Jewish Journal

The masks are off: anti-Semitism across the world revealed its ugly self, and got out of hand

by Noga Gur-Arieh

August 19, 2014 | 8:33 am

A sign at a Turkish business in Belgium stating that Jews are not allowed, but dogs are. Image via Reuters

Shouts of "Jews to the gas!"; An article claiming that "Israel’s military operation in Gaza showed why Jews "have been so frequently expelled."; A sign reading, "Well done Israel, Hitler would be proud,"; Use of the anti-Semitic blood libel...

These are merely a few examples of how anti- Semitism made its way to pro-Palestinian rallies around the world. According to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), there has been a dramatic upsurge in violence and vitriol against Jews around the world, during and in relation to Israel’s recent military operation to stop Hamas’ terror in Gaza. This wave of anti-Semitism was called by many “the worst since the Nazis,” and it sure does seem that way.

During the past month, more and more people around the world let their inner anti-Semite demons out. Some were part of the New Anti-Semitism as they hid it behind an “outrage” towards Israel and its “inhumane” actions in Gaza. Others simply said it the way it is - in the old, classic form of anti-Semitism, including blood libels and signs hung above coffee shops, saying: “dogs are allowed, Jews are not.”

When confronted about anti-Semitism, the people standing behind those horrible and hateful sayings usually attacked back. They said that “anti-Semitism” is what Israelis scream out to the world so that they won’t need to face their terrible, “Nazi- like” actions in Gaza. They said that criticizing Israel and wanting to punish it for its actions is not anti-Semitic, but a fight against the “real terrorists.” Of course, those passionate “human rights activists” has nothing to say in their defense when being asked about the wrongdoing around the world that does not involve Israel, such as the massacre in Syria, ISIS horrors in Gaza and the countless deaths in Africa.

As long as international media continued to show only dead children in Gaza, it was hard to blame people for being mad at Israel. In a way, it was more convenient to believe that anti-Semitism crawled out of the shadows because of the way Israel was portrayed, and that it will go back to where it came from soon. There was a common feeling that this wave of anti-Semitism and hatred, which came out of people who, in part weren’t even aware of it, will calm down as soon as the truth will come out.

Then, the truth came out, sooner than we thought. The correspondents returned from Gaza, and revealed how Hamas threatened them to show only dead children, and not their violence against the people in Gaza, or their use of civilians as human shields. One by one, stories on missile launching from hospitals and schools, executions of “rebels” and life threats made at Christians to convert or die released for the public to see.

At that moment, blaming the wave of anti-Semitism on bigotry and denying the problem was no longer possible. From that moment on, many cities around the world, mostly in Europe, became dangerous for Jews. With every restaurant declaring “Jews and Zionists are not welcome,” with every swastika drawn on walls and windows, Europe went back in time, getting closer to the darkest period we know. Not only because of the haters, but because of the mass who listen to them, such as the people of Bradford, who were “doing as they were told” when George Galloway declared the city as an “Israel-free zone.”

If a month ago, it was hard to find the pure anti-Semitism among the calls for Israel to “stop the massacre in Gaza,” it is now getting harder and harder to find the latter between the purest form of anti-Semitism. After decades of it being a taboo, people are no longer ashamed to admit they hate the Jews. Will this storm soon blow over, or will this dark cloud hovering above our heads only grow bigger? It’s hard to determine, but we sure can help bring back the sun.

We must show we are aware of the problem and that we are not willing to make it a part of our life. We must show our selected governments that we are not willing to sit tight and “wait for the storm to pass,” because this method did not work eight decades ago. We must take a stand, and get our friends and family to take it with us. We must stand together and speak up. Together, united in our battle against anti-Semitism, we’ll wake up the world from a long-lasting coma and push hatred back in the shadows.

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My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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