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Daily Briefing: BEING WOKE AND ANTISEMITIC (April 1st, 2021)

Let My People Go: Passover and Slavery in Iraq:  Geoffrey Clarfield, Epoch Times, Mar. 28, 2021 — On March 28, Jews around the world will sit down and feast, some outside in balmy weather in Israel, California, and in the hotels of the Gulf Arab states that are now at peace with the Jewish State.

Woke Up: Cancel Culture Is A Form of Antisemitism:  Dr. Aaron T. Walter, ISGAP, Mar. 25, 2021

A new creed is being written that is as frightening in its absoluteness as it is deeply flawed in its non-originality of Jew-hatred.”

In the past couple of weeks, the cancel culture war took a darker turn. Several children’s books from Dr. Seuss and the authors of Curious George are the latest in a sophisticated version of 21st-century book burning. These authors have been determined to be racist within the context of cancel culture. However, the latest victims of liberal wokeness, wrapped within the current progressive critical race theory, hide a familiar foe: Antisemitism.

What is distressing is not that parents can no longer be ideologically trusted to do the right thing. Instead, an all-powerful cultural regime has interlocked activist groups with left-wing media and huge Silicon Valley companies like Amazon and eBay, supposedly independent entities, working together to block materials deemed out of step with the popular narrative. One irony here is that Theodor Seuss Geisel, the man known as Dr. Seuss, himself was a man of the Left, a progressive who opposed fascism and decried “red-baiting” in the 1950s. Another is that Margret and H. A. Rey, the creators of Curious George, were Jews who escaped from Nazi Germany. One must not conflate “racist” and “racial.” There is a difference here, and that difference is the element of hatred. Jews and Zionists have been conflated to mean the same and offer the same result. Hate. Antisemitism masked as wokeness.

Cancel Culture and the Jewish Experience: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,683, August 9, 2020

“For anyone familiar with the history of antisemitism, this letter suggests a very late awakening by the signatories. Jews have been the targets of cancel culture for centuries, long before anyone formulated the expression.”

In recent years the term “cancel culture” has become more and accepted in public debate. It means denying someone a platform on which to express his or her opinion, and often entails boycotts of people or companies because they have done or said something deemed objectionable. As Western societies grow increasingly polarized, this trend is likely to worsen.

The popularity of cancel culture led to a letter against it signed by more than 150 writers and intellectuals and published in Harper’s Magazine. The signatories are a varied group: they include philosopher Francis Fukuyama, anti-American academic and self-hating Jew Noam Chomsky, J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame, Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood, former leader of the Canadian liberal party Michael Ignatieff, and veteran feminist leader Gloria Steinem.

University of Toronto must act now to uproot antisemitism:  Michael Mostyn, Stuart Kamenetsky, and Howard Tenenbaum, Toronto Star, Feb. 2, 2021

“From the infamous attempt by a student union to limit access to kosher food on campus, to the use of official school funds for antisemitic conspiracy theorists as guest speakers, to the widespread harassment and hostility targeting Jewish students during the annual “Israel Apartheid Week” hatefest – the list goes on and on.”

A poisoned atmosphere of antisemitism has been allowed to fester for years at the University of Toronto. And it continues to roil campus life for Jewish students, faculty and staff.

It is beyond scandalous that a prestigious university officially committed to “diversity, inclusion, and respect” could have permitted antisemitism to become, by its own admission, a systemic form of racism on campus.

How Anti-Semitism Became a Staple of ‘Woke’ Activism on Campus:  Dion J. Pierre, National Association of Scholars, June 17, 2019

“Wokeness’ paranoia of whites is epistemically structured similarly to Jew hatred, priming black nationalists to articulate anti-Semitism as they would anti-whiteness.”

Recent events in higher education have led many to conclude that college campuses are hubs of anti-Semitism.

Stanford University student and resident assistant Hamzeh Daoud declared in July 2018 his intent to “physically fight Zionists on campus.” Oberlin College professor Joy Karega asserted in November 2016 that U.S. intelligence agencies conspired with Israel to commit the Charlie Hebdo massacre. In April 2018, professor Kwame Zulu Shabazz of Knox College tweeted that Jews are “pulling the strings for profit.” Stories like these make Victor Davis Hanson’s observation that “colleges are becoming the incubators of progressive hatred of Jews” ring true. Higher education is helping to make anti-Semitism respectable again.

For Further Reference:

Stop Ignoring Woke Anti-Semitism:  Irit Tratt, Algemeiner Dec. 23, 2020 –– An exhibition that is currently running at the Wiener Holocaust Library in London reveals that in every European country that fell under Nazi control, there were Jews who mobilized and formed underground resistance organizations while also participating in armed uprisings.

Canadian Jews remain most targeted for religious hate crimes, report finds:  JNS, Mar. 30, 2021 — Jews remained by far the most targeted religious group for hate crimes in Canada, according to the Canadian government’s annual survey of police-reported hate crimes.

After controversial Quebec headline about ‘8,000 Jews’ arriving at border, feds push back:  Selena Ross, CTV News, Mar. 26, 2021 — The federal government is pushing back on reporting by a Quebec news outlet that raised fears about Passover gatherings, while the province’s premier found his own way to respond to the story.

Charges against Nationalist Party Leader highlight growing prevalence of antisemitism: Jewish Human Rights Group:  Marc Smith, CTV News, Feb. 19, 2021 — A Jewish human rights group says that recent charges against nationalist party leader have highlighted the prevalence of anti-Semitism.

Confronting Antisemitism at the University of Toronto:  A Step Forward.  Report submitted to Dr. Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto:  Bnai Brith Canada, Feb. 2021

A new declaration aims to fight antisemitism without curtailing free speech:  Elissa Bemporad & Alon Confino & Derek Penslar, Forward, Mar. 25, 2021 — Antisemitism is on the rise, with powerful instigators behind it, but the struggle against it is at risk of being derailed by acrimonious divisions among Jews and others over its very meaning.

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