July 14, 2024
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July 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The headline to Rabbi Pittinksy’s article, “How a Gas Station Chat Taught me to Combat Antisemitism” (February 8, 2024), brought back a 50-year-old memory.

Like Rabbi Pittinsky, I too have received strong support from many of my non-Jewish friends. But an incident from 1973 still stands out in my mind.

I was working on my Ph.D. at Purdue University and drove over to nearby Fort Ben Harrison, Indiana, for a two-week army tour. I stopped for gas. It was during the Arab oil embargo that sent gasoline prices soaring. When speaking of these price rises the gas station spouted, “They sure Jew you!” I was an army captain at the time — in my Class A uniform. I took a giant step forward and said, “I happen to be Jewish.”

He mumbled some half-witted apology. But this Hoosier’s incongruous comment, blaming Jews for the action of Arabs, still resonates today.

Carl Singer
Passaic
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