February 8, 2022
At AJC Chicago’s 2022 Human Rights Medallion Award event, we were joined by Archie Gottesman, co-founder of JewBelong.com and a member of the Disrupt Antisemitism selection committee. During her remarks, Archie shared 5 key ways Jews and allies can combat antisemitism, as well as helpful phrases people can use when talking about Israel. Below are the resources Archie provided during the event:
Q: What can you do to fight antisemitism?
A: A lot!
Speak out! The current silence about antisemitism from Jews and non-Jews is deafening.
If your power is financial support, use it! Don’t support organizations (universities, museums, art institutions, climate control, women’s rights, LGBTQ+, etc.) if they are allowing anti-Zionism/antisemitism to flourish.
The same goes for political giving. Be aware of political bundling.
Support groups and influencers that are allies to the Jewish community and tell them why!
Spend time on social media and follow the enemy.
Read on for additional resources on understanding and combating antisemitism.
Q: But what about defending Israel? I'm not an expert on the Middle East.
A: Fear not - neither are the Israel haters. Here are some phrases you can say when the topic of Israel comes up, without feeling like you need to be an expert on the subject.
I am a Zionist because I stand for a safe and secure Israel. PERIOD! No, this doesn’t mean that I agree with all her policies, but that is a different conversation.
I stand for the rights of Israelis and Palestinians.
The Jewish people need Israel. Anyone with basic knowledge of history knows how quickly economic success and social privilege can disappear.
Holding Israel, the only Jewish state in the world, to different standards than other sovereign countries is antisemitic. So yes, in the vast majority of cases, being anti-Israel is indeed antisemitic.
In the US in 2020, 57% of religious hate crimes were targeted at Jews, who are only 2% of the population.
Additional Resources from AJC for Understanding and Combating Antisemitism
Antisemitism has been called the world’s oldest hatred. But what is it really, and what does it look like in modern society? It’s not always easy to see, which makes it easier to spread. As it moves quietly through our lives, it doesn’t just impact the Jewish people – it impacts the very fabric of our society. Click here to view AJC’s resource page on antisemitism, including what we use to define antisemitism and eleven examples to help give contemporary context.
In order to stop antisemitism, we must first understand it. AJC created Translate Hate, a glossary of antisemitic tropes, themes, and memes. Take the Translate Hate quiz to test your knowledge of antisemitism and learn how to report antisemitism when you see it.
To dive in further, click here to view 10 tough questions on antisemitism explained.