When I read about this weekend's desecration of a Philadelphia Jewish cemetery, I thought of a column I read about the similar vandalism at a St. Louis cemetery. It's titled "Why has the overturning of Jewish headstones spooked us so?" and is well worth reading.
Writer Edmon J. Rodman says, "It’s not just the destruction that is so disturbing, it’s the willful desecration and the fear that acts like this are building, if not checked, into something worse, that has many of us nervously paging through the history books for a flash of what could happen next.
Yet, if we choose to dig deeper, there’s more to why we feel the way we do about the cemetery desecration. Beneath every headstone there is not just another Jew, but an individual who was loved, and missed; someone who, according to Jewish law, must be treated with kavod ha-emet, or 'respect for the dead.'"
Obviously these thugs have no respect for the dead, and especially no respect for Jewish dead, or they wouldn't have chosen these headstones. In the article on the Philadelphia cemetery, it said, “It’s pretty much intentional,” McReynolds told The Washington Post. “We just have to find out if it’s drunken kids or an act of — well, it is a predominantly Jewish cemetery, so we have to look into that fact.”
"Drunken kids or an act of ---..." ? Why is it so hard to say the word "anti-Semitism"?