Elan Carr: Antisemitism is global problem that requires global solution

“The eggshell walking has to end and we have to fight the inclination to nuance antisemitism."

People attend a march in New York against antisemitism wearing yellow stars which read never again, January 5, 2020.  (photo credit: JFNA)
People attend a march in New York against antisemitism wearing yellow stars which read never again, January 5, 2020.
(photo credit: JFNA)
“It’s very important we call antisemitism by its name,” said Elan Carr, United States special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, this week at a talk in New York City. Carr said “the remedy for antisemitism isn’t censorship because often it is protected speech. The remedy is condemnation.
“The eggshell walking has to end and we have to fight the inclination to nuance antisemitism,” he stressed.
Carr was speaking at an event at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue, organized by the UJA-Federation of New York, in the aftermath of a series of violent and deadly attacks in the area. A December 10 shooting at a Jersey City kosher supermarket left several dead and a machete attack over Hanukkah left an elderly, ultra-Orthodox man in critical condition.
The event was packed with 600 people.
“To get this many people to come out and hear this message shows there is a commitment within the Jewish people to stand together and show up to fight antisemitism,” Mark Medin, executive vice president of the Federation, told The Jerusalem Post.
It also shows that “the post-Holocaust honeymoon that the Jewish community around the world has enjoyed is over,” said David Moore, chair of the board of the Federation.
This is especially true on college campuses.
Thornhill Tokatlilar, managing director of Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University, called antisemitism on campus “jarring” for her students.
“The unprecedented number of incidents we’ve faced over the past few weeks is alarming,” she said, adding, “more public displays of Jewish pride is how we’re going to stand up to recent events. We’re not going to encourage students to hide their Magen David necklaces or take off their yarmulkes. No, we’re going to stand up and encourage them to be more Jewish, prouder of their identity and to do it with Jews all over the world. My students do not want antisemitism to be the defining marker of their Jewish identity. They are committed to fighting it but they absolutely don’t want it to be the defining marker. We’re working with them on that and I’m inspired by them every day.”
Carr noted that antisemitism is a “global problem that requires nothing less than a global solution.”
He said antisemitism is coming from all sides.
“We’re seeing it rise from the ethnic supremacist far-right. We’re seeing a rise from the far-left, the radical anti-Zionists,” he continued. “And we’re seeing antisemitism rise from militant Islam.”
During the evening, the question was raised: “What is the difference on a college campus when a student chants, ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ versus ‘Jews will not replace us?’ Is there a difference and why is one acceptable? Why do we have Jewish kids on campuses chanting this?”
Tokatlilar responded she does not believe there is a difference and her students would likely not either.
“Any college campus is going to be concerned with the First Amendment, but now because of the executive order, we do have some language at our disposal to enforce things in a different way,” she said.



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