Saturday, April 18, 2015

Rockland's rising tensions and anti-Semitism 

Let's be clear off the top: It is not O.K. to denigrate Rockland County's Hasidic and other Orthodox Jewish communities because of frustrations over ongoing political and social conflicts.

No matter the tensions, it's wrong to belittle observant Jews (or anyone) for their way of life, their appearance or their family structure. It is not acceptable to broad-brush them as deceitful, conniving, corrupt or worse, or to loosely refer to Jews or Jewishness in connection with questionable behavior or tactics.

It's 2015. Everyone should know that these things are wrong. And almost everyone does.

Denial of anti-Semitism's existence feigns ignorance. Worldwide, nasty hatred still lurks. Locally, vandalism, like that found last week in Upper Nyack, can still strike an anti-Semitic chord.

But blaming all tensions on deep-seated religious and cultural hate eschews the complexities of co-existence in Rockland's diverse communities, which struggle with limited resources.


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