I take the pulse of the world of Radiology via AuntMinnie.com. The Residents' Digital Forum is always lively, with discussions of topics ranging from politics to how to go about switching residency programs.
The political threads can get rather intense, with conservative posters (often called Neocons, Right-Wingers, Bushies) going head-to-head with liberal posters (Leftists, Socialists, Bush-haters, Commies). You get the idea!
Israel, Islam, Iraq, and the Mideast situation in general creates a flash-point for discussion. The usual polarization is present within these threads, but I have noticed a very ominous trend: there are now several blatantly anti-Semitic posts. Here is a thread about the current war between Israel and the Hezbollah in Lebanon. I won't even try to discuss the issues of the war itself here; that's beside the point I am trying to make. The AuntMinnie thread contains a considerable majority of anti-Israel sentiment: Israel is bloodthirsty, Israelis are the real terrorists, America is stupid for supporting Israel. Fine. But then come the racist rants: The media and Congress are Jew-run, Jew this, Jew that. It makes my blood freeze. You see, this forum is on a RADIOLOGY web-site, and is geared toward residents (although old farts like me drop in periodically.) These comments are ostensibly from intelligent young physicians! What has happened? I wish I knew. But I can only speculate. There is a lot of frustration out there, and a tremendous amount of anger, mainly on the part of the liberal posters anyway, about our involvement in Iraq, and about President Bush. I don't know if this is manifesting into anti-Semitic sentiments de novo, or just unmasking such feelings that were already there. Either way, the fact that supposedly smart people are rehashing material from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (an anti-Semitic tome from years ago) makes me worry. A lot. What will happen to this country, and to Israel, for that matter, when this angry young generation comes of age and acquires real political power?
Those who hate destroy themselves just as much as the objects of their hatred. You might not be able to prove that scientifically, but it is so nonetheless. I hope these kids learn that before too much longer.