The antisemitic ideology that is spread throughout the world is extremely frightening. Hearing it from former extremists themselves is eye-opening.
Antisemitic Ideology is Shocking
Even though antisemitism is not something new, the antisemitic ideology is still shocking. Hearing the ideas that are stuffed down the throats of so many is horrific. You wonder how anyone can believe such atrocious things, but then you hear it from former Neo-Nazis and Jihadists themselves. Former White Nationalist Arno Michaelis said it best: “We find whatever we seek in life.” That works for the positive and the negative. Former Jihadi Tania Joya also explained it. She said, “You start to believe it because that’s what everyone is saying around you.”
People believe lies when they hear it over and over again. They start to hold it as the truth, even though it is evil and horrific. That is why we must spread the truth so that the truth is what people keep hearing and not the lies.
The fact that these former extremists were able to question their beliefs and see a different side is so important for combatting antisemitism. They can help others see the truth too.
How They Changed Their Views
What is interesting is that some extremists change their views just by their real interactions with Jewish people. They see how kind and non-judgmental Jews are. They see how accepting Jews are. Is it always that simple to change someone’s mind? Definitely not. But the fact that the way a person acts can make or break someone’s prior beliefs is fascinating and frightening. That is a huge responsibility.
Not only regarding complete antisemites, but in general. The way we act towards others has the power to change everything. Can you imagine? If someone with extreme beliefs can be affected by a kind word, then how much more so those who are less stubborn and set in their beliefs.