From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With Gratitude /4/22

By Shelley Hubal

It started with Donald Trump posting on his social media platform Truth Social that “Jews have to get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel – Before it’s too late!” I don’t care what your politics are or what his intent was, those are threatening words. Then Kanye West vowed on Twitter to “go death con 3 on Jewish people.” Emboldened by all the rhetoric, neo-Nazis then shared a “Kanye was right about the Jews” message publicly in Los Angeles and Florida. 

Hate is feeding off hate. A tap has opened a venomous cavity of our society and out of it has spewed a toxic evil. Hatred, oppression and violence against any group of people should be condemned, period. There is no other stance to take.

So, how come this makes me feel afraid and vulnerable? I am afraid of the potential violence that I could attract by just mentioning Neo-Nazis. By even mentioning Trump, will I get the ire of community members who are conservative? How about those that lean far to the left complaining that my words are not harsh enough? Why do I need to even worry about this when our global Jewish community is under attack?

This makes me feel vulnerable. I want to be clear, though: I don’t hate Donald Trump. I don’t hate Kanye West, or even the people that are sowing the seeds of antisemitism. What makes me angry, however, is their actions. I am incensed that there are platforms that give them a voice. Our children are growing up in a world where toxicity is rampant and guns designed to be used in war are readily available: this causes me incalculable pain. The list goes on and I own every awful feeling, but I refuse to hate. Hate only hurts the person holding it.

I don’t have the answers to the problems our society is facing today. What I am grateful for, however, is that there are groups like the Anti-Defamation League that work every day to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and fight for a just society for all. On November 10, the ADL is sponsoring a summit on antisemitism and hate in New York City. There are both in-person and virtual opportunities to participate in this event that will feature world-class speakers. Go to www.ADL.org to learn more and donate to support the ADL’s efforts. Now, more than ever, it is important that we all join together in speaking out against hate and work toward a safer, more tolerant society.