Responding to Recent Incidents of Antisemitic Rhetoric

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The past few weeks have also seen the unsettling incidents of figures in popular culture recklessly using their massive platforms to lift up reckless antisemitic ideas.

We were encouraged by reflections from our colleague Rabbi Sharon Brous on Kanye West, followed by the flying of a banner over the LA Freeway stating that “Kanye is right about the Jews.”

In her message, Rabbi Brous reflects on the dangers of antisemitic rhetoric, both for Jews and for our country, and how we might respond to it.

There is nothing more dangerous than antisemitism condoned and ultimately promulgated by the most powerful people in our nation. And even still, it’s patently clear that any manifestation of antisemitism, regardless of its ideological underpinnings, is a toxin that threatens to poison the whole system.

What are we to do now? The only way the discourse changes is if we change it. We must remember that antisemitism… is integral to the architecture of American racism. There is no way to eradicate anti-Black racism while giving a quiet pass to antisemitism, and vice versa.

Rabbi Erez Sherman made the rounds to educate sports fans about the dangers of the New Jersey Nets’ Kyrie Irving tweeting about a film that promotes antisemitic conspiracy theories. His words are powerful and I encourage you to watch and share these clips. Here he is talking to ESPN’s NBA Today, and here he is in a conversation with Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson, recording for their podcast, The Steam Room.