White House addresses antisemetism


“White House” by frank1030 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

On December 7, 2022, the White House held a roundtable discussion with Jewish leaders to discuss the rise in antisemitism. According to the Anti-Defamation League, who has been tracking antisemetic incidents since 1979, incidents reached an all-time high in 2021.

With large pop-culture figures such as Kanye West making blatantly pro-Nazi remarks, even going so far as to say he likes Hitler and the Holocaust is “not what happened,” in a recent interview with Alex Jones, it may have prompted the White House to address this problem. “[Kanye] praising Hitler is just outrageous,” junior Rae Merrin said. Comments such as Kanye’s are absolutely not the only instances of rising anti-semetism, but the remarks made by such a public figure does shed light on the presence of less public horrors that Jewish Americans face on a daily basis. “Attacks against Jewish institutions, including Jewish community centers (JCCs) and synagogues, were up by 61 percent, incidents at K-12 schools increased 106 percent, and incidents on college campuses rose 21 percent,” the ADL said.

This is not just a problem in a few states. Antisemetic behavior and hate crimes are nation-wide. “Incidents were reported in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. The states with the highest number of incidents were New York (416), New Jersey (370), California (367), Florida (190), Michigan (112) and Texas (112). Combined, these states accounted for 58 percent of the total incidents,” ADL reported.

Jewish people in the United States are at a higher risk of being hate-crimed than other minority populations in the states.

“A Jewish person is approximately twice as likely to suffer a hate crime than a black person or a Muslim, 10 times more likely than an Asian or a Latino and 20 times more likely than a non-Hispanic white,” the Jewish News Syndicate reported.

In 2022, there have been 1513 incidents of anti-semitism (as of December 5) according to ADL’s tracker. In Ohio alone, there have been 34 that included incidents such as graffiti involving anti-semetic and anti-black imagery, multiple swastikas being found spray painted on things, distribution of anti-semetic propaganda by a group called the Goyim Defence League, and more.

One instance reported to ADL, although from 2020, included remarks such as “No wonder Hitler burned all your people, I’m going to burn you and all your people, I’m going to burn you and all your Jewish friends,” made to a Jewish couple by a neighbor.

Being Jewish is not just a choice of religion, as some people are culturally Jewish while not practicing the religion. They are considered people of color just as much as someone who is Black or Hispanic is. It is beyond important for them to be advocated for and heard in the same manner that other people of color are advocated for.