Beyond the Cusp

December 17, 2018

The Hate Tsunami Against Jews and Blaming Israel


Many wish to differentiate between anti-Semitism, anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism. We will admit right up front, criticizing Israel does not immediately qualify one as anti-Semitic but that there are means of researching to see if their reasoning was driven by anti-Semitism. When one only criticizes Israel while ignoring every other of the ills in this big, wide and often very afflicted world; that just might be a significant hint of anti-Semitism. On the other hand, anti-Zionism, the denial of the right of Jews, and only Jews, to desire and work in support of their ancient homelands, that most definitely is anti-Semitism as there could not be any other name for such a specific denial outside hatred. Anti-Semitism was prematurely pronounced dead and buried by the Allied Powers of World War II. Their presumption was that the everlasting memory of the horrors of the Holocaust would live in the world consciousness thus ending all shreds of anti-Semitism on the entirety of Earth. There were a few problems with their presumptuous. First, there were those on this little blue marble swirling in the ink-black void of space who actually cheered Hitler as a hero, whose leaders insisted that they were the appointed to finish what the Nazis started and the rest of the world had memories which, even with pictures and reminders, fell far short well within the first half of a century. Are there people who remember the horrors, of course. But nobody thought to teach it to the future generations, well, at least not too many in this current generation if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is representative. The troops which were so unfortunate as to walk unexpectedly into the camps liberating them and who saw the human skeletons and other horrors, something normal people prefer not to even wish to contemplate, had nightmares for years yet never conveyed the full horror any further than a quarter century, and then they were forgotten and the world forgot their horror along with their former heroes. The specter of anti-Semitism has returned with a vengeance and morphed into two additional forms, anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism.


What is really disconcerting is reading how anti-Semitism in all its forms is on the increase every time reading the news. Reading things like the fact that one in five youths between the ages of 18 to 34 in most of Europe state that they had never heard of the Holocaust. More than one in four in Europe believes that Jews have too much influence on business and finance. Jews are still accused of having caused much of the conflicts and wars around the world. One in three Europeans admits they knew little or nothing at all about the Holocaust and use the Holocaust to promote their positions and goals. Over 25% in Europe feel that manifestations of anti-Semitism in their countries come in response to Israel’s actions. About one-third in Europe believes Jews have too much influence on the media. Just last week, former president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, excoriated Moshe Klughaft assailing the Israeli political consultant as a “money-grubbing Jew,” and “dirty Jew.” Then there is the entirety of the Arab Boycott gone global as the BDS Movement and the entirety of the anti-Semitic declarations regularly pumped out by the United Nations General Assembly and the related tentacles of the United Nations. Not to leave out the United States, where in 2017 there was over a 50% increase in reported anti-Semitic crimes and attacks over 2016. Now, in 2018, in Squirrel Hill, a gloriously lovely neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, eleven Jews were shot dead during a Bris on what was hoped to be a festive Shabbat morning. This was the worst murder of Jews in United States history. We can only wonder if that horror-filled Shabbat is simply the symptom of a world growing slowly but surely to an old, an ancient disease which robs the mind of reason and instead pours in an illogical hatred of a people who are less than 0.2% of the world’s population. They claim that they have reasons for their hatred, as this minute number from within the world at large is responsible for every ill that the world suffers. They point to the accomplishments of individual Jews and then claim those who contribute so much to the welfare of the world do so to hide their crimes.


Burning Israel Star of David


Perhaps the world should get to know all of the Jewish People. We are an ancient people who have had to manage to survive numerous empires which wished our flame to be extinguished. Some of them might be recognized by the few who have studied some history, the more the better. Naming just a few, the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Caliphate, Inquisition, Ottomans, Nazis and a slew of others. Most are no longer with us and those which are, are no longer empires. But survival also provided the Jewish People with experience in numerous occupations which we had no choice as we were denied ownership of land and eventually were denied even life during the Shoah, the Holocaust which people are so conveniently attempting to forget and bury as ancient history. Sure, there have been many smart Jews as we have always demanded our children read and education was paramount. What is hidden behind the awards and the lauding of discoveries is that there are a fairly sizable number of Jews who lack mental acuity. Some are unable to read or do elementary mathematics. Some have Mucolipidosis, Niemann-Pick Disease, Familial Mediterranean Fever, Crohn’s Disease and a number of others just an unknown to the public at large and even to many Jews. There is a slightly above normal percentage of Jews who suffer mental diseases which many blame to the limited gene pool from remaining a separate peoples. Mostly we take care of one another not relying heavily on outside assistance as with our history such has been not exactly reliable as it has often been withdrawn with little or no warning. One of the familiar accusations against the Jews is that they are all wealthy. Well, if Torah is what the accusation were about, then we would definitely be guilty though we willingly would share the knowledge within and have through the ages. But they mean financially. They also claim that the Jews control governments and all have some secret union from which they all benefit greatly. If by this last accusation they mean we assist one another, again, of that we are guilty.


I was blessed in an unusual manner in that for most of my life I was one of those wealth challenged Jews. I did not live in the main Jewish neighborhoods and very often, the closest Jewish residence was over five miles. While in Wyoming, I believe the closest Jew may have been a day’s drive. This allowed me to reside among largely American Christians and as I have blonde hair and blue eyes, I do not readily get identified as Jewish. This allowed me to hear first hand what many people would say amongst their friends about Jews. If it were a person with whom I was friends or in a group of friends and one person I did not desire to embarrass, I would not mention anything about their comments, though those who knew of my faith would always have their heads swivel towards me when these comments were made waiting for my explosion. Never did I lose my temper about such things with very few exceptions. It was interesting to watch reactions when I asked people after such a comment how they explained my. They would ask me what I meant and that would be when I identified as Jewish. The usual reaction was something like you’re kidding or no way or other expression of disbelief. At times when none of those in the group knew I was Jewish, the challenge question was always to say my Jewish name, which I readily provided and corrected them that it was simply my name given in Hebrew and not like any secret Jewish name. Some thought we had secret Jewish names we used when we met for whatever reason. What was remarkable was how many people I met in the United States, I lived in over forty states over time, who had never knowingly met a Jew in their lives. Yes, there are actually a fair number of Americans who had not met a Jew before they met me, what a representation I was and probably owe many of my brothers and sisters an apology. Their shock was finding out that Jews actually resided, not only outside the main Jewish areas of the city, but one actually lived right there in their neighborhoods. If I educated at least one of those I met, then it served a purpose and whatever the results, they served Hashem as all serves His purpose. In this, I can know, even if I may never understand, that hopefully my small efforts might be seeds which will help some to spread understanding, I pray.


Beyond the Cusp


October 17, 2012

Honest Answer to Biden’s War in the Middle East Challenge

During last week’s Vice Presidential debate the Vice President challenged Paul Ryan with the accusation that he wanted to place the United States into yet another war in the Middle East. This was one of Biden’s snarky interruptions but was also an opportunity missed by Mr. Ryan. Romney’s Vice Presidential candidate should have grabbed that challenge and backed Biden off making him pay a price for such a bare faced insult. Paul Ryan could have started by saying the obvious, “Mr. Biden, nobody who is in their right mind ever desires war and will do anything within reason to avoid a war and nobody who is being honest would insult another human being by falsely accusing them of desiring a war where some of the best young men and women and the finest from among their fellow citizens may lose their lives.” From there he could then lay out what is the real pack of troubles that now exist in the Middle East and point to the actions and inactions of both the Obama and Bush Administrations which led to this situation where such an accusation actually has any foundation in reality.

Paul Ryan could have pointed out the increased terrorism and suicide bombings that have spread throughout Iraq mostly due to President Obama’s inability to negotiate a withdrawal policy which allowed for the remaining American forces to be free to continue to assist in the fight against the terrorists instead of being isolated in one base in the middle of the dessert where their only function is as targets. He could have pointed to the fact that al-Qaeda has been resurgent within Iraq and that Iraqi President Hamid Karzai has not only been allowed but very likely pressured into the awaiting arms of Iran and is now working with Iran in supplying Bashir Assad in Syria with the weapons and munitions with which Syrians are being slaughtered. Mr. Ryan could press the fact that the majority of the arms, munitions, and other military hardware that President Obama’s Administration has sent either directly or through intermediary allies to both Libya and Syria have ended up in the hands of Salafists, Islamists and even al-Qaeda. He could have referred to the disaster that has swept across the Muslim World centered mostly in North Africa would be better called the Arab Winter as the results have definitely not been an Arab Spring. Mr. Ryan could point out the exodus from Egypt that has occurred by those Coptic Christian Egyptians who were fortunate enough to afford leaving and the riots aided by government forces of Egypt that have burned down Coptic communities, churches, schools, homes and businesses.

Ryan could also point to the new demands that have become front and center of the Palestinian demands as preconditions that Israel must be required to meet before Palestinian authority President will allow negotiations to continue. The first being President Obama calling for a building freeze in the settlements and Jerusalem which came out of nowhere and had never even been broached as an idea, let alone a demand on Israel. And his statement that the 1967 Lines, which were the 1949 Armistice Lines, be used as the starting point for borders with only land swaps which are approved by the Palestinian Authority would be allowed to redraw these lines. These are the lines of the front at the end of fighting as per United Nations agreement and which the Arabs themselves demanded never be utilized as borders during their negotiations in 1948-9. Now, every time Mahmoud Abbas speaks his first two demands out of his mouth are for a building freeze in all of the West Bank and Jerusalem and a return to the 1967 borders, he does not even use the milder terminology of Lines. He could then have asked Biden if this was how he and the President defined being the greatest friends Israel has ever had in the White House.

There is a laundry list of other missteps and outright disasters that preceded this past week’s explosion throughout the Middle East. Included in this explosion was an attack by al-Qaeda on our Consulate and the Safe House located miles away that took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three Americans attached to our Embassy staff. This is the same al-Qaeda that the President and Joe Biden have been touting died with Osama bin Laden who the President ordered assassinated in the boldest move by any President. Then there was the rioting that broke through the perimeter of our Embassy in Cairo, Egypt in which the American Flag was torn down and replaced with the Black Flag of the Salafists and al-Qaeda. Why not ask Mr. Biden to explain whether we are fighting against the Taliban or seeking to return the Taliban to power in Afghanistan. If we are fighting the Taliban, then why are we negotiating with the Taliban about including them in the Afghan government? Ryan should impress before allowing Biden to sputter an answer, “And do not tell me about the existence of a peaceful branch of the Taliban. There is no such entity any more than there is a peaceful Muslim Brotherhood which we are finding out to our dismay ever since President Obama threw our somewhat less than perfect ally Mubarak to the Islamist wolves.”

Time permitting, which this obviously might have gone a tad long on Mr. Ryan’s two minute limit, Mr. Ryan could have pointed out that it was the President’s call not to aid the students and large sector of the Iranian people when they rose up to protest what they saw as fraudulent reelection of President Ahmadinejad and instead to back the Ayatollahs and the madman masquerading as the Iranian President. Paul Ryan could have pointed to the leaks from the Administration which undermined Israeli efforts to make available assets which would be vital if Iran were to cause a war with Israel either through their terror proxies in Lebanon, Gaza or the Sinai Peninsula or by making a direct strike with WMDs or conventional weapons tipping their ballistic missiles. Mr. Ryan could state the obvious truth that the sole reason that Vice President Biden could even make such an accusation that the Republican candidates might get the United States in a war in the Middle East was directly due to the complete inadequacy of the Obama Administration’s muddled, addled and utterly failed policies in the Middle East, which are reflective of their entire foreign policy, if one can call the directionless policies of comprehensive responsibility avoidance a foreign policy. Then again, perhaps being the more intellectual, even tempered, mild speaking, but familial rather than aloof, and rational candidate was the best path and the one with which Paul Ryan is obviously far more comfortable.

Beyond the Cusp

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