According to Webster’s a knee-jerk reaction is an immediate unthinking emotional reaction produced by an event or statement to which the reacting person is highly sensitive; in persons with strong feelings on a topic, it may be very predictable. And it’s not a new term, either. It’s been in use, in its current context, since the 10th century. After 1,100 years we know such reactions can prevent the possibility of finding a solution to the trigger problem.
A few recent incidents indicate the Jewish community might want to count to ten before calling the media and sounding off. The Jews were the not the only group singled out by fascist thugs in Donetsk, Ukraine who demanded a number of groups register with local authorities, or by the NYU student who so wanted to get on Fox News, that she accused pro-Palestinian students of singling out solely Jewish students when they went on an “eviction notice” campaign that targeted 2,000 kids in the dorms.
Knee-jerk reactions magnified in the media cause much harm to the Jewish people by making us look thoughtless and uncaring about truth. And when we yell anti-Semitism when it’s not really there, we must be extra careful to not cry wolf in these dangerous times.