Friday, December 31, 2010

Jews, Travel, Anti-Semitism?

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

Hilary Larson, a travel writer for the New York Jewish Week, has written an article about anti-Semitism and the Jewish traveler...
In Europe, I have found, ugly remarks about Israel and Jewish stereotypes surface as a matter of course, with the tacit assumption that everyone shares an anti-Israel viewpoint — and that nobody present is Jewish.
If it is unfashionable to say ethnically pointed things in historically multicultural America, it can sometimes seem the opposite abroad, at least with regard to Jews and Israel. And it can make traveling to otherwise lovely lands, filled with otherwise friendly people, very uncomfortable for American Jews.
 She also writes:
I’ve seen a lot of swastikas in my travels, and heard plenty of verbal equivalents. But I’ve also been surprised by the degree to which some Europeans are excited to meet a Jew (a rare specimen in some parts), or demonstrate genuine interest and enthusiasm over Jewish culture — like my German classmates in Italy who made a point of touring local synagogues.
Though anti-semitism is not the focus of this blog -- I'm wondering what readers have to say on the subject.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps I'm naive, but it does surprise me to see that Jewry is still an issue in Europe. I would think the combination of Holocaust education, ruined synagogues, camps now open as museums, etc, plus some knowledge as to how Israel came to be and why, would foster appreciation for Jewish culture, traditions, etc. If nothing else, one would think that the lessons learned from the Holocaust would help in putting aged-old stereotypes to rest by now. The question really becomes, have the European people not learned anything from what happened 60+ years ago?