My name is Abbie and I currently study History at Newcastle University, which is my native city. I had the privilege of taking part in the Lessons from Auschwitz Project in 2018. I am now an Ambassador for the Trust and as such I have a responsibility to continue to remember the testimonies of survivors in order to create an understanding in all, that discrimination is not tolerated.
Recently I took part in the ‘Understanding Antisemitism’ course offered to me through the Trust. Throughout my studies, I never stopped researching into the injustices the Jewish community had suffered. I remember reading my eldest sisters history dissertation about the Jewish identity, or lack thereof, because of their history. For me, to understand Jewish history was a necessity, as it would help me empathise with the community and acknowledge better when antisemitism occurred as it is not always overt.
The course has allowed me to become more aware of online sources, as a historian I question everything, but this has become needed these past couple of weeks. Online recently much misinformation was spread about the Jewish community regarding the Israel and Palestinian war. As a direct result of this antisemitism increased majorly. In London, Canada the United States and more, people used this war as an excuse to assault innocent people and spread hate regarding the Jewish community. Jewish people I communicate with feared leaving home, something I will never have to fear.
I thought back to the course and started to ask my followers to fact check sources online, to research about the war, to ask me for information and references if they needed to. I took part in discussions on forums, contacted Jews and Palestinians alike, and educated people the best I could.
It is this easy for me, this is my role as a human, not as an ambassador. We should all do what’s right, to raise awareness and most importantly to provide support for those that are so often marginalised in society.
It is our job to be empathetic, the world is always in short supply of it, especially in the digital world.