The evident danger to Jews is liable to become more acute unless critical facts about anti-Semitism are, when appropriate, adequately conveyed by media.
By Gidon Ben-Zvi, Honest Reporting
On August 30, CNN published a 1,000-word analysis of the FBI’s 2020 Hate Crime Statistics Report that opened with this sentence:
More than 10,000 people reported to law enforcement last year that they were the victim of a hate crime because of their race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion or disability — a number that has been on the rise in recent years.…”
One would think an article, titled Hate crime reports in US surge to the highest level in 12 years, FBI says, that dissects such findings would include at least a passing reference to American Jews. The oversight is glaring when considering they comprise a mere 2 percent of the US population but last year were the targets of nearly 60 percent of all religiously motivated offenses.
Nevertheless, CNN writers Christina Carrega and Priya Krishnakumar produced an exhaustive breakdown of the FBI statistics — one including references to ‘anti-Black or African American bias,’ ‘anti-Asian violence,’ and ‘anti-China or anti-immigrant rhetoric’ — that omitted the third most vulnerable minority group (this, in absolute terms and not per capita) in the United States: namely, Jews.
The result is that anti-Semitism risks becoming normalized.
CNN should know better…and it does.
CNN is aware of the ongoing problem, having this past June produced a story with the following headline:
The piece notes that “antisemitic incidents in the country have more than doubled from the same time period last year following the conflict, the Anti-Defamation League reported.”
Indeed, the 11-day conflict in May initiated by Hamas and other Gaza Strip-based terrorist groups against Israel ignited a wave of Judeophobia around the world. Jews living in the United states experienced an increase in anti-Semitic attacks on a scale not seen during previous Middle East conflicts.
On May 21, an anti-Semitic gang attacked a Jewish man in New York City’s Time Square:
— Rob Bertrand (@Robertrand77) May 20, 2021
On May 19, Jewish diners were attacked by a pro-Palestinian mob outside a restaurant in Los Angeles, California.
On May 13, a group of pro-Israel supporters in Boca Raton, Florida were harassed at a rally by anti-Semites driving a white van emblazoned with racist messages including, “Hitler Was Right” and “Vax the Jews.” A Palestinian flag was flown by the perpetrators.
“Get out of our country Jew, you’re not white, you’re k-ke,” people yelled, along with “Jews lied, Germans died.”
We rally for peace and this van filled with hate, call for genocide and threats kept circling. Thank you to our local law enforcement for keeping us safe. Hard to believe in the heart of Boca Raton if didn’t see it myself. pic.twitter.com/SuuOBEtumd
— Rabbi Efrem Goldberg (@RabbiGoldberg) May 12, 2021
The evident danger to Jews is liable to become more acute unless critical facts about antisemitism are, when appropriate, adequately conveyed by media.
In the case of the CNN article, it is not unreasonable to believe that a mere mention was warranted.
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