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Opinion: It is a Rule that Esau Hates Jacob

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

by Ram ben Ze'ev (Conservative Values)


Opinion: It is a Rule that Esau Hates Jacob
Opinion: It is a Rule that Esau Hates Jacob

Combating Jew Hatred requires a strategic and nuanced approach that goes beyond focusing on the hatred itself. Instead of giving hatred undue attention, it is crucial to adopt a stance of "non-attention" when addressing this issue. This means not repeating the hatred and not allowing Jew Hatred to occupy an excessive amount of our time or energy, nor should it become a focal point in our discussions and actions.


The phrase "It is a rule that Esau hates Jacob" serves as a reminder that hatred, often fueled by historical, cultural, or religious differences, has persisted throughout history. Esau and Jacob, in this context, symbolize long-standing conflicts that transcend generations. By recognizing this, we acknowledge that hatred has been an unfortunate aspect of human history, but it also underscores the importance of not letting it define our present and future.


Non-attention to Jew Hatred involves several key principles:

  1. Education and Awareness: Educating people about the history of anti-Semitism and its devastating consequences is crucial. However, instead of dwelling on the hatred itself, the emphasis should be on fostering understanding, tolerance, and empathy among different communities.

  2. Promoting Unity: Encourage unity among diverse groups and communities to counteract the divisive nature of hatred. By building bridges and forming alliances, we can create a strong, united front against discrimination and prejudice.

  3. Legal Measures: Implementing and enforcing legal measures that protect against hate crimes and discrimination is essential. These measures should focus on preventing and addressing incidents of hatred without glorifying or sensationalizing them.

  4. Media Responsibility: Encourage responsible reporting and media coverage of incidents related to Jew Hatred. The media can play a significant role in either amplifying or minimizing the impact of such incidents. Responsible reporting should aim to inform the public without sensationalizing or glorifying hatred.

  5. Grassroots Efforts: Engage in grassroots efforts to combat hatred at the community level. These initiatives can involve dialogue, cultural exchanges, and collaboration among individuals and organizations committed to tolerance and acceptance.

Repeating and amplifying hatred that circulates online, whether it's directed towards any group, including Jews, is counterproductive in combating such bigotry. When individuals engage in the act of reposting or sharing hateful content with their followers, they do not expose the existence of the hatred but are contributing to its dissemination, and their actions serve to normalize and perpetuate harmful stereotypes and prejudices. Instead of combating Jew hatred, this behaviour validates and fuels it, creating an echo chamber where hatred thrives. To effectively address this issue, it's essential to shift the focus away from hate-filled content and adopt a strategy of non-attention. By refusing to engage with or share such content, individuals can prevent it from gaining traction and spreading further.


To combat Jew hatred and similar forms of bigotry, it's crucial not to allow them to occupy one's time or become a focal point of discussion. Giving undue attention to hate speech will amplify its impact and provide a platform for its proponents. Instead, individuals can choose to prioritize positive discussions, education, and advocacy for tolerance and inclusivity. By redirecting their energy and efforts toward promoting understanding and empathy, people can contribute to a more compassionate and harmonious online environment, where hate speech is marginalized and ultimately rendered ineffective.


In conclusion, the fight against Jew Hatred is not about ignoring its existence but rather about actively addressing it through a strategic and focused approach. By emphasizing non-attention and promoting understanding, unity, legal measures, responsible media coverage and grassroots efforts, we can work together to create a world that is more tolerant, accepting, and free from discrimination.


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Bill White (Ram ben Ze'ev) is CEO of WireNews and Executive Director of Hebrew Synagogue


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