Anti-Semitism has been a part of the society from a long time. While the issue has been immensely criticized across the globe, Israel made serious efforts to curb and limit its impact.
Many countries and international organizations have enacted policies to curb the anti-Semitic ideology. Yet, Israel’s efforts have proved a key factor in ending the discrimination and attacks against the Jews.
Israel did not introduce the policies or even notice the discriminatory behavior towards the Jews until the first 25 years of its creation. However, this is what makes Israel’s efforts much more significant in curbing anti-Semitism.
During the first 25 years since its creation, Israel tried to resolve the issue with moderate efforts and by taking a diplomatic approach. As per the policy then, if any Jew across the world faced issues, he/she could easily immigrate to the US.
Also, raising concern against the anti-Semitic ideology in the later years proved more fateful for the discrimination against the Jews then it would have been if voice had been raised during its initial years. Additionally, holding a diplomatic and calm stance helped Israel in building its strong foundation as a nation and becoming one of the countries with revered militia – an inspiration for many with its splendid infrastructure and booming economy, apart from rooting out anti-Semitism from the core.
Yom Kippur War, discriminatory Arabian policies against the Jews, 1980 Rue Copernic synagogue bombing in Paris, and several similar incidents forced the then-Prime Minister, Menachem Begin to lay the foundation of Israel’s stern stance to protect the Jews across the globe.
Since then, Israel has effectively raised voiced against the discrimination that the Jews are subjected to and took measures like creating an “Inter-Ministerial Forum for Monitoring Antisemitism” and included the Jewish Diaspora in it. With the rift in the communist bloc during that time, Israeli diplomacy called for the respective governments to end the manifestation of anti-Semitism in the recently created states from the Soviet Union.
The Israeli government introduced a series of policies to keep the anti-Semitism at bay at regular intervals. Later, it assumed a sterner role towards the anti-Semitic ideology when the neo-Nazi violence swept Germany in 1993. Since then, Israel has taken all possible measures like introducing policies to curb cyber hate against the Jews; creation of the Global Forum Against Antisemitism in 2033, which showed that the reason for anti-Semitism is mainly the opposition to Israel and Zionism.
Natan Sharansky, a noted human rights activist and founder of the Global Forum Against Antisemitism, also drew a similarity between anti-Zionism and the anti-Semitic ideology. His claims that the tactics of anti-Zionism – demonization, discrimination, and double standards against Israel – are similar to anti-Semitism, and the discrimination against Israel received global attention.
Sharansky also claimed that the sole aim of such ideology is to strip Israel and the Jews of the rights and power. He further released a statement about curbing the discrimination and prejudice against the Jews, “The State of Israel has decided to take the gloves off and implement a coordinated counteroffensive against anti-Semitism. The State of Israel will play, as it always should, a central role in defending the Jewish people.”
However, with time Israel has begun monitoring and introducing various factors and issues that stem from anti-Semitism. For example, the BDS ideology aims to boycott, divest, or sanction Israel had gained immense popularity. But the effort of the Israeli government has managed to let the countries across the world know about the impact, leading to its rejection from many countries including Canada and the UK.
The massive outreach of such an ideology, which is concerning, is visible from the fact that even after the zero-tolerance against such ideology, there were more than 100 instances of global BDS activity last year alone. Such activities include “brute intimidation of and discrimination against Jewish and Israeli students on the university campus of the Western countries”.
Israel has moved from an inactive state to playing a major role in mitigating anti-Semitism and thus, becoming a key ally in curbing anti-Semitic ideology without any external help. Although now, the world leaders and countries around the world need to understand the seriousness of the issue and take a stand against such ideology and safeguard the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state.