Antisemitism is defined as “hostility or prejudice against Jewish people”. Unfortunately, Judaism has been a target for centuries, dating as far back as the Holocaust. While this tragedy took place decades ago, Jews continue to face discrimination to this day.
The North Shore Hebrew Academy High School in Long Island, New York experienced an incredibly hateful cyberattack, fueled by antisemitism. Hackers sent abhorrent, antisemitic images to not only the students, but parents as well. The school website’s logo was changed to a swastika and an image of the school was replaced with one of a concentration camp. The name of the school was also maliciously altered to North Shore Hebrew Concentration Camp on their website. This was seen by a student who reported the image after receiving a supposed email from the school stating “We’ve updated our school website- let us know what you think”. This hack left the school, students, and parents filled with horror.
Parents later received an email, revealing that the hackers had revealed all of their personal information online. Pictures of the students, credit card numbers, addresses, and other private details were leaked on the internet. The hackers went so far as to send a Google Doc with all of the information they had compiled about the students, ending the email with hateful language towards Israel. Due to these threats, parent-teacher conferences, which originally were to be held later that day at the school, were cancelled. Since then, the school has provided the students with emotional services to help them with this anxiety.
Sadly, just about everyone from the school -whether it be a parent, student, or faculty member- received these threatening, abominable emails. As a non-jewish person, this blatant antisemitism is wholly revolting - no human being deserves to be treated this way. Jewish people should not be forced to fear for their livelihood because of the religion they practice or their ethnic identity. A statement released from one of the parents at the North Shore Hebrew Academy, “They [the hackers] are likely to strike when this is all over. Not anytime soon.”, which has only left the school and their students left with anxiety that they may be attacked at any time. As a country that was built upon diversity and immigration, it is imperative that we take sustainable action to ensure the end of antisemitism in the United States.