Fighting Jew-hatred requires recognising its persistent appeal:
Recently a well-educated, accomplished man, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company – one of America’s most successful corporate entities – attended a seminar I gave on antisemitism. After my presentation, he raised his hand and, with a perplexed tone in his voice, observed: “Jews are so smart, so accomplished… How is it that they have not been able to solve this problem of antisemitism?”
I told him that his question, sincere as it certainly was, was aimed in the wrong direction. He should not be asking the victim of racial prejudice to solve that problem. He should be asking the perpetrator.
On Jan. 5, at the rally and march against antisemitism held in New York, I found myself walking next to a woman who carried a sign: “This Catholic Hates Antisemitism.” When I thanked her for being there, she responded: “It’s more our problem than yours.”
The purveyors of this hate and hostility should be the ones who bear the onus of having to resolve the issue. It is the rapist and not the person who has been raped who should have to supply the solution. Suffice it to say, antisemitism is a problem for all of us.
There is no easy solution to prejudice because it is an irrational sentiment. Prejudice: the etymology of the word itself is testimony to its irrationality: to pre-judge, to decide what a person’s qualities are long before meeting the person him or herself.
To put it more colloquially, the purveyor of prejudice encounters the stereotype even when the actual person is still 500 metres away. In other words, stereotypes exist independently of an individual’s actions.
Jewish News 7 February 2020
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Produced by The Schtik (https://www.theshtick.tv/)
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