Monday, May 11, 2009

Jews Not Welcome



My father, who was a World War II vet, would often say that the anti-Semitism that is rising today rivals that of the period leading up the the war.

While I lack the perspective he had to make the comparison, there have been some troubling signs recently that intolerance is becoming, in some circles, more and more acceptable.

Yesterday, for example, I reported that Egypt was blaming Jews for the swine flu as reason to kill off all their pigs. Today comes word that a hotel in an Austrian resort popular with orthodox Jews is denying rooms to Jewish people.

The hotel sent a family a note saying that, while a room was available, they would not rent one to them because of "bad experiences" with Jews. Other hotels in Serfaus village are enraged by the posture of the operators of the Haus Sonnenhof apartment hotel. So presumably the family will find lodging elsewhere. But for this to be happening in post-World War II Austria is, obviously, troubling.

Meanwhile, in the virtual world, there is a push on to get Facebook to remove groups that deny the Holocaust. And there are some indications that, after some reluctance in the past, the social networking site is responding positively to the request.

But the real issue here is not so much Facebook's responsibility to remove the groups. The overriding concern is, not only are such groups opening, but that they are also attracting members.

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