A Times of Israel story recently reported festively, “YouTube removes Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam channel.” According to the story, YouTube announced that it has “strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and [will] terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies.” Two lines later, however, you read that “Some individual accounts of Nation of Islam members are still up, with tens of thousands of followers.” It would be interesting to know YouTube’s definition of “strict policies.”
Another festive headline, this time on CNN Business, announced that “Facebook will ban Holocaust denial posts under hate speech policy.” According to the report, Facebook decided on the ban because of “the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust.” I wonder what set off this policy U-turn because as recently as two months ago, The Guardian reported that the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) had found that “Facebook’s algorithm ‘actively promotes’ Holocaust denial content.”
Clearly, this “concern about antisemitism” tune isn’t credible. Three weeks before the election, the only reason that would make social media platforms proclaim to take steps to curb antisemitism is their desire to play it safe. In my estimate, they feel that President Trump has a real chance of being re-elected and are adjusting their policies to that scenario. In short, their campaign against antisemitism is nothing but lip-service.
For Jews, however, social media policies make no difference. They don’t abate antisemitism whatsoever. Antisemitism stems from the core of human nature, from a deep-seated feeling of non-Jews that Jews are unlike any other nation. Their accusations that Jews control the media, the banks, the government, and manipulate them to their advantage and against other faiths speaks volumes about the power that non-Jews attribute to Jews. Their accusation that Jews cause all the wars and all the troubles in the world is in fact an admission that they believe that the Jews have the power to end the wars and troubles in the world.
And while the Jews don’t know it, they do have the key to ending all the troubles. Jews don’t need social media bans to curb Jew-hatred. All they need is to stop hating one another and the world will stop hating them.
Jews are always at the center of attention. The world envies Israel for its military power and technological advancement, and it envies Diaspora Jews for being wealthier than other communities. Money, arms, and high-tech don’t earn the Jews any points in the eyes of the world. On the contrary, they only increase Jew-hatred since this is not what the world expects.
The world looks at the Jews so carefully because it needs a way to connect, to end conflicts, to rise above hatred, to save itself from self-destruction. And only the Jews, who coined the motto “Love your neighbor as yourself,” can show the way—by personal example.
There are three Jews among this year’s Nobel Prize laureates. No one will be grateful to Jews for this. But if Jews made peace among themselves, between Democrats and Republican Jews, between Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, between Orthodox and secular Jews, now that would be something that the world would appreciate.
Jewish leaders throughout the ages have avowed that Jewish unity is our only way to escape persecution. So far, their words have found no listeners, and hate increases both among Jews and toward Jews. If we, the Jewish people, want to avoid another Holocaust, we should start paying attention to our sages throughout the ages, and to the world’s call for peace, first among ourselves, and then throughout the world.
*For a more elaborate explanation on the root and solution to antisemitism, refer to my book, The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism