How to Fight Anti-Semitism

In Violence and Hate On

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In this, Pittsburgh gives me tremendous hope.

At first glance, what happened that terrible day was yet another pogrom. But unlike the countless pogroms in which the surrounding community stood by or abetted the attack, in my hometown, there was solidarity. As Wasi Mohamed, then the head of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, pointed out: “Negative rhetoric against the Jewish community is poison. You know, it’s poison for our democracy, it’s poison for our country, and it’s negative to everybody, not just that community.”

Their support, in other words, ­wasn’t a favor bestowed on us. Our neighbors understood that an attack on the Jewish community was an attack on them, too. That the entire community recited the mourner’s kaddish — and that The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran the words in Hebrew on the front page — was further evidence that what was being protected by our fellow Americans, wasn’t simply our right to exist. It was our right to lead unashamed, full Jewish lives. Which meant that they could do the same.

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Common Ground
We don’t need to search any further for common ground in our country. We have it.
We all want the same things – a safe, prosperous, free, democratic nation with opportunity for all. At the same time, we will all be harmed if our democracy, our free press, our Constitution and our core American values are threatened. We will all certainly be harmed if reckless behavior triggers any number of potential armed conflicts.

None of us know how this will all play out so let's make a deal. Let’s get up to speed on the issues, establish some facts, take action and watch what happens together . . .