Beyond the Cusp

December 7, 2017

How Deep the Hate

 

This article was one we have held for some time saving it for an appropriate time or a slow day where we had no prescient article. So, first, a double thanks to President Trump and those American people, the many millions who support Israel and Jerusalem as its Capital City, for the declaration of recognition given last night. The reason for a double thanks is the preceding and building reaction of the Arab and additional Muslim national leaders and those of their populations reactions and rejections for proving the truths and unfortunate realities we speak of in today’s article.

 

Israelis mostly do not hate Arab Palestinians or Arabs anywhere. Israel has treated many Syrians wounded in their civil wars, treated Gazan Arabs even to include the leader of Hamas Haniyeh’s mother-in-law and Haniyeh’s daughter as well as the sister of Hamas senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk. It is the fact that as Jews we try to love everyone even to include our worst enemies who would slice our throats rather than treat our wounds. It is things like this knowing we try to extend compassions that make the recent actions including students at the Hebrew University affiliated with the school’s local chapter of the Hadash faction, a part of the Joint Arab List, today desecrated the memory of IDF combat soldier Sergeant Ron Kukia, who was murdered last week in the city of Arad. His death was initially reported as his being a stabbing victim who had been waiting for a bus at Arad’s shopping mall. According to police, the stabbing was likely a terrorist attack. It was not until later came the news of the person’s name and military status. It is likely that Ron Kukia was not in uniform at the time of the stabbing otherwise his name at least could have been known far sooner after the attack if not immediately as well as his being an IDF soldier. Why is this important? Many people around the world do claim that it is perfectly legal and normal for an Arab, even if a citizen of Israel and not directly a Palestinian, to stab members of the Israeli Defense Forces, even Druze, Arab or any other than Jewish soldier, because they are at war and every Arab can be considered a soldier. This was the wanton stabbing of a young man waiting for a bus and the victim of this attack is whom the Arab students insisted his remembrance must be protested vehemently and extremely vocally against with their own demonstrations.

 

The truth is that many Arabs within the area of Israel and outside the immediate area, if questioned, will talk openly about their hatred of all things Jewish. If one would like to generalize that statement and spread it to Europe, Russia, the Ukraine and even much of the world, they would not be far wrong to claim that a plurality would speak openly of their hatred of the Jews. This includes people who have never met a person who is Jewish. There are two surveys conducted through the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which describe numerous areas with the 2014 survey being conducted as a global survey and the 2015 update being taken in numerous nations but not actually global. The 2014 Global Survey figured that on average; more than one out of every four people were measured as being anti-Semitic (26%). The measures by areas in 2014 were, the Americas (North, South and Central) at 19%, Western Europe at 24%, Eastern Europe at 34%, MENA (Middle East and North Africa) at 74%, Sub Saharan Africa at 23%, Asia at 22%, and Oceania at 14%. MENA being the highest with its being mostly Arab and Muslim was not a surprise but that there were places lower than the Americas was slightly surprising with Oceana measuring a full 5% lower at 14% compared to the Americas 19%. Laos having a measured anti-Semitic index at 0.2% was far and away the lowest rate of anti-Semitism in the world. Disregarding MENA nations, the country with the greatest anti-Semitism was Greece with a measure 69%. Within MENA the nation, measuring the lowest anti-Semitism was Iran with 56% and the highest was the Arab Palestinian Areas at 93% with Iraq right behind at 92%. The mean score in the MENA region was 81%, somewhat higher than their 74% overall average. The survey found that nations with more Jews general measured less anti-Semitism, so at least here familiarity did not breed contempt.

 

The ADL measured anti-Semitic tendencies, not the level of hatefulness amongst those holding such beliefs, and therein lays the real problem. The reason is that the more deeply seated and inflammatory the hatred, the greater the possibilities for anti-Semitic thoughts to spread and become acceptable and for actual violence to break out and the Jews finding a need to flee. This was the case for far too many in the MENA region where such visceral, white-hot hatred of the Jews runs deep and has led over the years to a necessity ensuing in the birth of Israel. Almost one-million Jews were stripped of all wealth and exiled from their nations within MENA and deported largely to Israel. The fortunate had relatives willing to attest to their nature and promise to care for them after arrival in the United States, and even then, many were initially granted only a temporary Visa as a visitor much like one an actual tourist receives. The lack of willingness of the United States to take in Jews seeking asylum even from the Nazis was shown in full detail during World War II when the St Louis cruise liner was refused docking privileges in the United States as the State Department in Washington, the US consulate in Havana, some Jewish organizations, and refugee agencies were all aware of the situation that there were over nine-hundred Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany and all were in dire need of refuge. The ship was also refused docking everywhere along the route until it reached Great Britain where those with British relatives willing to vouch for them and take them in were permitted to disembark. Most of the over nine-hundred returned to Europe ended in Concentration camps with a great number being killed in the camps. There are links to personal stories and other information about the St Louis, also known as the Voyage of the Damned, the name of a book and movie about the St. Louis and her refugees.

 

Anti-Semitism is often referred to as the oldest social hatred problem of the world, though I am sure there could be older, but hardly more prevalent. The levels of anti-Semitism had shown signs of decreasing over the last half of the 20th Century. That has reversed itself with ever rising anti-Semitism in this new century. Most affected has been Europe and the rise has not been limited to the growing Muslim population though that too has been a contributing factor. Still, through much of Europe we have witnessed a stark increase also amongst their native populations who have taken to a return to the feelings similar to those in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Currently, anti-Semitism in parts of Europe is reaching astonishing levels. Some examples from the 2015 sample are Greece at 67%, Romania at 47%, Turkey (a NATO member) at 71%, Hungary at 40%, Poland at 37% and the Ukraine at 32%. These numbers and many of the rest across Europe are expected to be rising and doing so at an ever-increasing rate. Things have reached a level where a conference in Hungary titled “Is there a future for Jews in Europe?” and will be hosted by Hungarian Interior Minister Sándor Pintér. Quoting the article, “Commenting on the Conference, Kálmán Szalai the Secretary of TEV who organized the event said, “This is an extremely important gathering for European Jewry.” The two biggest challenges to Europe today will be discussed, migration and terrorism. Both have a serious impact on the Jewish community. Here in Hungary, we face an additional challenge from an extreme right party, the Jobbik, which has built its base on spreading rational hatred and anti-Semitism, and today is using the general frustration of voters to gain favor.” That pretty much sums up the problems in Europe.

 

Burning Israel Star of David

 

The United States is another place where anti-Semitism has slowly started rising. This is in many ways a shock to most Jews who have had some of their best years in the United States in all their history for the past seventy years and longer in some locations. The assimilation of American Jewry has reached levels where many Jews currently identify just as strongly, if not more so, with their political leanings than they do with their religion. Many Jewish congregations have adopted left-leaning policies such as acceptance of same sex marriages and inter-faith marriages among other leftist dogma despite the admonitions in Torah against such. Jews have found acceptance in virtually every field of endeavor and many have strayed far enough from Judaism’s hat they now fight Israel for being too Jewish and too strictly restricting Jewish belief to strict Torah observance. Israel has not forbidden the less strict branches of Judaism from having congregations but has restricted their acceptance of conversions and other strictly religious definitions from being accepted if they come from some of the least Orthodox congregations and Rabbis. The lack of leniency towards observance of Torah, or lack thereof, has placed a schism between many American Jews and Israel to such a point that the most ardent supporters of Israel outside the Orthodox Jewish community have become the Evangelical Christians. This has become a fact which will likely cause our making notice to attract some heated responses from Jews who like to protest too much and act less.

 

We would like to conclude with some commentary of a more personal nature. Where amongst our small staff we have Jews from the United States, who were less than what one might consider religiously observant in the United States, we are talking about being so detached as to work on Shabbat, drive on Shabbat, work if required by our employers on the High Holidays and numerous other less admirable acts; we have found here in Israel being an observant Jew to be natural and very comforting. Now the aforementioned keep Kosher, attend Shabbat morning services, go to Synagogue for most weekday (usually all if health permits) services, morning, afternoon and evening, and observe all the holidays. Following such a life in Israel is almost as natural as breathing, at least in our little area. That does not mean for a second that this is something that the vast majority of Jews in Israel observe a strict religiosity. There are religious communities where everyone belongs to the same Synagogue and all are close knit and follow the religious teachings of their Rabbi to the letter and these can be found in most cities and there are even entire towns which operate under such restriction. These neighborhoods require that anybody who desires to live within their community meet certain standards and agree to their rules. One might consider these to be gated restricted communities with invisible fences, no actual gates, but with defined limits and borders. These communities often assist one another with any problems and work very much together as a real community where belonging carries with it great responsibilities largely towards respect and assisting all within the community. There is no comparison between much of Israel outside Tel Aviv metropolitan area with the main metropolises of the United States with some special exceptions. Perhaps this is why such a divide has come between the American non-Orthodox Jewish communities and Israel when it comes to what is considered acceptably Jewish. In Israel, a Jew is defined by Torah and in the United States, many Jews are defined by their politics.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — January 31, 2018 @ 7:34 AM | Reply


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