lmost 800 people will be participating in the Global Forum on anti-Semitism which opens this evening in Jerusalem. Sponsored by the Prime Ministers Office, this is by far the largest such gathering which has taken place in recent years. There is almost no Jewish community or institution which will not have a representative at the event. The government, along with some private Jewish sponsors has poured substantial resources into making the conference happen as the concern with growing anti-Semitism around the world has been pushed to the top of the global Jewish agenda.

Todays anti-Semitism is more complex than that of 30 years ago. In the past it was fairly easy to identify most of the worlds anti-Semitic groups as right-wing, racist organizations with quasi-fascist and anti-immigrant beliefs. Anti-Semitism was characterized by racial slurs, attacks on Jews making their way to and from synagogue and the desecration of graveyards. But in the decades immediately following the Holocaust, the protection afforded to Jewish communities by Western governments and police forces on the one hand, and on the other the escape hatch to Israel for those who desired to leave behind any form of discrimination, caused the problem to diminish significantly.

It never went away altogether, but there was an obvious global guilt at what had been perpetrated upon the Jews during World War II, coupled with a greater international awareness of human rights and the dignity of the individual, regardless of his or her ethnic or religious affiliations.

The past two decades have seen a growth of renewed anti-Semitic activity among groups which previously had not, at least openly, been involved in anti-Jewish polemic. This includes two contrasting groups parts of the intellectual Left who often fail to differentiate between criticism of Israel and criticism of Jews, and some Islamic groups, whose hatred and delegitimization of Israel has directly resulted in attacks on Jewish organizations, synagogues and students on university campuses.

But this does not mean that all criticism of Israel can be immediately understood as raw anti-Semitism in its broadest sense. There is no doubt that the borders between criticism of Israel and criticism of Jews have become harder to delineate, as the two merge into each other. Many groups critical of Israel have, by not enabling a proper debate to take place about Israels policies, opened the back door for the worlds anti-Semites to walk in, despite their arguments to the contrary that they themselves are not anti-Semitic and that they stand up for the rights of all minorities. They only have themselves to blame if they have not done enough to ensure a balanced debate about Israel and its automatic association with Jews everywhere.

THERE IS nothing like the cry of anti-Semitism to bring so many community machers together. For many, It has always been easier to identify with each other through the lowest common denominator, namely threat and persecution, than it has been to bring such a diverse and large group of Jews together around positive values of culture and education.

The last time there was such a collective Jewish effort focused on a single cause was the struggle for Soviet Jewry during the 1970s and 1980s. This was a cause ostensibly led by the Diaspora communities, especially in Europe, although Israel and the Jewish Agency were very active behind the scenes. But they did not want the struggle to be seen as an Israeli campaign, as that would be (and in some cases was) interpreted by the Soviets as being akin to espionage on the part of the refuseniks, enabling the authorities to take even stronger measures than they already were.

The struggle on behalf of Soviet Jewry became a global Jewish industry, much in the same way that the contemporary fight against anti-Semitism has become a must for anyone, especially community leaders, who desires to prove their worth and loyalty. But the Soviet Jewry campaign was not manipulated in the same way that the present anti-Semitism campaign is used, on some occasions, to blur the lines between legitimate criticism of Israel by many groups who do not see themselves as being anti-Jewish, and outright anti-Semitism. The use of the anti-Semitism argument has become a sort of knee-jerk reaction whenever any criticism of Israel is heard and can be self-defeating when it then totally alienates those groups with whom it is possible to engage and dialogue.

This weeks impressive conference has defined the enemy in advance. There will not be any serious internal debate about the fine line to be drawn between crude anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel. Statistics which document the worrying rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents throughout the world, especially in Western Europe and North America, will be presented, groups critical of Israel (including left-wing groups who will be labeled as self hating Jews in an effort to delegitimize and exclude them from the debate altogether) will be castigated, BDS and boycott activities will be defined as anti-Semitic, and no doubt here will be calls from some high-level Israeli participants who have little or no understanding of the Diaspora for Jews everywhere to immediately get up and leave their homes and come to the only safe haven for the Jewish people the State of Israel before the onset of the next Holocaust.

Fundraising to combat anti-Semitic activities will be made a priority and there will be the opportunity to create new organizations and networks of Jewish leaders, supported by the Jewish Agency and partly funded by the Israeli government, to undertake a combination of security and hasbarah, or public diplomacy, activities.

Read more here:
An alternative perspective on global anti-Semitism …


Religions of the world Menu:

Judaism is an Abrahamic religion — a faith which recognizes Abraham as a Patriarch. Others include Christianity Islam, and the Baha’i Faith. Although Jews comprise only about 0.2% of the human race, Jewish influence on the world has been vast — far more than their numbers would indicate.

Sponsored link.

Visit link:

JUDAISM – Religious Tolerance: Judaism


The Blasphemy We Need By ROSS DOUTHAT On Charlie Hebdo, and why offenses that provoke violence are the ones most worth defending. Abraham H. Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League writes that common anti-Semitic stereotypes are surprisingly resilient in Belgium, France, Germany and Italy

Read more:

Anti-Defamation League News – The New York Times


BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The president of the World Jewish Congress said Sunday he was concerned about the increasing popularity of Hungary's far-right Jobbik party, particularly among young voters.

Read the original here:
Jewish leader says worried about Hungary's far-right

Written on April 12th, 2015 & filed under jewish Tags: , , , , , , , ,

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — It was World War II, Warsaw was under German occupation, and the wife of the director of the Warsaw zoo spotted Nazis approaching the white stucco villa that she and her family inhabited on the zoo grounds.

See the original post:
Exhibition honors Polish couple who saved Jews at Warsaw zoo

Written on April 11th, 2015 & filed under Jews Tags: , , , , , , , ,

(MENAFN – The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) The public health situation in the war-battered Gaza Strip is “disastrous” and continues to deteriorate due to Israel’s years-long blockade of the territory and the ongoing closure of its border crossings, a Palestinian NGO said Tuesday. “As the world marks World Health Day, the healthcare and food safety situations in Gaza continue to deteriorate, with patients unable to receive proper treatment and nutrition,” the Ensan Center for Human Rights and Democracy said in a statement

Read the original post:

Gaza public heath situation 'disastrous': Palestinian NGO

Written on April 9th, 2015 & filed under Gaza Strip Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Éva Paula Nathanson was too young to remember all of the horrific details of World War II and the Holocaust. Some of the details were hidden from her for years. Click to Continue »

More here:
Jewish woman who spent WWII in hiding to speak in SLO

Written on April 5th, 2015 & filed under jewish Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Long before selfies, smartphones and Instagram, photographer Richard Avedon, who is Jewish, was taking famous portraits. He was named one of the 10 best photographers in the world.

Read the original:

One-of-a-kind exhibit at National Museum of American Jewish History

Written on April 3rd, 2015 & filed under Jewish History Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Passover holiday is a time for Jewish people around the world to come together, feast and drink. The eight-day festival, which begins Friday and goes through April 11, commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt as recalled in the Book of Exodus.

Read the original:
Passover 2015 Quotes: 15 Inspirational Sayings And Bible Verses To Share For The Jewish Holiday

Written on April 3rd, 2015 & filed under jewish Tags: , , , , , , , ,

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — For many American Jews, Manischewitz wine is as much as part of Passover as the four questions and matzoh ball soup.

See the original post here:
11 Best Kosher Wines and Spirits to Drink on Passover Not Named Manischewitz