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Haddy the Hebrew: An alternative way to stop antisemitism

Between the Orthodox Union’s summit on antisemitism currently taking place in New York and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s announcement on Monday that an interagency group will be formed to “increase and better coordinate U.S. government efforts to counter antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms of bias and discrimination within the United States,” there seems to be no shortage of concern around the rise in antisemitism. The formation of the White House group, it should be noted, comes after a letter from over 100 lawmakers and advocates at the White House summit which called for fears about the rise in antisemitism to be addressed. 

While I admire the efforts of the White House, especially because they are bipartisan and action is being taken swiftly, I fear that they are not addressing the real problem. As we see a rise in antisemitic threats and attacks, it is important that we recognize that these are not isolated incidents. Antisemites have been emboldened by Kanye West, Kyrie Irving, Nick Fuentes and former president Donald Trump. This increase is not a random happenstance, but rather it has been inspired by public figures voicing their hatred for the Jewish people, or their conspiracies against them. To pretend otherwise would be to turn a blind eye to the true issue at hand. 

But what can truly be done about this? America is a champion of free speech, something that we all undoubtedly benefit from. So how can the true issues of famous people coming out in support of Hitler, or spouting Holocaust denialism, or voicing their conspiracies of a Jewish cabal be stopped?

It would be easy to say that it can’t be stopped. It would be easier to say that there is no way to know how to stop it. But Jews are a protected class, which should mean something. The typical route would be to invite the alleged antisemite to visit a Holocaust Museum, but with West’s famous retort to his invite, it is clear that an afternoon of education on where Jew-hatred can lead is not enough. Although education has long been thought of as the best way to combat antisemitism, it is clear that it can’t fix everything. 

I have an alternative solution to this. What if we just stopped listening to the antisemitic remarks? What if, instead of asking West and Irving to apologize, we just ignored them? What if we simply did not care what Fuentes and Trump talked about? I am not necessarily calling for a boycott, I’m just calling for less attention given to people who clearly get too much of it. If we, the collective “audience” for these things, just acted like we didn’t care or, even better, didn’t even hear about it, then these public figures would be left in the dust. Celebrities literally make money off of getting attention, even if what they say to get attention makes them lose brand deals. But if we just didn’t give them any, not only would they lose more money, they would also eventually shut up and move on to something else.

I am tired of seeing groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) or Jewish leaders beg for apologies from people who will never give them. Instead, I’d rather make them sorry by disregarding them entirely. It will make the message loud and clear and those carrying out attacks will no longer feel emboldened. It’s a solution which requires almost no energy on our part, and will have the largest impact. 

Hadass Galili is a senior studying political science pre-law at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Hadass by tweeting her at @HadassGalili.

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