Growing up a Seventh-Day Adventist, I heard far more about what an evil place the outside world is than I have as a convert to Judaism. At the same time, there was no security in my Adventist upbringing. There were no guards at church. People were never frisked for weapons. There were no physical threats to Adventist safety.
So then I convert to Judaism and almost every time I go to shul on the Sabbath, there are guards. When I go to Jewish events, people are often forced to go through metal detectors.
I’ve never experience anti-Semitism. It’s been hard for me to internalize awareness of it. I read about threats to Jews but I’ve never had any to me.
I know first-hand about the superiority of Jewish life to the alternatives. Jews are smarter, better educated, more affluent, more charitable with one another than the people around them. It’s always been this way. When we’re not getting persecuted for being Jewish, it is a great way to live.
Jewish communities have developed exceptionally sophisticated systems of protecting themselves – in many places they have had little choice. Sometimes this is with aid and advice from Israel; most often they work very closely with the state security services themselves – another example of successful (while regrettable ) Jewish integration into mainstream society.
In Britain, for instance, the Community Security Trust enjoys an immensely cooperative relationship with the police and intelligence services, and because of basic trust in the security system, anti-Semitic attacks are likely much more often reported than attacks against other ethnic minorities who have less faith in the state’s interests in protecting them.
But Jews also like to do it for themselves, having experienced not infrequent examples throughout history where supposedly friendly societies have failed to look out for their interests.