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Op-Ed: We Can Win the Battle Against Anti-Semitism

By: Tziyona Gheblikian (11th Grade)

On May 8th, 1945, the Holocaust finally came to an end. Survivors thought that they were free, safe, and that the terror had ended. They hoped for a brighter future, where they wouldn’t be persecuted solely due to their Jewish identity. But 75 years later, that brighter future is in jeopardy.

In recent years anti-semitism has been rising rapidly. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recorded 1,879 anti-Semetic incidents in the United States alone in 2018. Following were many more anti-Semetic related incidents. Just six days ago, tragedy struck in Monsey, New York. In the midst of a Chanukah celebration held at a local Rabbi’s home, there was a stabbing attack. Five people were hospitalized for their stab wounds, two of which are in critical condition. Like us all, the victims were celebrating the “Festival of Lights” together, but their celebrations took a horrific turn when it was disrupted by an act of hate. We are all lucky, as that truthfully could have been any of us.

I am disgusted on a daily basis to hear about anti-Semetic incidents. We hear about these crimes so frequently that they may not even faze us anymore. It may be difficult to process anti-Semitism as an imminent threat to us here in Miami, as we thankfully are not exposed to it as much as in other places like New York. But the reality is that it can happen to anyone at any time, and we cannot continue to trap ourselves in oblivion.

Battling anti-Semitism is something that we have been doing for centuries. It’s about time that we eliminate it entirely. The question we now face is how we can possibly end something that has impeded us for so long. Does this generation have the power to make real change?

I believe that our generation can bring us the closest we’ve ever been to destroying anti-Semitism. Our generation consists of very outspoken people who are more than willing to fight for what is right. The strongest weapon we are equipped with to fight anti-Semitism is education. We have been taught to accept our differences and know that no two are the same. We know that differing in religious beliefs is normal and should never be threatening. We have studied our history and have seen the detriments of fighting one another just because of our perceived differences. If we can ensure that everyone begins to see that this hatred has gotten us absolutely nowhere, we are off to a good start. With this knowledge, we have the power to end the cycle of hatred.

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