Meeting The Challenge of Anti-Semitism

When I speak about anti-Semitism there are three themes I always emphasize:


To comprehend the difficulty we face in confronting anti-Semitism in the second decade of the 21st century, it’s useful to think about historical analogies. The successful campaign to free Soviet Jewry took over 30 years. Yet, as difficult as it was to fight Soviet anti-Semitism, today’s challenge is much more complex. It requires us to tackle the multiple forms of modern anti-Semitism and to carry on the fight in dozens of countries.  

Anti-Semitism is not a Jewish Problem

To combat anti-Semitism in our time, it will take more than the combined efforts of governments and Jewish communities. Anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem. It is a much larger human rights problem. Without the active engagement of civil society — religious, business, non-profit leadership and others — we can never hope to tamp down this virulent evil.

We can’t eliminate Anti-Semitism

Finally, we need to acknowledge that we will not eliminate anti-Semitism in our lifetime. This form of hate is at least 2,000 years old and it will survive for many centuries to come. However, if we can’t eliminate this virus, we can control and minimize its damage — and that goal is doable and critical to the survival of pluralistic democracies. The following video clips illustrate these themes.