Diminishing Influence
Tue, 06/01/2010

In the “Back of the Book” section, Sharon Udasin provides a poignant snapshot of the diminishing tolerance for Jews in Europe (“Speaking The King’s Jewish English,” May 28). In a conversational tone, she describes how “kipot” cannot he worn in public and pronouncing the word “Jew” risks violence. Yarmulkes are kept out of sight, and the word, “wej,” (Jew spelled backwards) is used instead. How sad and disturbing.

Recent issues of The Jewish Week also highlighted how some Jewish students at Brandeis are embarrassed to have an Israeli ambassador speak for fear of offending others, and how the bravado and pride of the era of Oscar-winning “Exodus” has deteriorated to the self-loathing of “Waltz With Bashir.”

It’s time we get it: Demographic changes in Europe and the United States are diminishing our power and influence. We find ourselves again in the crosshairs. This is the very purpose and reason that the State of Israel was established. As Udasin’s essay demonstrates, we remain vulnerable. Those of us, who recognize and value our status as Jews, should be cognizant and thoughtful of our interests.

Staten Island

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