Antisemitism

Readers shared antisemitism they’ve experienced, and it is horrifying


Antisemitism has seen a steep climb in recent years, only exacerbated by Israel’s operation in Gaza that responded to the October 7 massacre.

That being said, antisemitism has unfortunaty plagued the Jewish Diaspora for a long, long time.

We took to Instagram to ask our readers if they have experienced antisemitism in their lives.

The vast majority of those who responded said that they had experienced antisemitism on social media, whether it be comments on Instagram or private messages on X (formerly Twitter).

Many others, however, experienced in-person antisemitism, and they were brave enough to share their stories.

Demonstrators protest against the lack of police action during pro-Palestinian demonstrations and to condemn the increase of antisemitic hate crimes in London, Britain, October 25, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/Susannah Ireland)

Here are just a few of those experiences. If you have a story of your own to share, feel free to respond in the comment section below, and you may be included in our next article.

Hate speech

Several people reported having been targeted with derogatory and hateful language.

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Dimitri said that he was only in the fifth grade when “a kid” in his class called him “an infidel,” for example.

Endi, another respondee, revealed that when she was 14, “a store clerk threw a bunch of coins at [her] and said, ‘Pick them up, dirty Jew.'”

Day-to-day fear

Antisemitism does not necessarily have to be in a comment or action. Sometimes, it is something you feel; a certain sense of disdain or disapproval towards one’s Jewishness. Other times, it’s not told directly, but it is open and present.

“Living in Europe makes [it] almost impossible to say out loud that you are a Jew,” Alexander said.

Jacob said that his Jewish day school “had to lock down today because of a threat.”

Naomi said that she was surrounded by “antisemitic tropes” and “comments about Jews” at “every single job [she has] ever worked.”

Jamie revealed, “There was a KKK protest outside my elementary school.”

Jew jokes

Using humor or stereotypes maliciously targeted at one’s Jewishness can also be used as a verbal weapon of antisemitism.

For example, Joshua revealed that in London, at his work, he was told he was not a Jew.

“I’m 100% Jewish,” he said.

Maria was “fired from a job mere days after [her] boss made a Hitler joke.” 

She added, “Their reasoning was b****t.” 

Carly, on the other hand, was “at a party in high school” when “someone opened an oven and told [her] to get in.” 

Openly hateful

While sometimes, antisemitism comes in more nuanced ways, unfortunately, it is sometimes directly full of hate.

Several users reported having been presented with a swastika; one was “with a friend at a classmate’s house and saw a swastika hanging in his room,” while another “was in college in 1972” and “had a swastika drawn on a napkin at the cafeteria,” followed by the question, “I thought Jews have brown eyes.” 

“I have green,” they added. 

“Some friends stopped talking to me because I’m Jewish,” one anonymous reader said.

Another user anonymously said that she and her child were targeted while on public transport in Belgium.

“Me and my child were insulted in a bus in Brussels by someone saying she hates Jews,” she said.

Sherrie was told to take her mezuzah (Jewish doorpost prayer) down.

“Might as well paint your door with lamb’s blood,” she was told.

“I was threatened to be killed on the street,” Harry said. “And even harassed by a college professor.”

Antisemitic attacks

Some are openly and publicly attacked for their religion or their connection to the Jewish State.

For example, an anonymous reader said, “A professor asked students who had been to Israel to raise their hands. Me and one other student did. I said I love Israel, and he proceeded to rip me apart in front of the 500-person lecture hall, yelling, ‘and I’m not antisemitic because my wife is Jewish.’ The [teacher’s assistant] apologized to me after, saying, ‘I have no idea what that was about.'”

Deborah’s brother was the victim of a violent antisemitic attack, she revealed.

“My brother was beaten up by a group of 15 guys,” she said. “They yelled, ‘This is for Gaza.'”







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