Is It Okay To Brush Off Anti-Semitic Incidents?

This past week, four synagogues in my hometown of Montreal (actually, they are even in my neighborhood) were attacked in one night in an obvious string of anti-Semitic attacks. These attacks didn’t go unnoticed in the media. It made the front page of the Montreal Gazette (Ed. note: My mother has informed me that contrary to what I read on the internet, it was not actually on the front page) as well as JTA’s homepage. People obviously cared about these incidents and wanted to spread the word about them.

Except for me.

Don’t throw stones at me yet. I do feel guilty about not caring. It’s not like I don’t think anti-Semitism is a problem–especially in Montreal. I saw first hand the results of anti-Semitism when the other branch of my high school had its library firebombed for the sole reason that it was a Jewish institution.

But four incidents in one night doesn’t actually seem like such a big deal to me. Why? Because in all likelihood, because it was all done in one night, this was probably the act of one person or group. Just because incidents like these happen (and they should be addressed and fought against) it does not mean that the problem is actually widespread. The very fact that there are four synagogues (actually, there are many more than that) in a very affluent neighborhood in a secular like Montreal is very telling. To quote the Backstreet Boys, we’ve got it going on.

I think that it’s true that a synagogue being graffiti-ed is a nice reminder that not everyone out there likes us. In fact, there are some people out there who wouldn’t mind hurting us. That said, the vast majority of folks kinda dig the Jews. Hell, we made the front page of the Montreal Gazette! It’s not the New York Times, but it’s a start! I’m kidding, but that still shouldn’t be taken lightly.

So anyone who gets freaked out by these horrible incidents, remember, the people are on your side.

Okay, commence the stone throwing.

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