1 Luglio 2006

“Confronting Anti-Semitism. Myths…Facts…” opuscolo dell’ Anti-Defamation League contro gli stereotipi antisemiti




After the big football game, you and your buddies go out for ice cream and fries at a local restaurant. The service is lousy (as usual), and when you finally get to working out the tip, someone suggests that you “be Jewish about it” and leave only a few pennies. Or maybe during a discussion about terrorism in your history class a fellow student talks about Jews being responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001. Were these just stupid jokes, hateful pranks, maybe ignorance, or was it real anti-Semitism that sparked the uncomfortable situations? When these types of incidents occur, many Jewish students wonder if any reaction is an overreaction. They are not sure if it is really worth it to say something. Sometimes they will even question whether they are reading too much into a comment that is simply “insensitive” or a “joke.” While there is no single solution for all situations, there are effective ways to respond to such comments. Recognizing that most of the acts are linked to stereotypes about Jews is an important first step. Many of the slurs, taunts, and insults that Jewish students encounter again and again are rooted in these myths. While it is a personal decision whether or not to take a stand  when you encounter insensitive behavior, it is always easier if you are armed with a set of facts that poke holes in anti-Semitic stereotypes. When you want to challenge these stereotypes, you will feel more confident if you know where the myths come from. Some people who toss these anti-Semitic stereotypes around truly do not realize how hurtful, and hateful, their words may be. Once you give people the facts, some may immediately admit that their ideas were ignorant. Others may take a while to come around. This guide provides some tools that you can use if you choose to confront anti-Semitic comments. Standing up against bias is not always easy, but you may come out of an unsettling situation feeling a lot better about what you can do.