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Commentary: The New World Wide Scourge of Anti-Semitism

By Dan Lenard

Buffalo, NY – I never thought in my lifetime that I would have to discuss this again. However, with the bombing of two Synagogues in Ankara, Turkey last Saturday, The rekindling of irrational Jewish hatred in Europe, associated with torching of synagogues in France and desecration of Jewish cemeteries all over continental Europe, by the remarks of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who said, "Today the Jews rule this world by proxy and the hate I have seen on campus at UB and other local colleges, I feel I have to look outside the box of popular liberal culture and speak up about anti-Semitism. Indeed, such is the nature of the new anti-Semitism that everyone can now play at it--as long as it is cloaked in third-world chauvinism, anti-globalism, progressive thinking, and identity politics.

Anti-Semitism has been called "the longest hatred." However, this new wave of anti-Semitic fervor is more threatening and dangerous to Jews, and Americans, than anything that has occurred since World War II.

You only have to listen to the international news to hear the reality. Kosher slaughter Laws are being challenged in Belgium, Holland and Great Britain, reviving medieval anti-Jewish manifestations.

On official Arab government media and Islamic websites Jews are depicted as schemers and plotters who seek world dominion, and religious vampires who drink the blood of non-Jewish children. I hear this one over and over again, especially in conversation with people who don't know I'm Jewish. Blame Jews for anti-Semitism. Even the Holocaust is the Jews' own fault or that there was no Holocaust.

In publications of leftists and their anti-Israel allies, Jews everywhere are held responsible for the policies of the Israeli government. So what I get from that is, if you're Jewish, you're personally responsible for the Ariel Sharon. Don't respond to this commentary with diatribes and popular Israel bashing. This commentary is not about Israel. Not every criticism of Israel can be dismissed as anti-Semitic. However, just as it would be ridiculous for someone who hates Italy and believe it has no right to exist to deny being anti-Italian, it makes no sense for those who feel that way about the Jewish state to claim they are not anti-Jewish. As was been pointed out by Martin Luther King in 1967, the distinction between Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism in meaningless.

Since anti-Semitism always diverts people's attention from the true causes of injustice, an active opposition to anti-Semitism is critical to the success of any movement for justice and peace, in Palestine or anywhere else. Such a movement must stand as squarely against the alarming rise of Islamo-fascist terrorism and anti-Semitism. Where are the enlightened progressive activists who will even utter the word "anti-Semitism" on their lists of political grievances and "social justice causes?"

I'm not scared, I'm angry. I'm angry that this senseless garbage is taking us back to the dark ages of hatred and ignorance! It's always been there, but now it is being used to gain sympathy and promote ideologies, like the fantasies of globalism and imperialism. Those who have trouble taking responsibility away from their own political faults and economic difficulties find Jews an easy scapegoat. In these troubled times, those who harbor these sentiments had best look at themselves.

Dan Lenard, "Looking Outside the Box," is a monthly feature of WBFO News.