The Paw Print

Desensitization of anti-Semitism is sickening

Staff Editorial

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The most recent example of Anti-Semitic acts in our country dates back just over a month ago, where 11 innocent civilians lost their lives in a Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. The domestic terrorist, Robert Bower, was responsible for not only taking the innocent lives of these people, but was also a repetitive Anti-Semitic behavior rising throughout the United States. Sadly, this has been the grueling reality since 2016, where Anti-Semitic behavior has increased since.
According to the Jerusalem Post, a broadsheet newspaper founded in 1932, the organization the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) identified a 34 percent increase in Anti-Semitic incidents from 2015-16. In a year span, it was reported by ADL that Anti-Semitic incidents increased to 57 percent in 2017 in the United States.
With the sudden spike of Anti-Semitic influence, it was taken upon congress to reinforce the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016, introduced in early December of that year. In article 7, it is stated that Anti-Semitism remains a persistent and terrifying problem in elementary and secondary schooling, even on college campuses as well.
Basically, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016 has done nothing to put an end to this disapproving behavior. It is still putting people of specific religions at risk of being targeted. This act does not protect them in any way what-so-ever, due to act VI not prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion. When children are in school, even when the hostile environment is neutralized, children will still be affected by the Anti-Semitic behavior, especially if it’s most prevalent in elementary and secondary schooling.
It is also revealed in articles IX and X that Jewish children and young adults were harassed to the point where they couldn’t partake in services or activities that the school offered, which was stated by Congress in the act itself.
What followed was a letter from The 2010 Dear Colleague letter, which cautioned schools they must take the necessary steps to end the harassment, eliminate any hostile environment, and its effects, and prevent the harassment from recurring. Article VI does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, discrimination against Jews, Muslims, Sikh’s and members of other groups. Title VI is violated when discrimination takes place upon on actual groups or perceived groups’ shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics.
According to the The New York Post, a man was arrested for taking the wigs off Orthodox Jewish women. Though, Orthodox Jewish women wear wigs as a sign of modesty, the wigs are also a symbol of blessing.
The rise in Anti-Semitic activities has also made itself prevalent in K12 schools. According to NPR (National Public Radio), reported a 90 percent spike in Anti-Semitic behavior in the classroom. Having swastikas etched into lockers or being drawn inside a locker room, having swastikas being painted around Jewish community centers, and even having students being cyber bullied for their faith has been a prevalent issue in the public sphere of school.
According to a New York Times infographic, there was a range between 751 incidents to 1352 incidents depicting Anti-Semitic incidents during 2008-2016. This specific area marks when former President Barack Obama was in office. Within two years, Anti-Semitic activity increased 57 percent while having 1986 incidents reported, the same year President Donald Trump took office.
In an interview with The New York Times, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, Chief Executive of the ADL pointed out the three trends he noticed while pouring through these reported Anti-Semitic behavior.
“The increasingly divisive state of American politics, the emboldening of extremists, and the effects of social media,” said Greenblatt.
The ADL reported that for the first time in 10 years, Anti-Semitic incidents were reported in all 50 states, with K-12 schools unusually having the majority of those reports.
“From 2016 to 2017, the number of established neo-Nazi groups increased from 99 to 121 (SPLC, 2018); twice as many hate-motivated murders were committed by white supremacists (Baynes, 2018); and there was a 258% increase in the number of white supremacist propaganda incidents on college campuses (ADL, 2018,)” reported ADL.
Although America isn’t defined by this recent surge of Anti-Semitic activity, we are still at the borderline of normalizing Anti-Semitism in America. It is healthy to be a nation who is politically diverse once it comes to political opinion, and it’s okay to be to a nation that comes from thousands of different backgrounds. But, when our own citizens of our country start turning on each other because of their ethnicity, race, or religion, it is time to start enforcing new laws to prohibit this such action.

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Juve Angulo

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The student news site of Plainfield South High School
Desensitization of anti-Semitism is sickening