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The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

A global rise in Antisemitism: A Jewish student’s perspective

Courtesy of Creative Commons
Image shows protests against the hate and the rise in Anti-semitism

I’ve never considered myself an activist. I never felt I needed to be since nothing ever affected me. Selfish, yes, but it’s just the mindset I have always had. Not to say I don’t support any causes, I just do it quietly. Now, I get it. 

I am Jewish. I’m not super religious, but I identify with Judaism and try to at least do the bare minimum. I fast on Yom Kippur, I participate in the Passover Seder, and I take pride in being Jewish. I am also a big hip-hop fan. My favorite rapper was Kanye West. I loved, and honestly, still love his music. However, listening to it isn’t the same anymore. It hurts to see one of your favorite celebrities repeatedly attack your religion. He got a lot of backlash, but unfortunately, he also got a lot of support.

On October 24th, a banner was hung over a Los Angeles freeway that read “Kanye was right about the Jews.” The group who hung the banner also was giving Nazi salutes. People like this live all around the world, but now they feel validated in their opinions because a big celebrity shares the same views. That is extremely dangerous.

Just a few days later, NBA star Kyrie Irving posted a link on Twitter to a film that promoted Anti-Semetic rhetorics, such as the Holocaust being fake. Irving would not condemn the messages in the movie, but would take the post down and was later suspended by his team, the Brooklyn Nets, and has since apologized.

On November 4th, the FBI identified a threat made against “an unspecified New Jersey area synagogue.” Their Newark Field office stated they had “received a credible threat to synagogues in NJ.” Not a single synagogue, which would have been bad enough, but “synagogues in NJ”, a very broad statement that is very alarming.

Anti-Semitism and hate speech are obviously nothing new. These threats are nothing new. I’ve almost become desensitized to them. Every Jewish holiday, I feel like I hear about some sort of threat made towards Jewish people. 

Ari Rosen ‘25, a Jewish student at Bernards, said, “as a Jewish person in a town where the Jewish population is small, I feel any form of discrimination is disgusting and unacceptable. People need to realize what comes out of their mouths’ can be damaging.”

That is what the big problem is. People do not realize that their words can cause damage. Kanye has repeatedly doubled down on his Anti-Semetic remarks, and every time there are people there to defend him. He is a celebrity with a big following and a lot of power, and even though he has lost a lot of money and endorsements, he still has millions of people who follow him and support him. More people follow him on Instagram than there are Jews in the world (18.4 million to 14.8 million). 

I see even more people defending Kyrie. The argument I see the most is how Amazon still sells the movie he posted, therefore he should not be at fault. While true, he is still a celebrity with a major social media following, and it is irresponsible to post a film that promotes falsehoods seen in the film. 

This was not me saying Anti-Semitism is the only hate. However, I recognize when it is unsafe for people like me, and realize something has to be done. There is hate in all forms all around the world, and none of it is justified or okay. It is everyone’s job to support each other and ensure this hate comes to an end.

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  • C

    Chris SwimNov 23, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    So beautifully said, thought, and written. Bless you.

  • E

    E.J. GrodskyNov 23, 2022 at 11:46 am

    This article is outstanding. Written from a Jewish perspective one can really understand the impact of antisemitism. It was beautifully written and well thought out