Anti-Semitism in 2022 and a Future Holocaust

Jewish people afraid to self-identify in public. Jews are attacked while walking to school. Jews are murdered while peacefully worshipping in a synagogue. These aren’t events of the distant past to be read about in history books, but horrors that are currently taking place at an alarming rate in the United States and around the world. 

Anti-Semitism is on the Rise

2021 saw a totality of anti-Semitism and violence against Jews not seen in the post-World War II era. According to a new study from the University of Tel Aviv, in 2021 alone: 

  • France saw an astonishing 74% increase in anti-Semitic incidents
  • Los Angeles had a nearly 50% increase 
  • Canada had a 54% increase 
  • The Anti-Defamation League said 2021 saw the highest levels of anti-Semitic attacks since they started tracking them in the 1970s.  

These are not isolated incidents that can be explained away through some combination of ignorance or economic insecurity. This is the direct result of a concerted campaign of extremist and violent rhetoric from people who occupy positions of awesome power and fame.

Do nothing more than turn on the news and you will be overwhelmed by the nature and scale of this problem. Anti-Semitism makes strange bedfellows – whether it be politicians, hip-hop stars, famous comedians or the star point guard on a NBA roster, the problem is not only obvious, but inescapable. This most recent wave of aggression toward the Jewish people evokes terrors of the past, and begs obvious questions: how did we get here, where does this lead and what can we do?

A Lack of Knowledge – and a Lack of Intelligent Dialogue

This rising tide is due, in no small part, to a stunning lack of knowledge concerning previous episodes of violent antisemitism, specifically the most extreme form of antisemitism – the Holocaust. Coupling that lack of education with an outright denial of those facts by loud voices that are increasingly being given larger platforms to spew their hatred and dangerous views, and we are creating the perfect conditions for society to make the same mistakes of the past and recycle a tragedy we long thought had been reckoned with. 

Jewish people who seek to argue with anti-Semites often fall into the trap of upholding the anti-Semites views; if one seeks to shut down the hatred, it can be seen as proof of a larger conspiracy to silence critics who seek to ask questions; but letting anti-Semitism go unchallenged is to let it spread, thus the anti-Semite wins and the Jews lose. To counteract this seemingly unbreakable feedback loop of ignorance is no small task – but it is an essential one we must all undertake. 

That is why the IHRE’s mission is critical to lay the foundation of knowledge about the Holocaust for future generations. It is imperative that we provide the facts, not only to counteract false and hateful narratives, but to uphold truth. People are not born with prejudice; people acquire it by being deprived of enlightenment and a lack of historical literacy. 

The goal of this organization must and will be to provide a platform of facts, detailing events that will inspire human dignity, broaden inclusiveness and reject dogmatic enmity. If you have ever said to yourself “never again,” it’s time to think, “What can I do to make this world a better place and what is my own moral responsibility?” And then, with the help of the IRHE, it’s time to start doing it.