Tag Archives: pogroms

Maybe they should Hate us

antiseFrom the age of 15 to 18  I lived in London in the house of a Rabbi and his family.  He and his wife were wonderful and genuinely religious people who always looked for the good in people. Whenever you would declare a hatred for another person, the Rabbi’s wife would always respond by saying how one should never hate people. Setting aside her words of compassion and decency, one can make an argument that sometimes hatred is not only reasonable but justified. Ironically over the past few days I came to the conclusion that the hatred felt towards Israel and the Jewish people may not actually be reasonable or justified, but it may not be too difficult to understand.  This is not because the people who hate us are good people, or that there is anything ethical about their hatred, this is merely because with what they are looking to accomplish and the message they are trying to get out there, the Jewish people may indeed pose a problem and a threat.

So to which group of people am I referring to?  The short answer is anyone who believes their religion needs to achieve world domination at all costs.  I could mince words and be politically correct, but since I believe in writing with integrity and honesty I will just state the reality.  Most of these people are Muslims.  Sure there are people of other faiths who hate the Jewish people as well, and I recognize that not all Muslims hate Jews, but to deny that most of the hatred is coming from those of the Muslim faith would be incorrect and irresponsible.

This whole discussion creates an interesting, and to be quite frank, a rather bizarre dynamic.  There are countless Muslims who are outspoken about their hatred towards Israel and the Jewish people. There are thousands upon thousands of people who have expressed that hatred in one form or another.  Anyone who is Jewish, especially someone who is a Zionist, finds themselves in a no-win situation.  You are expected to be quiet and just accept that hatred, for if you actually identify it, you are identified as the racist.  It’s not only bizarre, it is also a sad statement on what the world has become.

Depending on who you consider a Jew, there are anywhere between 13 to 19 million Jews on the planet.  By some estimations there are 1.6 billion Muslims.  Yet somehow the Jews are the threat.  Why is this?  Personally, this question has risen to the top of the list of the most important questions in today’s world.  Since I believe unequivocally that there is a God, and I believe the pursuit of the meaning of life is actually a fun venture, no other question has become more important to me than the question, “why do they hate us?”

I’ve come up with numerous answers and would not be surprised if I come up with more as time goes on.  The number one answer I always fall back on is that despite all efforts, us Jews just won’t go away. It sounds simplistic but as I sat in synagogue this past Saturday I was struck by the deeper meaning of it all.  The portion read from the Torah this past week spoke of how Jacob, the Biblical Patriarch whose name would later be changed to Israel, had a dream of a ladder ascending to heaven from earth.  He had this dream in what would be known as Beit El.  Beit El which is in what we know as the West Bank and is right in the heart of the conflict the world hears so much about.  The Children of Israel, who we now refer to as the Jewish people, run a government that controls this land.  Still to this day, thousands of years after the story of Jacob, aka Israel, had the dream at Beit El, this same location is now a thriving town populated by Jewish people and part of the modern nation of Israel. After all the persecution, the pogroms, the gas chambers and the suicide bombers, the Jews are still living right there in this location designated by God as special to the Children of Israel.  We may be small in number, but when you consider that it all started with a relationship with God, if your life is based around the belief that only your religion is right, of course we’re a threat.

Then of course there is the scapegoating concept.  Jews have always been a good target.  The character flaw that leads one to believe that everything wrong in the world is someone else’s fault, also exists on an organizational or national level.  Case in point, the people of Gaza live in poverty and it is all Israel’s fault.  Of course it has nothing to do with the misappropriation of funds and corruption that has a small minority living a billionaire’s life or the building of terror tunnels.  It has nothing to do with self-serving politicians rallying their people to hate Israel and the Jewish people.  It’s someone else’s fault, and the best and easiest people to blame always seem to be the Jews.

And last but definitely not least, it is plain old ignorance.  Are the Jewish people perfect?  Definitely not.  There are some high-profile Jews that have committed acts that no normal decent person would condone.  Israel as a nation makes mistakes and most likely has politicians that will manipulate the situation to benefit their personal career even if it hurts others in the process. That being said, that makes the Jews no different from any other people on the planet, and to somehow move us to the top of the list of evildoers is based on an ignorant perception caused by the choice to believe misrepresentations, or even worse being a victim of an education against the Jewish people.  The misrepresentation of facts to adults and the education of young children in many parts of the Muslim world is creating millions of people who almost have no choice other than to hate Jews. This reality is frightening, sad, and for lack of a better word disgusting.  But it certainly explains a lot.

The hatred is unreasonable, despicable, unjustified and bizarre, but if you look at what is driving those who hate us, it makes an awful lot of sense.

 

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My Summer of Gaza

img65649The summer of 2014 was set to be a great one.  I had slimmed down from the year before, had recently moved into a better home closer to the beach, the World Cup had started and I was all set to enjoy the next few months. Although life always presents its challenges, nothing had come up that was so important that it would change my priorities significantly.  Then something happened that changed everything.  3 Yeshiva boys were kidnapped.

I still remember that ray of hope we had that Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal would somehow make it back safely.  The motto “Bring Back our Boys” was everywhere as we all prayed that somehow God would see them back to their homes unharmed.  I have seen many bad actions taken against Jews and decent people everywhere, but somehow I found myself more involved now than I had been for at least 13 years since 9/11.  I related to these boys.  I remember being a Yeshiva student myself in my late teens, in Israel, and knew that even if I wasn’t like these boys, I knew guys who were.  So it hit home and I found myself caring more than usual.  It wasn’t till they were found dead, murdered brutally at what we all knew immediately was the hands of Hamas terrorists, that something truly snapped in me.  That was when I, David, had finally had enough.

When tragedy strikes one never knows exactly how they will react.  Although I related so significantly to these three boys, I did not know them personally. Had I known them personally, maybe I would have been so distraught that I would have had trouble functioning.  So when I say I had finally had enough and I snapped, I felt an anger I had rarely felt in my life and I turned to my weapon of choice, the written word.  And my position as a moderate was now a thing of the past as well, as I realized that moderation is something that needs to be saved for the reasonable and fair, not the racially bigoted and brutally violent.

When the Israeli cabinet met on how to react to the boys’ deaths, I knew one thing.  As a Jew and a Zionist living in New York, unless they did nothing, I would support the Israeli government.  I committed myself to not only stating my feelings, but in rallying as many people as possible to the cause.  Not my cause, not merely the Jewish people’s cause, but in truth what should be seen as the entire world’s cause.   Before this would happen I would call someone a piece of garbage for being anti-Semitic, and occasionally even write something about it, but now it felt more personal than before.  It became so clear to me as it is to almost anyone with an unbiased desire for a peaceful world.  So now I decided to go further than I had ever gone before.  As I state on my Twitter profile, “no longer am I happy not being part of the problem. Now I want to be part of the solution.”

When Israel first went after Hamas with airstrikes in Gaza, no one really knew how serious the situation would turn out to be.  The terror tunnels they discovered were designed to carry out mass murders of Jews, and the intelligence they gathered indicated that it was going to be as soon as this Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year which falls towards the end of September. Israel’s incursion by ground troops into Gaza was used to uncover and destroy these tunnels.  However, while this was happening the situation took an ominous term.

I almost typed unexpected as well, but as a Jew paying attention, anti-Semitism is never completely unexpected.  I’ve been accused of being slightly over-sensitive to comments, but no one has ever accused me of having a persecution complex.  At least not to my face.  So when I say I was not totally shocked by the global spike in anti-Jewish words and behavior, this is not coming from someone who makes declarations that “everyone hates the Jews”.  I know better.  What we’ve seen this summer however has been epic.  Even by the usual standards of hatred.  Gone is the requirement of logic and fact.  Merely wanting to hate the Jews became enough.  Telling half of the story so that the part that exonerated Israel was conveniently missing became the strategy of the vocal and clever anti-Zionist/anti-Semite.  And gone forever is the notion that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are not two in the same.  When  you have two signs at a protest that say “Free Gaza” and ” Hitler was right”, you have lost the argument that they are different.  When pogrom style attacks took place on French synagogues by people claiming to do things in support of Palestinians it was made abundantly clear that this was about hating the Jew at least as much as it was about opposing Israel.

The more Jews were attacked, whether in Israel or outside of Israel, the more committed I became, expressing my commitment through articles and letters to those expressing damaging sentiments towards the Jewish people, while also writing articles acknowledging our supporters.  Every time I heard “Free Gaza” I felt more and more compelled to shout to the world that the people of Gaza needed to be freed from Hamas not from Israel.  Every time the United Nations revealed its bizarrely obvious bias against Israel I wanted to write something to expose it.  Why?  Partially because it was cathartic, but even more because I wanted to make sure everyone I could reach would know the truth, and once I began to do that, there was no turning back.  With every missile fired at Israel, with every fatality including the 64 members of the IDF fighting to preserve Israel’s survivor, my commitment grew stronger.

Recognizing the need for unity with more than just the Jewish community, I created the Global Coalition for Israel on Facebook as a means of showing a cohesive support for the State of Israel. One month later the group is at 1300 and growing daily.  When the summer began I was worried about when I was going to get to the beach, lay in the sun and get to barbecues.  I’m not saying that I didn’t do those things to some extent during the summer of 2014, but they all took a back seat to something more important.  My new activism.  Watching CNN and FOX on a daily basis to get the news coming from the region, researching websites and news sources online, and meeting people with stories to tell from Israel and Europe, the summer of 2014 became something I never expected it would become, it became my Summer of Gaza.

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If anti-Semitism in Europe is the appetizer, wait till you see the main course.

249Anyone who knows even a little history knows that this is not Europe’s first go at anti-Jewish sentiment and actions.  However, this time around there are some significant differences, differences that could lead to the end of Europe as we now know it.

Traditionally anti-Semitism in Europe was government sanctioned.  The Spanish inquisition, Russian pogroms, Nazi Germany, Stalin’s U.S.S.R., all consisted of horrors and destruction for the Jews that were carried out by the ruling parties of each of these regimes.  In each one of these examples Jews were being eliminated because they were fraudulently declared a threat to the environment being created and were therefore, for all intents and purposes, illegal and harmful residents.  Today however, regardless of whether you call any particular nation in Europe a friend of the Jews or not, the anti-Semitism being generated comes more from mobs than governments.  At least for now.

These mobs are primarily organized and dominated by the Muslim communities of various countries.  Nothing represents the advancement of the Muslim cause in Europe more than France, where the mobs have turned so hateful and violent, Jews are starting to pick up and leave.  The behavior of these mobs is the precursor to what will ultimately be a much bigger issue in Europe, a radical new demographic.  That’s a technical way of saying an Islamic takeover.

I do not make this statement to be racist.  I would love to see a world where we all can live together in peace.  I know there are good and bad people in all races and religions, and yes, I have met many good Muslims.  But I also know, that only one group has leaders in their midst declaring a desire for world domination, a term not connected to such a significant threat since the days of Adolph Hitler.  Ironic that the Jews are being called Nazis, isn’t it?  I understand the Muslim fanatics drawing the comparison because it gets the people going and helps their cause.  Although they should know, that even though Hitler may have killed the Jews first, in a Europe such as the one we see today, if a Hitler-type rises to power, the Muslims would at worst be second.

The stupidity in all of this however is with the non-Muslims in Europe who are taking the side against Israel and the Jews.  I am not referring to decent people who are saddened by the events taking place in Gaza.  I am referring to those who are falling for the propaganda machine being used against Israel and the Jews, a machine getting a trial run before it takes on its much bigger target, anyone not Muslim.  Those who feel these mobs will stop at the Jews is not only not paying attention to what is happening, they are not being honest about its source.  If these mobs care so much about dead children, where have they been till now?  Ask them how many children have been murdered in Syria? Or better yet, tell them.  Over 9,000.  Let me repeat that.  Over 9,000 children have been killed in Syria. Where are the mobs protesting that?  Where are the signs equating the Syrian flag with the Swastika?  Then there is Mosul, a city of 1.8 million.  Interesting number.  Why?  Because Gaza has 1.8 million residents. But here is the difference.  150,000 Christians were recently attempting to flee because if they did not they would be slaughtered or forced to convert like those Christians that did not leave.  I am sure there are thousands of children in that number as well, but unlike Gaza, where the Israeli government actually wants people to see the truth, Mosul is unreachable by the press.  This allows ISIS to run rampant murdering and destroying anyone and anything they feel doesn’t help towards their goal of an Islamic Caliphate.  Where are the mobs protesting this?  Where are the signs comparing ISIS to Nazis?  Nowhere.

My point is that for these mobs it is not about the concern for the well-being of children, it is either about pushing their agenda or voicing their hatred for Jews.  When the time comes that governments need to fight against evil entities such as ISIS in Iraq or Boko Haram in Nigeria, or a nuclear Iran, just to keep Europe and the rest of the civilized world safe, the mobs will form all over again, and just like they are doing now, will pretend it is about dead babies.

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Definitions of anti-Semitism

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though Semites were originally more than just Jews, the term anti-Semite is now one reserved just for the hatred of the Jewish people.  With this in mind I decided to take a look at different definitions of the term in order to see how it is perceived  and to help people honestly identify it when exposed to it.  The definition in the Urban Dictionary, in my opinion at least, covers the most ground, including the connection to the anti-Israel sentiment.

 

Wikipedia

Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. In a 2005 U.S. governmental report, antisemitism is defined as “hatred toward Jews—individually and as a group—that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity.”[1] A person who holds such views is called an “antisemite”. Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Jews to organized violent attacks by mobs, state police, or even military attacks on entire Jewish communities. Extreme instances of persecution include the pogroms which preceded the First Crusade in 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the massacres of Spanish Jews in 1391, the persecutions of the Spanish Inquisition, theexpulsion from Spain in 1492, the expulsion from Portugal in 1497, various Russianpogroms, the Dreyfus Affair, and the Final Solution by Hitler’s Germany and official Sovietanti-Jewish policies.

While the term’s etymology might suggest that antisemitism is directed against all Semitic peoples, the term was coined in the late 19th century in Germany as a more scientific-sounding term for Judenhass (“Jew-hatred”),[2] and that has been its normal use since then.

 

Merriam-Webster

Definition of ANTI-SEMITISM

Dictionary.com

an·ti-Sem·i·tism   [an-tee-sem-i-tiz-uhm, an-tahy-] Show IPA       noun

Urban Dictionary
1. Anti-Semite 428 up, 143 down
 
2. Anti-Semite 425 up, 148 down
 
3. Anti-Semite 350 up, 121 down
 
• An Anti- Semite may make mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective – such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions. 
• An Anti-Semite may accuse Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non­Jews. 
• An Anti-Semite may deny the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust). 
•An Anti-Semite may accuse the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. 
•An Anti-Semite may accuse Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations. 
•An Anti-Semite may use the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis. 
•An Anti-Semite may hold Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.