I was more than relieved to read that the thugs suspected to have brutally beaten up a gay man in New York were arrested but I couldn’t help but notice that Pink News omitted any further information on the suspected offenders. But at least I was lucky to find out more information including a photograph showing one of the arrested when I looked at NY Daily News. It turns out that all of the five arrested men are Hasidim (a branch of ultra-orthodox Judaism) and at least two of the arrested are thought to be members of the Shomrim, an organisation made up of volunteering ultra-orthodox Jews who patrol the streets and are supposed to uphold order or the kind of order that passes in ultra-orthodox Judaism for order. Given that Hasidic order doesn’t take a positive view on homosexuality the alleged perpetrators’ religious affiliation may have been a crucial information in this case making Pink News’ omission even weirder.
The only logic explanation is that Pink News didn’t want to reveal their religious background because it’s a minority – despite the fact that the background may have played a key part in perpetuating the crime.
Yes, it’s true there are many antisemitic conspiracy theories out there portraying Jews in a negative to disgusting way and there are several countries where Jews are still discriminated against and the sentiment to not feed those conspiracy theories is in itself honourable though it is terribly wrong in this case. In this case there was a majority of ultra-orthodox Jewish thugs beating up a solitary homosexual.
If Pink News was afraid that its readers could develop antisemitic prejudices based upon the action of few jewish individuals who are certainly not representative of Jews as a group they could have provided a link to an overview of different jewish denominations and explained their different attitude towards homosexuality. Combatting prejudice by information is certainly more productive than attempting to prevent prejudice by withholding information.
To make a start it should be remembered that Israel (currently the only nation with a Jewish majority) has anti-discrimination laws to protecting LGBT people and bigger Israeli cities host gay pride parades with Tel Aviv which has also been elected the world’s best city for gays naturally having the biggest parade. Furthermore there are Jewish denomination that back LGBT rights (and Pink News has covered it).
So I really can’t see any reason why the average Pink News reader should fall for antisemitic prejudices just because a few thugs not representing an entire group of people may have committed a crime.