OpinionBoycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS)

Anti-Semitism 101

There is a war being waged for the minds and souls of youth in America and around the world; the way to win it is through education.

A blatantly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic cartoon by artist Carlos Latuff. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
A blatantly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic cartoon by artist Carlos Latuff. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
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Joseph Frager
Dr. Joseph Frager is a lifelong activist and physician. He is chairman of Israel advocacy for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, chairman of the executive committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim and executive vice president of the Israel Heritage Foundation.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton was wont to point out that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was just a continuation of the U.N. resolution equating Zionism with racism.

One of Bolton’s greatest achievements was striking down that despicable and blatantly anti-Semitic canard, which had lasted 19 years before Bolton came to town. We are still waiting for the day that the BDS movement is finally laid to rest.

I know that Bolton and U.S. President Donald Trump are doing everything they can to make that happen. Unfortunately, there are universities and colleges, like Swarthmore College, that keep propping it up. In March, Swarthmore College student leaders voted to support the BDS movement. A pro-BDS dean was almost chosen at Dartmouth.

The New York Times then made matters worse by publishing a cartoon portraying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog wearing a Star of David on a collar, leading Trump, drawn as a blind man wearing a skullcap. In a subsequent editorial, presumably written by Bret Stephens, the Times criticized itself, saying, “the Times published an appalling political cartoon in the opinion pages of its international print edition.”

The editorial went on to say that “the appearance of such an obviously bigoted cartoon in a mainstream publication is evidence of a profound danger—not only of anti-Semitism but of numbness to its creep, to the insidious way this ancient, enduring prejudice is once again working itself into public view and common conversation.”

Bravo Bret Stephens. You nailed it. Of course, the Times has a history of anti-Israel bias, so the publication of this despicable anti-Israel and anti-Semitic cartoon came as no surprise to the pro-Israel camp.

Anti-Semitism has again reared its ugly head. It is up to responsible human beings to rein it in before it is too late.

The best way to do that is through education. Unfortunately, during the Obama years, America’s textbooks, its instruction manuals and curricula were poisoned by anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-Judeo-Christian, and outright anti-American sentiments and ideas.

I must credit Laurie Cardoza Moore for doing more on this subject than anyone. She has stated that the textbooks present “distorted, unbalanced, and prejudicial content disguised as a form of academic inquiry.” Laurie was contacted by a parent about a deceptive quote that equated Palestinian terrorism with Israeli government actions. A complaint was filed, but it was ignored.

Other examples are numerous—and profoundly dangerous. K12 (a for-profit education company that sells online schooling and curricula) history and social-studies instructional materials appear to have been published by a Muslim Brotherhood front group. The president would do well to label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. This would end much of the propaganda the Muslim Brotherhood has infused into not only textbooks but throughout college campuses.

There is a war being waged for the minds and souls of our youth in America and around the world. In order to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias, the first place to begin is educating our youth properly. Anti-Semitism 101 is a necessity if we are to prevent history tragically repeating itself.

Dr. Joseph Frager is first vice president of the National Council of Young Israel.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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