Letter: anti-Semitism cannot be ignored
To the Editor:
This past month, the American Jewish community experienced a wave of anti-Semitic attacks in a variety of forms. On Feb. 21, Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, had nearly 200 gravestones desecrated and turned over. That same day, over a dozen bomb threats were made at Jewish community centers throughout the United States. For Jews, these are harmful reminders of prejudice in its worst form.
Whether it be through synagogues and temples, or Jewish summer camps and Jewish community centers, Jews everywhere have a rich history of being leaders in the community. It is for this reason that such acts of hate and anti-Semitism cut to the core of Jews throughout this country. When such acts of violence occur, it is incumbent upon Jews everywhere to take a stronger action than reaction. As the Student Alliance for Israel here at the University of Massachusetts, we believe it is our job not only to align ourselves with Zionism, but to encourage both Jews and non-Jews alike to learn, rethink and discover the beauty of equality and the power of culture. We pride ourselves on reaching out to communities beyond our own. In the face of such hatred, the Jews remain strong, and so too do UMass students. We keep going in an effort to break the hate.
SAFI has no tolerance for vicious acts of anti-Semitic fervor. Not only do we not tolerate it, we condemn it, whether it is in St. Louis, St. Paul, Florida or Philadelphia. The contagious complacency within the American public must stop; only then will the tombstones and tumult be fully repaired.
President of the Student Alliance for Israel