Normally my family and I commemorate the Shoah at national and local events, but this year will be different because of Coronavirus. Instead we’ll be commemorating through Light in the Darkness, organised by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
We will pray for all those who lost their lives in the Shoah – both for Jewish people and other groups who were persecuted. We pray for it to never happen again. This year we will also be praying for the Uighur Muslims who are currently being targeted by the Chinese State for their religion.
Holocaust Memorial Day is more resonate than ever. We still face abuse on social media and in day-to-day life. My family and I are hesitant from showing our religion in public due to fear of being targeted, and have faced online conspiracy theories to the extent where even our Scottishness was questioned.
You can still overhear causal and normalised anti-Semitism in daily conversations, through references to the Rothschilds or an alleged global conspiracy of Jews controlling the world and its finances.
It’s become worse due to the crisis within Labour, which still needs addressing, as well as anti-Semitism within other political parties. You read and hear people say that it’s made up, over exaggerated, or that it’s Jewish people who are making it a problem. Sometimes you question whether it will get better.
It’s incredibly important to stand with all minorities, whether that is LGBTI+ people, ethnic minorities, disabled people, or religious minorities. It’s important that we don’t tolerate discrimination of any kind, and rightfully call it out when we see it.
Social media has become a cesspit of abuse. Misinformation and disinformation has taken a toll on minorities in particular, and is sowing division between groups in our society.
You only have to look to the United States to see how this division has played out – with black people, LGBTI+ people, immigrants, Muslims and Jewish people becoming the scapegoats of an incompetent administration.
Do not think for a second that our country isn’t vulnerable to that too. I know many fellow Jewish families in Scotland, and abroad, who are beginning to seriously question their own safety in their home countries. I know we hope it will get better, but we need allies to call it out too.
As told to a Brig writer on Holocaust Remembrance Day anonymously to avoid further online abuse.
Feature image credit: Great Falls Tribune