In the latest anti-Semitic incident, a Google search for the word “jew” resulted not in a definition of Jewish ethnicity and religious identity but with a hateful 19th century verb “jewing” or “driving a hard or miserly bargain.” This verb is of course based on the classic anti-Semitic trope associating Jewish people with dishonest money laundering and other money-related occupations. What is disturbing about this incident is its subtlety: this isn’t beating up Jews on the streets of Brooklyn (which is explicitly heinous), this is something that was quietly approved by a Google employee. After significant outcry on social media, Google changed the order of search results on their engine, giving the definition of the noun “Jew” precedence over the verb “to jew.” It is still unclear however, how long the verb held search engine preference, or why this happened.
Please pray for clarity about the source of this incident. Please pray for a wakeup call for those who casually promote (or discount!) modern anti-Semitism. Lastly, please pray for safety for Diaspora Jews who live with the reality of anti-Semitism every day.
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