Beyond the Cusp

October 17, 2018

So American Jews Believe You Are Safe

 

Most Jewish neighborhoods are somewhat insular and protected from the general world. We know this from the Synagogues we have belonged and the people I met. Almost all would always react the same way when they heard where we lived. The same question was the first thing they would ask, always, they responded with, “There are Jews out there in, ‘where ever it was we were living’?” Our answer was always the same, no; we’re about it or not within ten, fifteen or even sometimes as much as forty or fifty miles. Everyone wanted to know why we lived so far from the community and we explained that there really are a few of us Jews who are actually relatively poor. Some shunned us but the real friends were still found and appreciated, but we had an advantage over the others, we got to feel the pulse of the other America, the one where they do not know Jews but still think they know all about Jews. What advantage did that give me, well, I did get to educate some and I know that the dislike and distrust of Jews in America has been steadily growing and not where the Jews always look and claim it exists. This is where we will explore in this article and we have to make a disclaimer that for the past five years we have had to rely on our friends, both Jewish and gentile, and through them, we have seen the unfortunate trends continuing and the acknowledging of the growing reality. The one conclusion we can share at the fore is we are safer here in Israel and know this as a fact, honestly.

 

Some of the themes I heard from the gentiles which I heard were the usual things which Jews have been accused of throughout the ages. I almost had fun as when I would hear any of the adages against Jews, simple suppositions such as, “All those Jews,” always those Jews as if Jews were some distant and unrelated form of life, all those Jews are wealthy, have most of the money, control the government, run the banks, control the media and then the ones whereby one can tell a Jew by their appearance, they all have big noses, dark eyes, curled black hair, short, shifty eyed, lousy at sports and so on. I stand, when I was younger and stood straight, at six feet two inches and around two-hundred-twenty-five pounds and was rather athletic. I always met these insane generalizations by asking them a simple question, “How do you explain me, then?” They would look at me confused and ask what do you mean explain you? Then would come the shocker to people when I would announce that I was Jewish which was always met with a combination of shock and disbelief. I often had to tell them my Hebrew name and as I could say it with no difficulty, that would then lead to honest questions. In many cases, I was the first Jew many of these people had ever knowingly met as if they had met Jews earlier; they were the silent Jews who never risk speaking out and aloud that they were Jews. I have never been quiet about my being a Jew even in the infantry where some of my platoon members were proud neo-Nazis and between myself and them there was a quiet respect as I carried my load and they realized I was their equal and as such not one to be challenged. Needless to point out, but I have met many an anti-Semite in our dealings and when friends, actually friend-acquaintances, there was a fair number who distanced themselves once they realized I were Jewish.

 

The ugly truth is that there has always been an undercurrent of anti-Jewish sentiment which was simply the baseline which never changes in the world and America was not an exception. It was not so much hatred as it was a form of distrust and a complete lack of knowledge about who and what is a Jew. They, as we stated, often had the same mistrust and misunderstandings which has been used as the undertow of anti-Semitism which drove the mistrust. But the majority of these people harbored no designs or desire to harm the Jews, they simply were uninformed and only had the fears which Jews themselves have stated they found distressing because that was all they had ever heard or been told by parents, peers and just the social circles in which they roamed. What was always amusing is whenever you mentioned Israel, these were people who backed Israel completely and yet believed that the reason that the United States backed Israel so completely was because the Jews controlled the government. This was probably the easiest misconception to disabuse these people from continuing. I would point out that at two percent of the population and the Jews rather solidly supporting the Democrats, that as the support for Israel was bipartisan, or more recently more a Republican position, how did that work? Then I would explain that the majority of people, just like them, supported Israel and that it was the Christian supporters of Israel that drove the United States to fully back Israel. It, more often than not, did not take very much time for them to understand that they were the ones driving the Congress and most Presidents to support Israel to the extent that they did. That settled, we could move on to the media, banks and so on and with the Hearst family run media empire and the Mellon banks along with Carnegie and the Rockefellers, it was easy to show that the Jews did not control all these things which they had thought. What I did claim the Jews controlled was the trades and retail sales because we were often forbidden from owning land so we had an extra two-hundred or more years of experience in running businesses and performing the trades. The areas where we resided were often left better informed and less suspicious of the Jews but still we did see growing anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism.

 

Far-Left Anti-Semitism

Far-Left Anti-Semitism

 

The shock to Jews is where the new and overt anti-Semitism and anti-everything-Jewish, which of course included Israel and the concept of Zionism, came from. The growing anti-Semitism does not desire to forbid the Jews from professions or residing in any place they choose or any of the traditional former anti-Semitism which people in the United States had previously witnessed. The new anti-Semitism wants the Jews dead, period. They want Israel destroyed and the Jews executed or simply murdered wholesale. This growing hatred is not on the right of the political spectrum but at the far-left. These are the cohorts of Bernie Sanders. What is nice about Bernie Sanders is here you have somebody who admits his parents were Jews and he was born into Judaism but he has absolutely no use for being Jewish and was no friend of Israel. Then there is Linda Sarsour whose position on Israel is easily researched, but don’t take our word for this. Then there are the past liaisons and associations and possible continuing anti-Semitism and ties to Hamas related groups. We could likely bother to look for links to more people on the far-left but that would prove little. We can simply allow the far-left to continue to talk and pull the Democrat Party down the primrose path followed by so many other political movements throughout Jewish history. There have been attempts to be either converted to idolatry, Islam or Christianity by the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Caliphate, Inquisition and a list of others. We have had efforts to completely exterminate us by some of the former and most recently by the Nazis. I remember one notable professor from one of the colleges which I had attended who taught sociology who taught that when the United States would finally turn and become evil that it would be the most evil of societies in the history of the world far surpassing the Nazis and Rome under Caligula or the Spanish Inquisition. He was young enough that he is probably warning students to avoid the path he saw back in the 1970’s as he had even stated that it would not be the right which in the past has always been convicted of being the spawning of anti-Semitism in society, especially back in that time. Even Bob Dylan wrote a song about Israel called “Neighborhood Bully” which is below.

 

 

Another measure of the growing anti-Semitism is the numbers of attacks on Jews and hate crimes against Jews and Jewish institutions and buildings. Schools are another place where the harbinger of the coming future for Jews who will be threatened as shown by the rising anti-Semitism in many state schools systems such as this report from Massachusetts. With a rise of anti-Semitism in schools amongst the children is troublesome and presents a dangerous look into the future for Jews. The fact that the main rise in anti-Semitic acts was in Boston schools which is a city with a large Jewish population makes this an even more sober and somber prediction of a future fraught with hate and increasing acts against Jews in the future. People might ask what spurned us to write this article is something very disturbing. We thought that perhaps there might be a place where Jews would be safe and if there was such a place, one such would be Brooklyn, New York, in particular, Boro Park, at 46th Street and 13th Avenue in the largely Jewish Shomrim neighborhood. Yet a Sixty-two-year-old Orthodox Jewish man was assaulted while walking to Synagogue at approximately 7:30 a.m. The assailant drove up at speed and came to a quick stop, bolted from his car and assaulted his victim. He reportedly punched the man repeatedly in the face and head and then attempted to attack another Jewish man who came to assist the victim and took off chasing this second person who fortunately escaped harm. We have the video below from Yeshiva World News where you can watch the entire attack from a number of security cameras which caught the attack from different angles.

 

 

The attack is being considered to have been a hate crime. An arrest has been made of Farrukh Afzal, aged thirty-seven, who was also charged with assault as a hate crime as well as criminal mischief and harassment, according to police reports. The victim was treated at Maimonides Hospital where he was reported to be in stable condition with cuts, pain and bruises to his head. If a Jew is attacked in the center of a Jewish neighborhood while walking to Synagogue for morning prayers in broad daylight, then how can a Jew feel safe anywhere? That is the question which, should things progress and continue getting worse, every Jew need confront and decide what they might do with such threats. Fortunately, this time if things become dangerous to the point that the threat becomes something threatening Jews everywhere across the United States, the Jews have a home where they will be taken in and accepted without question. That was not available to Jews throughout most of history. This is the reason above and beyond all other considerations that Israel must continue to exist. This is also why, with the United States possibly pulling their support from Israel in the future, something which need be planned especially for Israel to become militarily self-sufficient with an emphasis on aircraft and munitions. The future will not be a simple continuation of the present and Israel, if she is to be a proper and solid homeland and a safe place for all the Jews in the world, must be self-sufficient in almost all means and ways from militarily, food production and everything else necessary to support her population including should it almost double when Jews from Europe and North America require a safe haven. Attacks like this one in New York should be regarded as a forewarning of a potential future which they will be required to decide how they would act. That is a piece of reality which is not an imaginary threat despite the attempts to ignore the signs.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 31, 2012

Any Length to Deny Anti-Semitism

There are two subjects that the authorities and the press in the United States and much of Europe will go to any length to deny, anti-Semitism and terrorism, especially Islamic driven terrorism. The second, terrorism, has been written about in countless articles. One glaring example was the shooting attack at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center of Ft. Hood on November 5, 2009, where thirteen were murdered and twenty-nine left injured. Disregarding the fact that Major Nidal Malik Hasan has admitted his attack was religiously motivated and that he carried out the attack as his contribution to Jihad and was heard to be shouting “Allahu Akbar!” the entire time while he was systematically moving from one person to the next, shooting as many as he was able, yet the entire assault has been classified as a case of workplace violence and not at all related or driven by terroristic motivations. The same has been the case in repeated numbers of such attacks. The second motivation which the press and authorities refuse to call by name is anti-Semitism whether it is an attack on somebody because they are a Jew or the attack is motivated against Israel due to its Jewish roots.

The latest of these instances occurred recently at Michigan State University at an off-campus party. It was initially reported that two young men walked up to the victim and asked if he was Jewish. Upon his answering in the affirmative the two executed Nazi salutes while chanting “Heil Hitler” and claiming to be members of the KKK and then knocked nineteen-year-old student Zachary Tennen unconscious and then stapled his mouth shut. East Lansing, Michigan Police are still investigating the assault and stated that they did not believe the attack was a hate crime, and privately told the Tennens that they believed the fight was over a girl. Police said in a statement they had interviewed two witnesses and identified a suspect, though the incident was still under investigation. With the evidence made available, this begs the question of how far must one go in order to commit a hate crime against somebody of Jewish heritage? If asking if somebody is Jewish and then, when they have identified their victim as a Jew, the attackers adopt Nazi salutes while yelling “Heil Hitler” and then attacking their victim is not sufficient to qualify an assault as anti-Semitic and a hate crime, then what more is required? Such ignoring of evidence in order to avoid admitting that an anti-Semitic hate crime has been committed is beyond the cusp of all that is reasonable.

The recent murder of a Rabbi and three young children who were students at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France was also classified as not a hate crime initially. France 24 National News referred to the murders and shooting as a “National tragedy” and not as a hate crime. Eventually, the investigation turned up that the same terrorist had attacked and murdered three French soldiers who were of North African heritage. It was eventually revealed that the motives for all the shootings were linked as the murderer believed he was killing those who served the infidel and the soldiers were considered by the murdering terrorist as traitors serving the infidel. But, of course these shootings were neither anti-Semitism nor terrorism, just simply a disgruntled and mentally challenged individual.

The two challenges in our world today that are threatening to unravel our civilization are hatred and terrorism. If we refuse to name and properly identify these acts when they are committed we will never be able to defeat these evils that are growing among us. Those who are committing these horrific crimes against civilization and humanity know full well what drives their acts and what they feel in their hearts. They have no problem even calling their acts for what they are and yet our societies are in such a state of denial that we refuse to even hear their declarations of deep hatred and violent filled motives. We continue on this path of denial at our own risk and we risk all that we have attained as a civilization and as a culture if we continue to dismiss hatred as simply accidents or mere insanity. Just because a person commits actions we cannot understand and we would classify as being driven by ideals and ideas that are insane does not make those who follow those ideals and ideas as their true path into insane people. They are sane and logically following something they honestly believe and are totally committed to and those are the acts of a sane person no matter how insane we find their acts and motivations.

The real source of our problem is the seeming inability of our societies to understand other societies which are foreign and alien to ours. We appear to be unable to walk a mile in the other’s shoes, as the saying goes. As long as we insist on applying our societal norms to the acts of those who follow a belief system that is totally alien and contrary to our own, we will never understand why these acts of violence are being perpetrated against us and will be unable to resist or prevent further actions against our way of life. We have to understand that just because we do not believe that religion can drive anybody in the modern world to murder for their religion does not mean that everybody in the world also stands for similar beliefs. It is completely likely, and with the evidence I have seen, extremely likely that there are people who believe that it is sanctified to murder in the name of their religion and to expand their religion and way of life to everybody on the planet. We are not all that many years removed from when we in the West had similar beliefs ourselves. We conquered the New World and forced our religious beliefs on many of the inhabitants on the American continents, on all of the North, South and Central Americas. We fought numerous wars with Muslims over the Holy Lands during the Middle Ages and beyond. The United States fought a religiously motivated war when we defeated the Barbary Pirates who felt their religion demanded that they impose their will by force on all who were not of their faith. As sorry as it may be to realize, but people murdering and conquering for their religion has not yet been erased from our planet and as long as anybody believes in violence for their religion we all have a serious problem which must be named and brought out into the light and confronted. Acceptance of all religions may be the cornerstone of our countries, as it especially is in the United States, but it has not always been so in all of the countries which now follow such theories. The United States fought its War of Independence over taxation and religious freedom. Much of Europe did not realize full religious freedom until after World War I. Secular societies and acceptance of all is a very new concept and has not been long accepted even in much of the current societies who now follow such a virtuous concept. Until the belief in universal acceptance and freedom of choice becomes universally accepted by each and every society and religious institution in this wide, wonderful and still too varied world, we will need to defend this enlightened idea as not all believe such acceptance is enlightened, some believe only those who believe exactly what they believe have received true enlightenment. In a way, we are trying to apply our idea of enlightenment to people who simply have a different idea as to what is enlightenment. Maybe a day will come where everybody can agree as to what is enlightenment. If we wish universal acceptance to be that unified enlightenment, then we are going to have to defend that idea against those who oppose universal acceptance. To fight those who oppose universal acceptance, we must be ready, willing and able to identify those who do not believe in universal acceptance and be ready, willing and able to fight for our ideals against those who oppose us in whatever field of battle they choose. If it be by debate, wonderful; if it be by the sword, very unfortunate but we may not be allowed to choose the arena in which this battle will be fought. Are you ready, and the next person?

Beyond the Cusp

June 14, 2012

The Fist Hatred Rises Yet Again

Way back when I was first attending religious and Hebrew school we were told how lucky Jews were today because anti-Semitism had finally been eradicated once and for all and how the Holocaust made the return of anti-Semitism impossible. Unfortunately those people were so very, very wrong. Anti-Semitism has not only returned but has once again began to pick up steam and spread like an epidemic. I began warning people, originally mostly other Jews, that I saw anti-Semitism starting to sprout and feared the day when it would catch on and become the undeterred undercurrent which would once again take society beyond the cusp and into complete insanity. Watching the news of late, it appears we have almost arrived at the point where reason dies and base hatreds take the day. And it is not solely a problem within the Arab or Muslim societies, it has once again tainted every group even to the point of infecting some Jews who now work to the detriment of their fellow Jews, and that is the exact detail I wish to condemn.

There exists a new target for anti-Semites which has been designated as proper and even given a cover of respectability, hatred of all things Israel. This phobia has found a nurturing home in many of the governments throughout Europe and is rife in the European Union and the United Nations and all the NGO’s spawned by these governments. Many are disguised as human rights groups, others call themselves protectors of the poor and unfortunate Palestinians, and there are those which claim they are simply pursuing the enforcement of International Laws. The true culprits are easy to decipher as they will aim the vast majority of their vitriol and accusations towards Israel while ignoring or finding excuses for much more flagrant violators. One such example from this week’s meetings of the European Union was provided by their Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton when she stated that Iran’s nuclear weapons program and Syria’s documented massacre of men, women and children by the Assad regime, took the back seat to the regions’ most serious problem that must be settled immediately, the Israeli intransigence to the founding of a state for the Palestinians. One must remember that this comes from the person who has been given the lead position in the negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program.

If this was but the sole example of the lunacy one might be able to excuse it as a lone act of a world gone mad. But we have another example where even the appearance of actually caring was nonexistent. This time we take a stroll over to Norway where an act of barbarism was pretty much ignored. During an Oslo High School barbecue one of the students took a coin and heated it until it was red-hot and then branded a Jewish student on the back of his neck. Where such an act might be dismissed as simple prank falling under the boys-will-be-boys category, this same student had previously been subject to being shouted down with hateful degradations such as “Jewish pigs” and “Jewish Satan” as well as having received numerous death threats. But even this is not the end of the appalling behavior accompanying this incident. After the Jewish student had been branded with a fire-hot coin there was no reprimand for the miscreant and there also was no need to inform the student’s mother or other relative. An Associate Dean of the Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Abraham Cooper queried, “Just what else must take place before school authorities stand up for rights of a Jewish child in a Norwegian school? We demand that authorities hold accountable the perpetrators of this hate crime and those in charge of educating Norway’s school children offer a safe environment for every student-including Jewish kids,” Yes, indeed, what would it take before action or even the first act of human decency would be shown. It begs the question of how such a horrid deed simply went without any apparent notice. Well, to be honest, there was a response to the fire branding at the barbecue by a teacher who told the Norwegian-born attacker, “You’re mad.” Well, that should take care of such barbarity and assure that it does not reoccur. According to the student’s mother, after constant harassment of her son two years ago, the school did nothing to intervene. In a previous interview with the NRK broadcasting system in 2010 she was quoted saying, “I see this avoidance as a dangerous development among both ethnic Norwegian and immigrant groups. And that nobody, neither teachers nor principals, intervene in this matter.”

This week had other news items where Jews or Israel were the target of derogatory remarks, violent actions, and other acts singling Jews out for victimization. The Swedish Twitter account was utilized this week during what was supposed to be a drive to promote tourism to post pejorative comments about Jews. The Egyptian campaign for President has included anti-Israel themes as one of the largest and most mentioned subjects. Protesters from the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) movement demanded that Queen Elizabeth decline the 35.6 karat diamond placed in the Tower of London to mark her 60 years on the throne because of its affiliation with the Steinmetz family, staunch supporters of Israeli soldiers. And there were the usual notes in the news that things in Syria could take a turn for the worse and expand to include Israel. The originating story behind the Israel theme was the fact that Minister of the Knesset Kara stated that Israel was willing to treat civilians from Syria who might seek medical attention at the Israel-Syria border. Minister Kara is a Druse Arab and has many contacts with the Druze villagers who reside on both sides of the border. Minister Kara also received numerous pictures and other evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad forces.

These are simply examples from this past week. The reality of the problem is that this was an average week and such news items can be easily documented almost every week of the year, and all too often such lists would be considerably longer. One has to wonder if the hatred of Jews will ever become unacceptable for all of humankind. I often wonder exactly what it would take to finally end anti-Semitism as it has become obvious that the sacrifice of approximately six million Jewish lives in the Holocaust was insufficient a shock to put anti-Semitism to an end. So, I ask, what will it take short of the coming of the Messiah to allow the Jewish people, a small, almost insignificant number of people who make up less than one-quarter-of-one-percent of the world’s people, the chance to live in peace and tranquility and not have to constantly look over their shoulder for a mob carrying pitchforks and always to keep one suitcase with the most meager of items necessary to restart life once driven from their homes. That has been exactly what follows as night follows day and fall follows summer throughout the past five millennium of their existence. What will it take?

Beyond the Cusp

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