As a nine year old girl, Mireille Knoll survived the most horrific, brutal genocide in history, the Holocaust, only to be murdered at the hands of individuals who hold the same despicable, hateful ideology as those who perpetrated the genocide nearly eighty years go. This killing sparked outrage across France and led to a silent march to honor the victim. Despite the fact that we have seen the horrors caused by hateful, racist ideology, these ideas are still rampant and haunt us to this day.
This rise of Anti-Semitism is not exclusive to France. Many other Western nations are seeing a sharp rise in Anti-Semitic rhetoric and hate crimes. Far-right parties who openly hold such views have been gaining tremendous support across Europe, and a recent study conducted by the Anti-Defamation League recorded a 57% increase in Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States last year. Upon hearing these troubling numbers, I was unable to comprehend how countries who claim to be the standard for progress have tolerated such an enormous spike in reprehensible ideologies.
Not only are these numbers alarming, but they should be a cause for great concern. We have seen various times in history how hatred towards a group of people can cause the justification of horrendous actions against that same group of people. This is why we must speak out against these detestable views and ideologies and not allow them to go unchecked.
We, the West, the so-called “trailblazers” of equality and justice have failed those in all of our various countries who simply choose to pray and worship differently than we do by allowing the growth of such hatred against them. We, the West, have forgotten the power that hatred has to justify crimes against those who simply look different than us. We, the West, have been ignorant to the sufferings of our Jewish peers and have allowed those who to seek to harm them to go unchecked. We, the West, have forgotten that to be silent in the face of this Anti-Semitism, is to give consent to this rise of Anti-Semitism.