Anti-Semitism: The Global Resurgence Of An Ancient Scourge
"This talk was about Anti-Semitism, but it could just have easily been about Islamophobia," said Rabbi Steve Gutow at the conclusion of his address to the World Affairs Council of San Antonio. Although Gutow's speech concentrated on detailing the many places around the globe where anti-Semitic attacks are occurring, from France, to Belgium, Brazil, Austria, South Africa, and even right here in San Antonio, Gutow says bigotry as a whole is on the rise, and "must be dealt with on its own terms."
Gutow is a native Texan, lawyer, and rabbi dedicated to combating the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. As President of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs in New York and a member of the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group, Gutow’s pioneering work strives to improve the understanding of connections between religious dynamics and foreign policy. Such work is essential to contemporary international relations, especially considering that the number of countries facing acts of religiously motivated violence has doubled in the past six years, according to the Pew Forum. BokoHaram’s activities and the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe are among the trends inspiring Gutow and his colleagues to help the government speak out against religious violence. He and his colleagues hope to better equip diplomats to engage religious leaders as voices of reconciliation and to foster an official mechanism for establishing interfaith engagement as a key to diplomatic outreach.