Combating anti-Semitism is not a universal priority among Americans. Many are understandably more concerned about the southern border, elevated crime rates, or the continued degradation of civic culture. For many Americans, hatred against a tiny minority found mainly in cities is remote from their everyday lives. But guarding against attacks on Jews is inextricable from the values that Americans seek to preserve. Anti-Semitism is the first step down the slippery slope toward social decay.

In recent months, demonstrators have sung the praises of Hamas and the Houthi terrorist organization, whose slogan is “God Is the Greatest, Death to America, Death to Israel, a Curse upon the Jews, Victory to Islam.” They have desecrated national monuments with pro-Hamas graffiti, placed keffiyehs on statues of America’s founders, and replaced American flags with Palestinian banners. Many of the protesters hope to supplant America’s culture with a non-Western one; their anti-Semitism connects to a hatred of the U.S.

Activists are pushing this foreign worldview on to the young. University professors make calls to “dismantle” the U.S. at pro-Hamas events, while kindergarten teachers explicitly reject the right of so-called settler-colonial states to exist. For them, the U.S. and Israel together epitomize the evils of the West.

To reverse the disturbing trends we’re seeing, concerned Americans need to push back jointly against anti-Westernism and anti-Semitism. This requires a two-pronged approach: defensive measures to counter anti-Western influences; and offensive efforts to reconnect younger Americans with the richness of Western civilization.

The first step is to prevent radical ideologies from further corrupting American academic institutions and social media. The fight against the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) movement, which scorns Western principles like individual liberty and responsibility, is crucial. DEI’s anti-Western underpinnings invariably lead to anti-Semitism; as Heather Mac Donald has written, “Elite schools once disdained Jews because they were seen as outsiders to Western civilization. Now they are reviled as that civilization’s very embodiment.”

Next is to reengage the younger generation with the grandeur of the Western heritage: art, literature, scientific inquiry, and philosophy. This is no small task. It requires a nuanced approach that resonates with youthful aspirations, one that uses pro-Western education and culture to shift the narrative from merely rejecting anti-Westernism to embracing proactively our civilization’s principles. Inculcate a love of the West, and anti-Semitism will plummet.

The resurgent wave of anti-Semitism isn’t just an issue for the Jewish community. It is a stark warning for all who value the ideals upon which America was built. The principles we hold dear are not self-sustaining; upholding them requires an active commitment.

Photo: Anton Petrus/Moment via Getty Images


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