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October 7 Ripped the Band-Aid Off and Opened the Gates for Bigots to Espouse their Hatred

Liora Rez, Executive Director, StopAntisemitism

In a one-on-one interview with Tamar Uriel-Beeri, managing editor of Jpost.com, Liora Rez, Executive Director of StopAntisemitism, a watchdog organization that publicly exposes antisemitic behavior and creates consequences for those who espouse bigotry toward the Jewish people, explains the proliferation of antisemitism worldwide since October 7, and what people can do to counter its effects.

Rez says that efforts to combat antisemitism should not be considered a ‘top-down’ or ‘bottom-up’ responsibility that starts with one group. Instead, she says, “It starts with all of us. It’s more of a horizontal one – for everyone, from our Congressional leaders to our executives in the social media tech world, to our community leaders, to our friends and community members. We’re all responsible for fighting and saying no to antisemitism.”

She explains the paradox of the latest wave of antisemitism that began with a massacre of Jews on October 7. “Every single time we see anything happen in Israel, we see a wave of antisemitism spark and spread like stage-four cancer around the globe,” says Rez. Analyzing the mindset of people who express hatred for Jews, Rez says that many people have a deep-rooted hatred of Jews and use any excuse to communicate and propagate their hatred. “What happened on October 7 was a massacre. Over 1,000 Jews were murdered. Rather than sympathizing with the victims, we see these antisemites actually blaming Jews and using this as an excuse to propagate even more hatred. The only thing that we can honestly say is that they needed an excuse to propagate more hatred against the Jewish people.”

Rez adds that the phenomenon of antisemitic behavior has spread throughout the highest echelons of society, including college professors, medical professionals, and members of the financial industry. “It’s extremely alarming,” she says.

To counter businesses that have promoted antisemitism, StopAntisemitism has recently launched its “Stop-Don’t Shop” campaign that highlights businesses that propagate hatred against the Jewish people so that people can avoid patronizing these businesses. The campaign maintains a list of companies that support the Jewish people.