To counter anti-Semitism
The victims of anti-Semitism are not only Jews. This point was brought home again with tragic symbolism when two of the three persons killed in the recent Paris synagogue bombing were found to be non-Jewish passersby.
In a wider sense the victimization of Jews, like the victimization of any group, violates the common humanity of mankind. A recognition of this, as in the Federal outcry against a resurgence of anti-Semitism, does not diminish the suffering of the Jewish targets of bias and violence. But it is a step toward the transformation of thinking that is the key to eliminating anti-Semitism.
To hold or condone a prejudice is not the same as to act on a prejudice. Yet it can contribute to a climate in which others act. The memory of Nazi terror, so long tolerated by those who knew better, is too fresh to permit the complacency of supposing otherwise.
The challenge now, proclaimed by the killing and wounding of Jews in various countries, is not to lapse into a new chapter of anti- Semitism in either thought or action.
The Paris bombing last Friday has been claimed and denied in the name of neo-Nazis. It followed attacks on Jewish premises over a period of two weeks. As this is written its toll of fatalities is reported to have risen to four as one of the many with injuries succumbed. The perpetrators, whoever they are, must be brought to justice with no hindrance from the alleged infiltration of the policy by pro-Nazis.
But beyond the quality of law enforcement to protect citizens from violence of whatever hue, individuals need to do their part. It is to resist the growth of prejudice through filling hearts and minds with the image of all men created equal.