained sprinklings of Palestinian propaganda against Israel. She is Iranian, and I'm afraid her personal prejustice was showing.
This is why when many of us hear criticism about Israel, our shackles rise. We are waiting for the other shoe to fall. It's almost like a conditioned reflex. Antisemitism declined when Israel was born again and victorious, but after 1967, the situation changed. Palestinians became nationalistic and terroristic against Israel, I'm sure being urged on by the very Muslim nations that told them to flee from the territory in 1948. With the continuence of terrorism comes antisemitism.
Condensed mostly from Gary D. Acheatel of Ashland, Oregon's article in the Jewish Review October 1, 2007, "Today's headlines motivate concerned Jew's call to activism." Letter to the Editor from Allen Chalfen of Portland, Sunday's Oregonian Opinion "When hate and fear come to the neighborhood" by Whitney Otto, and my input.