news editorial boardAfter thousands of years of evidence, we now know that hatred of others is a sad fact of human life, at least among some species. It’s not something we see all the time, but it was seen last week, and it’s the perfect reaction to it.
It happened at Sweet Jennie’s, an ice cream and chocolate shop located in Williamsville’s historic Water Mill complex. There, last Monday, an employee found a swastika carved into the wood above the bathroom doorway.
It is unclear whether the symbolism of Nazi German atrocities meant threats or just stupid vandalism. Both are excruciating, especially given that American Jews have been given reason to be wary of rising anti-Semitism, especially since the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings in 2018. Few things in life have a louder cry of hate than the swastika, the symbol of an organized scheme intended to wipe out the Jews of Europe.
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The thugs who fouled the store grounds may not have known it, but the store’s owners, Howard and Tara Cadmus, are Jewish. They responded by closing the borders of the Emblem of Hate and carving the word “LOVE” into the resulting quadrant. In a quiet way, this revision was literally transformative.
Rabbi Alex Lazaro-Klein Congregation Mr. Seal Shalom sees it so.
“This is the perfect way to combat hate by turning it into a symbol of kindness instead of condemning it,” he told News. I greatly commend the actions of the owners of Sweet Jenny and hope to inspire others to do the same when the ugliness of society is upon us. “
It happens with even more worrying frequency for minority groups, including Jews. In the Buffalo area, some Jewish groups have emphasized increased security, especially in response to the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh, the worst anti-Semitic attack in the country’s history. 11 people were killed and 6 injured. Among them were Holocaust survivors. Last month, a federal court convicted the perpetrators of 63 counts, including dozens of hate crimes and civil rights violations. He faces the possibility of the death penalty.
It was a terrifying event, but it didn’t stop there. According to a recent report, the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States in 2022 comes a year after a record high in global anti-Semitic events. The report was released by the Center for Contemporary European Jewish Studies at Tel Aviv University and the US-based Anti-Defamation League. Among the factors believed to be at play are the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of political radicalism, a trend sadly well known to West New York residents.
The report was candid about rising levels of hate in the country, stating that “2022 does not mark a universal reversal of this trend, with some countries, most It intensified,” he said. It is undoubtedly the result of the rise of radicalism and the trampling of social barriers that once encouraged a degree of civility and widespread intolerance of hatred.
In such circumstances, Cadmus and others took a position against hate and in favor of love. They initially hesitated whether to draw attention to this vandalism, but decided that silence felt too much like consent. So they carried on and posted on Facebook about the event and its perfect response.
It may not have been what Destroyer was expecting, but it makes it all the better.
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