Antisemitism has no place in the United States

Uzi Darwiche/ Staff Writer

Why do they hate us? They hate without reason, without remorse, with no regard to father, mother, or children. Yet hate, has no justification, but the hatred of that which is evil. And certainly evil struck once more this past weekend and this time at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For those who may not be aware, on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, a lone gunman entered the Pittsburgh congregation and opened fire, killing 11 people and wounding four police officers.

This incident has quickly become the worst anti-semitic attacks in American history. Antisemitism is often called the world’s oldest form of racism. It is the hatred of Jews, the descendants of the Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the Children of Israel. I too have had my share of anti-semitic slurs and insults from ignorant people as I grew up. And though they are nothing compared to a physical massacre, it still leaves a wound in the soul.

Racism is stupid! How can you hate the variety and complexities of our human race? And yet humanity is a concept becoming harder to find in America these days. I was born and raised in sunny South Florida, where I played and went to school with kids of all races, colors, religions and diverse backgrounds.

I grew up with everyone from everywhere and never once thought it strange. That was of course, until my teenage years, when I was known throughout middle school and high school as, “The Jew.” I frequently ran in to people who never let me forget who and what I was.

And now years later, in the United States of America, my own country, I see racism rearing its ugly head like I have never seen in my lifetime. I see white people constantly persecuting black people, and Black people attacking White people. I see the immigration debate becoming a breeding ground of hatred towards the Latino community; and Asian-Americans being harassed and singled out. My own synagogue was recently vandalized with anti-semitic graffiti right here in South Florida.

For those of you who may think this tragedy does not affect you, allow me to share with you the words of Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor who lived in Germany during the rise of the Nazis.

“First they came for the Jews,

And I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists,

And I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists,

And I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for me,

And there was no one left to speak out for me.”

For now, I will let Niemoller’ words burn into your conscience, and remind us all of the words of Edmund Burke:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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