Letters to the Editor

New religious wars evoke shock, anguish

Regarding “Tucsonans of many faiths join in prayers for Mideast peace at Temple Emanu-El” (AJP, 8/15/14), I read with attention this important article, and Oshrat Barel’s feelings of empathy and compassion toward all victims, and her statement about “blind hatred.” I wrote the following:

Anguish. I just feel anguish.
Israeli citizens and children rushing to shelters;
My 87-year old mother hiding behind the stairs in her house in south Israel.
The destruction in Gaza; children rushed to the hospital.
The virulently anti-Israel demonstrations around the world, with anti-Semitic slurs.
The new acceptable anti-Semitism: hide hatred of Jews behind a facade of anti-Zionism or hatred of the State of Israel.
Waves of anti-Semitic attacks and incitement in Europe;
Anti-Semitic violence and incitement across the continent;
Dozens of men at an anti-Israel demonstration in Antwerp shouting slogans about slaughtering Jews.
Rallies with flags of the ISIS terrorist group and calls to slaughter the Jews.
Christians joining Muslims chanting “death to the Jews” in Arabic and French.
French village dismisses calls to change its name: “Death to the Jews.”
In London, a vandal spray-paints a large blue swastika on a home “Hitler gassed them! Thank you Hitler!”
Attacks against people of Jewish beliefs and against synagogues;
Spray-painted hate statements on a building under construction in Brooklyn;
Hate speech against Jews, menacing statements about Jews.
Anti-Semitic agitation.
“Islamic State’s atrocities … 500 Iraqi Yazidis buried alive … women and children.”
No one is protesting.
And, I wonder in anguish, anti-Semitism after the Shoah? Religious wars in our time?
I still feel anguish.
— Edith Shaked Wiesel,
Holocaust educator and board member of H-Holocaust, an international
network of scholars and teachers