Why is it not being called what it is? Why the pretense that this is something far less specific than it is? Why are people not identifying those responsible? Over the past few months we’ve been hearing a lot about the increase of anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States. Although it’s been far worse recently, the rise in anti-Jewish sentiment is hardly a new development, particularly in some notable parts of Europe. Cities like Paris, Antwerp, and Malmo, Sweden have been notorious for increasing incidents of vandalism and violence against Jews for quite some time now. If you hear the reports, it clearly sounds like the Jewish people are becoming increasingly unwelcome in the European community. There’s a catch though. It’s not the overall European community primarily guilty of this expression of hatred. From all accounts most of the hatred is coming from within the Muslim community.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article in which I renounced my status as a Liberal.(CLICK TO READ) This issue is one of the reasons I’ve done so. I have friends and acquaintances that still do call themselves liberal who are not squeamish when it comes to identifying the root source of the danger to the Jewish people, but there are many within the liberal community who would turn around and call this article the epitome of Islamophobia. Those are the ones I know longer align myself with. Call it what you like, but it’s no phobia. A phobia is something irrational. I don’t hate a person because they’re Muslim. But I do hate a person who hates me, those like me, and anyone else who doesn’t think like them. That’s not irrational, that’s logical. Interactions I’ve had in the past with Muslims who wanted an equal relationship have proven that I indeed do not have some automatic dislike because of what religion they were born into. That goes against everything I believe in. But that also doesn’t prevent me from identifying the sad truth, and that is that an overwhelming percentage of anti-Jewish sentiment in the world today comes from within the Muslim population.
Although the BDS Movement has non-Muslim followers and participants due to its excellent and cynical marketing, it’s a group formed by a Palestinian. Anti-Jewish demonstrations and violence against Jews in Paris consist primarily of Algerian Muslims. Anti-Jewish behavior in Holland comes primarily from Moroccan Muslims. One third of the population of Malmo is Muslim. Is it a coincidence this small and once cute city in Sweden that I visited with my parents and sister in 1976 is a powder keg of anti-Semitism?
Although there is an element within the so-called liberal elite behind some of the anti-Israel activities on college campuses in the U.S., I have no doubt you would find that at the very least a significant number of those active against Israel in these institutes of higher learning are Muslim.
Here’s the point people conveniently miss. No one is happy about this. We want to hear the Muslims within these cities and institutions take a stand against hatred. But where are they? Where is their voice? These people would be my friends. They would be my partners in moving towards a better world, and in return it would be easy and enjoyable for me to respect and support them in whatever life they might choose to live, be it Muslim or something else. But that element within the Muslim community is silent, most likely out of fear, and therefore missing the opportunity to alter the perception that all Muslims feel that way. You see, if I was guilty of Islamophobia, I might say all Muslims feel this way. But I don’t. At the same time I am not willing to deny the basic truth, and that is that if you took the Muslims out of the equation, we most likely wouldn’t even be talking about anti-Semitism today.
It’s time we accepted the truth. It will catch up with us whether we do or not. The funny thing about reality is that it doesn’t go away just because you ignore it. If anything, when the reality is that one large group of people is out to get you, if you ignore it, it only gets worse.
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Leave a comment | tags: Algerian, anti-Jewish, anti-Semitism, Antwerp, BDS, Europe, European, Islamophobia, Jewish, liberal, Malmo, Morrocan, Muslims, Paris, Sweden, United States | posted in Uncategorized
As someone who is always keeping his eyes open for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment, something that most honest people know to be one of the same, I tried to find evidence that the banning of the SodaStream ad from the Super Bowl by FOX was one more example of hatred of the Jewish people. Despite any solid evidence to back this up, the ripple effects of this story have been enormous in a variety of ways.
Although diminished over the years, I have a personal connection to SodaStream. This personal connection has caused me to pay a little extra attention to the company and the success it has generated. When I heard that Scarlett Johansson had agreed to be a spokesperson and would be in a commercial airing during the Super Bowl, as was the case with many other Jews and Zionists, I felt a tremendous degree of excitement and pride. Not only was this a blow to the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Movement inasmuch as it had a major Israeli company on the public stage, it also represented a high profile, popular and beautiful actress showing the character and strength to support an Israeli company with no apparent concern for the backlash she might receive from others within her industry and from other industries.
But it gets better. As many already know, SodaStream is an example of everything that is right in modern Israeli capitalism. Here is a company, providing a good product, environmentally sound and beneficial to its users, seemingly providing great success to its owners and management team while providing fair and equitable employment to residents of the areas of Israel where the product is manufactured. Let me repeat that for Roger Waters and other proud supporter of the BDS Movement. Providing fair and equitable employment to residents of the areas of Israel where the product is manufactured. That encompasses what they like to refer to as the “occupied territories”.
The best news of all however, is that not only despite the fact that SodaStream’s ad was pulled from the Super Bowl but maybe even because it was, the company has become more well known in the past few days than it may ever have dreamed of becoming. In some ways I’ll go as far as saying that a situation that was supposed to be nothing more than a business venture has turned into a political gain for the State of Israel. The United States of America, a country I am proud to call my home, is now the setting for one of the most blatant examples of corporate censorship you will ever encounter. The control that Coca-Cola and Pepsi have over the Super Bowl is so tremendous they have basically forced the network covering the event to not allow an advertisement that attacks their product. The fact that the company that manufactures this product, SodaStream, is being unjustly attacked for making a product at the expense of the human rights of others, will totally expose those whose activism against Israel is based on anti-Semitism rather than a genuine, albeit misguided pursuit of justice. The irony practically makes me giddy and although I myself am not a soda drinker, the impact this has had will cause me to purchase SodaStream as a gift for someone at my first opportunity.
Of course the one sobering fact is that logic and truth have never stood in the path of those who have wished to cause pain to and destruction of the Jewish people. With that said the fight needs to continue on many fronts, and today as a Jew and Zionist I thank Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream for what in the minds of many is a victory in one of the many battles we will unfortunately continue to have to fight. Then again the personal connection I mentioned earlier makes it very easy to believe that SodaStream would be in the middle of something so significantly helpful to Israel’s image at a time it needed it the most.
2 Comments | tags: anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, BDS Movement, Coca-Cola, FOX, Israeli, Jew, Pepsi, Roger Waters, Scarlett Johansson, SodaStream, State of Israel, Super Bowl, Zionist | posted in Uncategorized