Beyond the Cusp

March 20, 2019

The World has Become Filled with a Vicious, Malignant Hatred

 

The recent statements criticizing and condemning Israel using millennial anti-Semitic tropes on Twitter and in her worlds to the United States House of Representatives by Ilhan Omar have received some attention and even glorification in certain circles. These spiteful and hate-filled condemnations of Israel were not enough. Ilhan Omar went on to use another slur, this time against American Jews and Jews who are not Israeli in general accusing them of holding dual loyalties and inferring that their affiliation to Israel was stronger than their love for the United States. She continued claiming that the Jewish Israel lobby, targeting AIPAC, was buying support for Israel, through what could only be taken to mean bribes, commenting that support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins Baby!” She made a half-faced apology which was more her being upset that her words were not taken as formal critic of American foreign policy and honest assessment that American Jews are unworthy as Americans due to lack of support. Her perturbations were swept aside and deemed a closed affair with the passing of what we were initially told would be a commitment by the House of Representatives against anti-Semitism but the reality was a generalized condemnation of anti-Semitism along with Islamophobia, immigrants, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, LGBT people, and members of other religious minorities and hate generally. The clincher that Ms. Omar’s derogatory and degrading comments denying equality to the Jewish State and the Jewish supporters of Israel were deemed not to be denounced or protested was that fact that she is still sitting on the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House and as such will have a strong format from which to continue her spite and hate for Israel as well as be permitted to know every detail of intelligence which may be presented to this vital committee where sensitive and often classified information is openly discussed. The greater part of shame, though, is not with Ms. Omar but with the Jewish supporters for Israel and the entirety of the House of Representatives, if not the entire Congress, sitting on their hands refusing to call out the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic accusations presented before the Congress.

 

But the problem does not stop with just Ilhan Omar; there was also the follow-on accusation from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez immediately following the presumed pushback against Ms. Omar when Ms. Cortez complained about how AIPAC, that pro-Israel Jewish lobbying group, was targeting her and Ms. Omar as well as Rashida Tlaib, the new Representative who has claimed that she also represents the State of Palestine and is in the Congress to be their spokesperson. Do not fear, there will be no complaint of Ms. Tlaib having dual loyalties; she does not support Israel or any other traditional American ally. There was so much left out of this debate, if such a one sided series of events can be called a debate. The small, little, insignificant information which was remarkably not mentioned is that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, amongst others, spend tens of millions of dollars more on lobbying the Congress than AIPAC. There was no mention that numerous Arab and Muslim nations have bought the Chair of Middle Eastern Studies and stacked the professors with anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and often anti-Semitic individuals. Further, these nations are buying sufficient influence over many of the most prestigious Universities to such an extent that it has become commonplace for anti-Israel slant being found in other departments and often the faculty overseeing the school newspaper, deciding which committees are permitted funding and backing by the University and sponsoring anti-Israel events throughout the school year as well as often turning a blind eye when conservative or pro-Israel speakers are denied venue or have their events violently protested including shouting down the speaker so they are not permitted to speak and even physical threats such that speakers have required police escort in order to escape the campus mob. There is far more to the spreading around the world of anti-Semitism often packaged as anti-Zionism, anti-Israelism and Zionism equals racism.

 

The problem is more advanced in Europe where many Jews have ceased wearing a Kippah (Yarmulke) or jewelry and other items which would identify them as Jews. France was forced to use military troops to protect Synagogues and Jewish schools including Jewish pre-school daycares. In Britain, the Labour Party has had a running problem with anti-Semitism. Some of the Labour Party elected officeholders and party leadership have resigned or have been censored for making anti-Semitic remarks. Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has faced accusation of his holding anti-Semitic positions and beliefs. He has simply brushed such criticism aside as if they were nothing and has been granted apparent immunity from such claims. Further, when the Labour Party performed an investigation into the possibility that there was a problem with anti-Semitism in their party, so an inquiry whose remit would be to recommend how Labour could best tackle instances of racism, including cases of antisemitism and Islamophobia, with Baroness Shami Chakrabarti as the person placed in charge, they unsurprisingly were given a fairly clean bill of health. What made this result both unsurprising and uninspiring confidence was the problem that Baroness Shami Chakrabarti has faced criticisms as being anti-Israel and anti-Zionist to such an extent as to have probably made her a less than wonderful choice. There were no smiles from British Jews at her appointment and little if any surprise that she found that there was a higher likelihood of Islamophobic beliefs than of anti-Semitic and that much, if not most, of the presumed anti-Semitism was actually proper condemnation of Israeli policies and political leaders and their treatment of Palestinians and the apparent lack of commitment for peace by the Israeli government. This may pass muster with the British Labour Party, but it did not receive any glowing commendations and there were many calls for an outside investigation into the potential problem and not to accept the cover-up.

 

Then there have been the reactions from the Jewish communities throughout Europe. Recent polling and surveys have revealed that as many as forty-percent of British Jews are seriously considering departing as their lives have been threatened or other forms of intimidation and threats including their fear of anti-Jewish terrorism. Many are eying the United States but a majority has stated that Israel is amongst the nations they are considering or have already chosen. French Jews have become common in Israel with people hearing French spoken in areas of the Tel Aviv metropolitan region. The Jews who remain in France also are considering their potions due to the rampant anti-Semitism they have experienced. Britain and France have the two largest Jewish communities in Europe, so what they decide is important, is becoming influential and can sway the decision by Jews in other countries. A survey conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights at the end of last year found forty-percent of European Jews have considered leaving their home countries over the past five years because of rising anti-Semitism. This figure very much is reflective of the trend in both France and Britain.

 

Members of the Jewish community protest against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

Members of the Jewish community protest against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

 

What is even more frightening is the trending decrease in the Jewish population in Europe since the end of the Second World War and with it, the decline in the percentage of Jews residing in the continent (see graphs below). Since the end of the war in 1945, the number of Jews in Europe has dropped by over sixty-three-percent, a drastic reduction by any calculation and it might be ready to shrink even faster. The Arab world divorced themselves largely of their Jews in the decade of the fifties after the end of the 1948-9 war with Israel conducted by six Arab armies and a number of militias and support from other Arab nations. Partly, this exodus of Jews from Europe has aided Israeli population growth. And it is not just Europe where Jews have been departing in great numbers. The Jews in South Africa are departing reportedly due to high crime rates, anti-white animus and the accompanying anti-Semitism which has also been on the rise. On November 21, 1984, Israel began Operation Moses, a seven-week clandestine mission to bring more than 8,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel. But this was not to be the final chapter in the return of the Ethiopian Jews. May 24-25, 1991, almost the entire Jewish Ethiopian community was repatriated to Israel in an incredibly complex operation, and the largest air-train in the history of Israel called Operation Solomon. There has also been the return of the Jews from India who have been welcomed home. The rise in anti-Semitism in the world will serve to increase the rate at which Jews return to their homeland from the Diaspora. But that begs the question of where Israel will place everyone should the population due to immigration triple.

 

Loss of European Jews Since End of World War II

Loss of European Jews Since End of World War II

 

The answer to the question is that we have a large expanse which is not very populated, we call it the Negev. Yes, it is supposedly a desert. We are Israel and will make even the Negev bloom. Install three or four more desalinization plants and a nuclear reactor or two generating electricity and we will be good to go. One fact which bears remembering, the main number of Jews outside of Israel are in the United States. While the United States was once the nation with the largest number of Jews, about a decade ago that was no longer a valid claim as the Jewish population in Israel surpassed that of the United States. The reality in the United States is that many Jewish communities will be all but a memory within twenty years or soon thereafter. This is due to the Jews leaving the faith and becoming Secular Humanists. These are Jews who are finding their identity within politics and their fellow travelers. Most of these Jews are far left and basically a product of the best indoctrination money can buy, and that indoctrination never comes cheaply. They have entered and graduated college, possibly with a higher degree or even a doctorate, but as long as their degree is in the social sciences, their education was more than likely a thorough brainwashing from which many will never recover. That is the state of higher education in many fields and too many schools where part of the curriculum is learning to hate Israel and for many also how to be suspect that the Jew next to you may be an Israeli spy. Well, it may not be all completely gone beyond the cusp and fallen into the abyss, but in far too many high profile schools, there exists an undertow of anti-Israelism and a breeding for anti-Semitism on campus. This may result in some Jews rediscovering that they are Jewish while others will distance themselves as far from Israel and will become some of the most rabid pro-Palestinians on campus as they go to any extreme to prove they are part of the in-crowd. How this will end is still to be determined, but in all honesty, it does not look like there will be a happy ending to this story. The United States was behind Europe in this race to extinction, but it appears that they are catching up and doing so with a vengeance. So, once again the world is racing to figure out what to do with the Jew. Thank Hashem for Israel and this permits the Jews to have an escape plan, something we have lacked for close if not over two-thousand years. If for no other reason, Israel is needed for that day when the world decides that the Jew must be driven from before them, this time they have a place of refuge. Perhaps this is the purpose of the rise in anti-Semitism, to drive every Jew to either leave their religion and family (Jews are both family and coreligionists) or to return to their ancestral home and learn how good it can be to be a Jew residing in Israel.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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November 25, 2018

The International Ploy to Destroy Israel

 

The Arabs generally and the Palestinian Arabs particularly will never give-up on their dreams to destroy Israel. The history of this is something which we have spoken of before and will not repeat the litany of pogroms, riots, wars and propaganda thrown at this obsession since the start of the return of Zionist Jews over a century and a half, from the 1850’s to the modern era. The cost in lives and treasure to both sides is incalculable. What we wish to discuss here is the latest pathway, the new strategy, which has been employed largely by Mahmoud Abbas over the last decade and a half and now more generally by Palestinian Authority (PA) officials as well as a smattering of others. The most recent use came from Palestinian Authority official in charge of foreign affairs, Riyad al-Maliki. The tactic is referred to as internationalizing the problem and it is only natural that the root of the problem and the cause for it remaining unsolved would be pressing for another route to futility. The one secret which is seldom admitted in English, but spoken of quite freely in Arabic, is that any solution which allows for even the smallest remnant of Israel as a Jewish State remains, the Arabs will refuse to end their working to destroy that entity. The sole acceptable final solution is a form of the Final Solution which some have claimed was introduced in the Wannsee Conference by the Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini who spent World War II working with the Nazis and mixing amongst the elite in Berlin. This has been carried down through the interceding time by his protégés Yassir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. Obviously, this illness is contagious as the entirety of the Arab and much of the Muslim worlds are thoroughly infected and the contagion is sweeping through Europe once more with the seeds already sprouting in the United States. We have already witnessed this disease of the mind and heart take command of a conference in Durban, South Africa in 2001 at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

 

Interesting Facts About Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini Was He Spent World War II as a Host of the Hierarchy of the Third Reich Plus Adoptive Nephew and Future Torchbearer Yasser Arafat

Interesting Facts About Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini Was He Spent
World War II as a Host of the Hierarchy of the Third Reich Plus
Adoptive Nephew and Future Torchbearer Yasser Arafat

 

Further breakouts of this disease have taken the form of Zionism equals racism which was passed by the United Nations General Assembly in their Resolution 3379, adopted on November 10, 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35 with 32 abstentions, which actually stated that the United Nations General Assembly has “determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” It took sixteen years before the United Nations revoked their Zionism is racism manifesto in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 46/86 which read as follows, “The General Assembly Decides to revoke the determination contained in its resolution 3379 (XXX) of 10 November 1975.” That was quite a bit less lengthy than the original which referred to Zionism at least three times in expounding on it as being every form of racism. Well we guess that apologies are often less full of bluster and considered appropriate opprobrium as embarrassment is best stated as one is moving past as rapidly as they are able. It would be difficult to be more curt than that removal of a stain which had been worn by most in that world body with pride and in many a way is still worn with prideful abandon to this day.

 

Meanwhile, PA official in charge of foreign affairs, Riyad al-Maliki speaking at the MED Dialogues conference in Rome insisted, “The Palestinians are still waiting for the international community to try to resolve the Palestinian problem that has been created by the international community.” With this, he continued blaming the international community with the foundation of Israel in 1948. Quoting further protestations, he continued, “Unfortunately, none of you is taking serious, credible and responsible steps to solve the problem.” Then turning to defame both President Trump and his entire administration, Riyad al-Maliki added, “which has really sided with Israel, taken the wrong side of history, of justice.” Wrong side of justice, really? But he was far from finished, as he stated further, “If the Americans are not willing to do anything, Europe should do that.” And finally getting to the point, he insisted, “We should force the change to happen, that’s why we are pushing for a European role” including backing an international peace conference.” Finally, we have the crescendo heading to the conclusion which is, “It’s not our responsibility to protect the two-state solution, it’s your responsibility.” I don’t believe any of you will accept another apartheid regime to emerge in the 21st century.” Remember that Mahmoud Abbas has flatly refused to even consider any proposal put forth by President Trump and is now insisting that an international group resembling the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for its make-up be established to decide the fates of the PA and Israel.

 

Why are they insisting on such an assembly that will decide what actually needs to be resolved between the two parties? The reason is that the Palestinian Arabs’ leaders do not desire a solution but dissolution of the Jewish State and they know a UNGA styled conglomerate would easily pass anything the Arabs proposed while refusing everything proposed in favor of Israel. They would readily accept making Palestine defined as the Green Line and the Jordan River with its capital in East Jerusalem and then further rule that Israel be ruled by Arab leadership where there are guarantees that the Jews will be treated as the world body would expect. Somehow, such a situation does not fill the Jews of Israel as an idea with which we would be able to live, and that is our main problem with having the Arabs as our masters, history had taught us how that would end. All one need do is look at the vast majority of resolutions condemning Israel passed by the UNGA as well as the Human Rights Council, UNICEF, UNESCO and the other various tentacles of the United Nations. The General Assembly on these matters likely averages, we estimate, at 115 favor sanctioning Israel, 9 opposes such sanctioning and around 35 abstain or vote present. Is it any wonder that Israel would refuse to allow for her fate to be decided largely by the 57 Muslim States in league with the majority of the over 100 countries in the Non-Aligned Movement of developing nations? That would be very similar to over one-hundred hungry wolves with around ten fat and happy sheep surrounded by thirty-five large rocks all voting as to what should be dinner. The rocks do not care, the sheep bleat softly unable to be heard over the cacophonic din of howling wolves right before their feast. That is what the Palestinian Arabs are seeking, complete and total victory leading to the eradication of the Zionist entity and those who comprise the Jewish State.

 

As stated, this ploy is not new and will fail as it has to this point. The problem comes when one realizes that every last demand ever made by the Arabs has eventually come to pass. They simply choose the next target and then relentlessly pursue that goal using Saudi and others oil money and skillful use of all forms of media, something easily accomplished with the funds available. This has been carried further with oil money buying Middle East Department Chair which determine the course material and information provided, none of which gives Israel even the hint of legitimacy and proclaims the lie that Israel was Europe’s apology for the Holocaust. This is completely invalid as the initial start for the founding of Israel was the formal agreement to accept the Balfour Declaration letter of 1917 enjoining it to the San Remo Conference which was adopted further by the League of Nations into the Mandate System which was adopted by the United States in the Anglo-American Treaty and finally adopted by the United Nations in Article 80 of their charter. All of these events dated before World War II with the exception of the United Nations assuming responsibility for final enforcement of the Mandates from after World War I. Further steps are in the works and already bearing fruit for the Arab side as they are gaining influence on the public school systems and particularly the printing of history books and their references to the Middle East even to have included maps which show Israel as an invader which is erasing a former nation of Palestine. The small and possibly insignificant truth is that there has never been a nation called Palestine, no nation other than modern and ancient Israel and Judea have had Jerusalem as their capital city. Yet the insistence is that history must teach how the Jews have usurped the lands west of the Jordan River blaming it on European colonialism and demanding that the Jews return to their origins in Europe. That begs the question as to what the other half of Israeli Jews, whose nation of origins which forced them out after stealing their wealth, businesses, homes and anything valuable were the numerous Arab states, supposed to do. Will Libya, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and the rest take back these Jews and their children and grandchildren? That is highly doubtful. Then there are the children whose parents are one from Europe and the other from an Arab nation, what to do with these children. Perhaps this is where the solution by King Solomon might apply, well, except the Arabs claim that King Solomon either never existed and never built any temple or that he was a Muslim and he build a Mosque. Colleges across Europe and the United States are teaching a creeping form of anti-Israelism, anti-Zionism and are taking no discernable efforts to curb anti-Semitism. These are the future leaders of the world, the nations of Europe and the United States as well as Canada, and their falsehoods learned now as the real truth will forever have effects upon their thinking. This is part of why the Palestinian Arabs refuse every treaty which leaves Israel existing in any form as the Jewish State and not with the Arabs ruling over the Jews, as they explain, the Quran states that this is the natural order of the world. The Quran also divides the world into two camps, the one of peace where Islam rules and the ones of war waiting to be conquered by Islamic forces. The Quran presumably claims that no lands once ruled by a Muslim must ever be permitted rule by any other. That makes Israel a problem as long as it is ruled by Jews.

 

This Arab-Israeli conflict is a simple conflict to understand once the reality is understood. This is not a war over land, if that were the case, it would have been resolved by now. This is not about Israel being a colonial power placed in the heart of the Islamic world. That claim is a simple means of falsifying the Jews claim to their ancient homelands. As far as Islam is concerned, the Jews never resided in the area of Israel despite evidence. This is true under Islam which believes that history started when Islamic forces marched against the Jews of Medina and against Mecca before moving out of the Arabian Peninsula to conquer the world. That was between 710 and 725 A.D. This is why they missed ancient Israel which was destroyed by Rome in 135 A.D. and its peoples spread throughout the Empire so as to assure that the world would never again know the Jews, just as they had dispersed the Carthaginians in order to erase them as a people. Today one would be hard pressed to find a Carthaginian and despite being a small minority, the Jews still exist and leave their mark on the world. Sometimes these newer religions have a difficulty imagining the Jews who have a three-thousand year plus history going back to somewhere around 2500B.C.E. when Abraham left for the lands the Lord would show him. That actually would mean that the history of the Jewish People which begins with the birth of the Israelites with Abraham making the contract with Hashem somewhere around 4500 years ago. That was when the initial promise was made. Somewhere soon after this date was when Abraham paid premium price to purchase the Cave outside Hevron in which to bury Sarah. Eventually Sarah would be joined in burial there by Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah all in good time. The cave and the field before it were purchased by Abraham which was the first area of land that our forefather purchased and from which Israel came into being. That is the Jewish claim to these lands.

 

This war is to deny the Jews a homeland and to make them wanderers despised wherever they reside. The Muslims do not recognize any right of the Jews as they see the Jew as an accursed brute to be scorned and put down regarding them as barely human. The hatred taught by Islam of the Jews is beyond imagination. People from the Western developed world cannot begin to fathom the vile acrimonious contempt the Middle Eastern Arab Muslims feel towards Jews. That is the basis for their war against Israel. Just review the history. Half a dozen Arab nations sent their armies to aid the militias in destroying the Jewish State on the morning of her birth in 1948 and they failed. Again, in 1967 we had the Six Day War where Arab forces from at least six or seven nations failed to destroy Israel and drive the Jews into the Sea. In 1973, there was another attempt to destroy the Jewish entity during the Yom Kippur War, and again they failed. This was the turning point when the Arab world invented a proxy to fight in their stead, the Palestinian Arabs. They were to utilize terror, warfare, propaganda and would be aided by the Arab world in destroying Israel in stages. This is a war of annihilation where the Jews must be eradicated. Hamas has in their charter the demand that every last Jew be hunted down and murdered. The PLO were not much different, they only claimed the desire to murder every Zionist and Jew in Israel. Do not believe the false claims that if only Israel would grant them their state that all would be well. Israel completely evacuated Gaza of Jews and any Israelis even those not Jewish and turned it over to the Arabs and we see what that produced, and it was a far cry from peace.

 

This is not a war over land, not a war over nationhood, not a war in any normal modern rules of engagement; it is a war of extermination and there will not be peace as long as Israel exists. Simply stated, Israel must be destroyed and the Jewish State be no more with all the Jews being slaughtered as would most of the Christians and people of other faiths. Even should Israel clear Gaza of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and allow Gaza to rule itself as a protected area where the IDF freely operates to prevent any terrorist group from starting to try and take control while clearing Area C of the Shomron and allowing the PA to rule as a semiautonomous region also protected by the IDF, this would not even approach being the end of the claims of the Arabs and their allies. Should the situation on all fronts explode into violence simultaneously, with Gaza, Shomron and Lebanon, overseen by Hamas, the PLO and Hezballah, throwing everything they could at Israel and Israel counterstrike destroying all adversaries, that would only allow a pause. There would then begin terror strikes across all borders. In Lebanon Israel would be holding everything south of the Litani River and to the east there are the Golan Heights and the Jordan River and to the south Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula, a wild place inhabited largely by terrorists and criminal elements and largely untamed by Egypt. The war would continue and there is nothing which Israel could do to end this conflict. Even should Israel turn off the electricity, natural gas, water and end the tractor-trailers carrying tons of goods daily into Gaza, they would simply allow their public to live without basic necessities just to continue to manufacture rockets to fire into Israel. They would continue to surround the rocket launchers with children, have women encircle any building Hamas needs and have their commanders and leaders crawling into their bunker located under the al-Shifa Hospital. The only way for peace to be attained is either Israel and the Jews are destroyed or Islam reaches a point where they no longer insist that they rule the world and every knee bend to Allah. The first is not going to happen if it can be avoided and the second will not be an easy transformation. Despite what the developed world thinks, there are still those whose fancy is to rule the entirety of the globe, and those who merely desire to take the initial steps feeling assured that their efforts would lead to world domination. Apparently, world domination had rested on waiting for Israel to be crushed. As Israel has resisted crushing, the Muslim world has already begun to prepare for the second phase, infiltration through massive illegal immigrants just entering demanding asylum. These waves have struck Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, Greece and have begun in North America. Apparently, Israel is contained though they will always try and destroy her. The question before the world now is how they are going to deal with creeping Sharia and its implications. The time to act has long passed and still little if anything has been performed which would act to prevent Sharia from entering our nations as it is a means of implanting an Islamic jurisprudence. What to do if the two sets of laws are in contradiction, the state law wins, initially followed by nightly rioting burning vehicles and terrorizing neighborhoods and pickets outside the Congress and other houses of parliament demanding that Islamic law is supreme and their old laws must yield to Sharia. Wake up now before it is too late, or is it already too late for most of Europe. Israel will hang on and remain, will your nation?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 29, 2018

Synagogue Shooting in Squirrel Hill

 

Eleven people, Jews, were killed and at least six injured including four police at the Tree of Life Synagogue located in Squirrel Hill, a largely Jewish community attached to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For me, this is somewhat personal as when I attended college in Pittsburgh I often walked the streets of Squirrel Hill eating an exquisite corned beef sandwich for lunch at least twice a month, weather permitting. I probably have at least walked by, if not attended services at, this Synagogue. The neighborhood in the early 1970’s was filled with unique Mom and Pop stores selling Judaica and anything else including two head-shops. The people were as wonderful and sweet as you could want to meet. I will always remember the pleasant walks with one of the most special people of my life. But this horrific attack was perpetrated specifically at Jews solely because they are Jews. The same old hatred and falsehoods, anti-Semitic tropes which our forefathers heard in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and, sorrowfully, throughout the world were again found behind the hatred here. He hated the election of President Trump so that was the fault of the Jews despite the known tendency for Jews to vote for the Democrats. He was against immigration from outside of Europe and these were being brought to the United States by Jews, by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) which helps Jewish refugees relocate to the United States. The shooter, identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers, tweeted moments before entering the Tree of Life Synagogue, “I can’t wait while my people are getting slaughtered….I’m going in.” His social media was riddled with anti-Semitism. He was reported to yell, “All Jews must die!” as he began shooting. The Synagogue was filled with Shabbat observers and a family and friends of a circumcision ceremony for their newborn son. This was an act of pure evil perpetrated by a person so filled with hatred of Jews that everything they saw which they thought was wrong was blamed solely and entirely on the Jews.

 

What is equally appalling is the immediate politicization of this indescribable propagation of hatred which took eleven lives while leaving at least another six with varied injuries. This was not about firearms, this was not about any elections, this was not about politics, this was about the oldest hatred which has infected humankind almost since the inception of faith in a single and unseen deity, Hashem. Bowers may have given a thousand different political reasons for blaming the Jews, a thousand different societal qualms for which he blamed the Jews, it does not matter the reasoning that he hated Jews as those were excuses to satisfy his desire for his hatred of the Jews to be justified so his act would be blessed in his warped, hate-filled mind. This is a condition which arises for varied reasons and through varied means. Sometimes it appears to be heredity as if in the mother’s milk, as is commonly said. This is often because they heard Jews blamed for every ill that befell somebody in their family or it was a common theme in their community. This is what has roiled the Middle East and North African nations and what infected Europe, especially Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Then it can be learned at a later point where it is initially launched by some defining moment or act in the person’s life. Then there are times it just arises seemingly out of nowhere with little to indicate from whence it came. This is often the hardest to understand and is also one which can have the most dangerous implications, as there is no prediction or predilection which serves as a warning that the person has such hatred. This instance, there was plenty of warning signs, just nobody did anything to bring the potential threat to the attention of authorities. That would not have likely resulted in any actual actions, but it is nice to think that warning of somebody who is threatening a community within our greater communities would serve to prevent such acts. The problem with anti-Semitism is it is pervasive enough that if the authorities had to keep tabs on every anti-Semite, they would have little resources to perform any other duties. Anti-Semitism is one of the problems which can only be defeated through education for the time being until we gain a far deeper understanding of the human mind and how we learn to hate. It is as Martin Luther King purported, another hatred formed through bigotry and as baseless as the rejection of people of color and all the mindless and baseless claims he fought against. It was as he stated at a speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on October 27, 1967, at a Civil Rights rally in Boston, Mass as he stated, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!” He recognized this and far more as also stated at the above link.

 

Burning Israel Star of David

 

This shooting will be with the Squirrel Hill community in general and the Tree of Life Synagogue for the foreseeable future as such wounds leave scars which come to mind every time you think of one of the victims or see their relatives and close friends. Such is the nature of these horrible events. There will be the store operated by one of the affected families which will be closed forever leaving a form of dead space even after the new store opens in its place. Certain things in the community will never be the same. What will be the worst remembrance of this trauma will be for the family of the young newborn who was a mere eight days of age and whose bris and naming ceremony was destroyed in an instant of stark terror. This was exactly the same as terror attacks read about which happen in Israel and the trauma to the neighborhood and the congregations will be just as permanent as our memories of such events here. We can share in the indelible feelings of helplessness and victimization which ran through those when the first shots rang through the Synagogue. That sickening feeling deep in your gut which makes you want to wretch while all your mind can think is how can I and those around for whom I care simply disappear and be as far from right here and right now as possible, and you know that no such thing can be performed by mere human beings. Prayers might be running through your head and their content never had more urgency or meaning and those who survive will thank Hashem just that much more sincerely for the time being. Life becomes that much more precious and feelings that much more intense and for many time all but stops and their every movement feels as if they are moving through molasses as it appears to be slowed to almost an enormous effort is being expended to move ever so slowly. Your hear beats faster and so hard you can hear the blood rushing past your ears on its way to the brain which is reviewing options before you can clear your head to control those thoughts. Some moments pass quickly when you remember them but time becomes almost your enemy as it either passes too slow or so fast and you cannot react at that speed. Nothing makes sense and things can even begin to swirl and you feel feint and unable to clearly see what and where things are. Then everything, if you are fortunate, gels and thoughts are crystal clear and you seem to regain control and are able to move with an alacrity which feels as if it is beyond your normal abilities. Then, when you are finally at the end of the threat, and you calm yourself enough to collect your thoughts and emotions and you look at your watch, only fifteen minutes have passed but you feel like it was at least an hour long ordeal. The human body reacts in some ways beyond understanding when one is placed in such a situation where conditions have no resemblance to normal. The feeling of relief at having survived such an ordeal is short-lived as the realization comes and you see that not everyone was as fortunate. Then the reality of the cost of what one just survived but by the grace of fate and Hashem sets in and the melancholy and soul-searching begins. We start to try and find a reason for why we survived and these eleven friends and fellow congregants were not so fortunate. We then find the wounded and, if we are able, we assist them and see that four of them were police who rushed to the scene and you feel gratitude for their heroic efforts which assuredly saved many, possibly oneself. That fills you with the gratitude of living and you once again mutter thanks to Hashem for sparing you and hopefully all those you hold dearest. Not all are that fortunate and they are near their lost loved one completely broken and destitute wondering why not themselves instead. The full gamut of feelings will be found with every person finding their own little place within their consciousness which will provide them even the smallest amount of peace for each moment. Reason cannot account for nor provide any explanation as there is no understanding of why, what or any way to make a better explanation because nothing justifies away the hurt and the horror. Yet, in retrospect, there will be a thousand reasons all of which will prove insufficient, as there is no explaining hate, not pure and unadulterated hate which is at the core of anti-Semitism. There is no reason for such hate and there never has been any reason for such hate but it has endured as the explanation for inadequacies, inequalities and every other complaint held by the anti-Semite because it is easier to blame the Jew than to search within themselves.

 

We could try and continue to explain the actions of Robert Bowers and explore the range of thoughts and reactions of the Congregants present and the police and community who responded to the shooting, the police by rushing towards danger and the community pulling together at the vigil to show solidarity and support for those who died and those who survived as they too will carry the emotional scars on top of everything else for quite a time to come. This was a series of events which the news will dissect until the next tragedy replaces it in the news cycle. Pittsburgh will run with this just that bit longer than the rest of the nation and the world. It will also be carried longer here in Israel as we feel such events as tragic and hope that Jews will realize that they would actually be safer here in Israel. Many find that difficult to believe, but it is actually true. For the Jews of America, if you wish to see what will be your future, just watch Europe as they are but a decade, if that, ahead of the United States and what you witness there you will witness at home in the near future. We do not even desire to think of how many more like Robert Bowers are out there in the United States or across Europe. They are an unseen threat often because they associate with a select group who either completely agree with their every complaint about the Jews or really could not care less one way or the other about their talking evil about the Jews because they are not Jews, they know almost no Jews and thus they do not really care about the Jews. That is another thing about many people to whom the Jews may as well be those aliens from Zeta Reticuli whose saucer just crashed and are setting up house somewhere in the mountain of central Wyoming. This is often why such people who fester such a burning though baseless hatred within are seldom brought to the attention of the authorities. Their acquaintances often simply think of their anti-Semitic ramblings are nothing more than their means of expressing their frustrations and doubt that they are truly serious, let alone actually going to act upon such feelings. These are the way some simply explain their shortcomings or the things which fail to meet their expectations. They did not get a raise because of those Jews, of course. The news which they do not like or reports which show events celebrating something they hate politically it is because of the Jews. That is just their expression and what does it hurt. The problem is that there does exist a percentage of anti-Semites who just might act upon their hate which is what happened in Pittsburgh.

 

Aliens from Zeta Reticuli

Aliens from Zeta Reticuli

 

Often people think of the Jews as being as alien as our little friend pictured above. There are people who believe that Jews look different and that they can pick them out in a crowd. Some believe Jews have tails or horns or whatever feature which denotes them as less human. I was fortunate in life as a nearly two meter tall one hundred kilo male, not many people actually desired to strike me. I have had a few instances when it was necessary to stand up for a less size-endowed Jew and it always shocked the anti-Semite that a Jew would not only talk back but actually call them out on their hatred. None had ever decided to take me up on stepping outside, which is to my liking. But none have ever bothered my Jew of less physical dimensions again after our exchange of words. That too is a good thing. Jews, for the most part, are not overly physical and prefer cerebral methods to the use of force, at least in the United States. This is odd as the person responsible for the scientific art of boxing and heavyweight champion of England in 1792–1795 was a Portuguese Jew named Daniel Mendoza. This was back in the day when it was bare knuckle boxing where there were no gloves and the rules were quite simple. The rules were you started with round one and each round went for three minutes with one minute between rounds and you added one to the round counter until one fighter was knocked out or unable to meet the bell and submitted. Mendoza lost his crown to “Gentleman” John Jackson who found his way to victory by seizing Mendoza by his long hair and holding him with one hand while he pounded his head with the other. So much for the “Gentleman” part of his name. As we stated above, there were not very many rules. But all the Jews of the past also had one thing in common with Jews of today, they still were faced with anti-Semitism, the mindless hatred of the other as defined by the Jew. Jews have been the other because it was easy. They lived separate from the rest of the people in a community which often was walled in. Here is the odd thing, the wall was not for the protection of the Jews inside as they did not erect the wall. The wall was to protect the rest of the world from the Jew and to provide the Jew with a limit as to where they could proceed and not be threatened, but dare to leave the ghetto and the Jew had to be wary and very careful as he was on forbidden ground and only at the mercy of any who might lay eyes on them. These walls were built by the Christians and the Muslims to protect themselves from “Jew contamination” or something like that. Sure, there were periods when the Jews were permitted to mix freely and live amongst the rest of the peoples, but they were never permanent and are proving once again to be temporary. This was a wake-up call which will not be heeded for what it portends. This was a call to return to their only real home where they can live more easily as observant Jews, where they are the majority. This was an Aliyah call telling them that Israel is their real home. For every excuse you might have as a Jew for not returning home to Israel, there is a reason to return to Israel which probably belies that very reason with one exception, your aging parents or grandparents require your remaining where you currently reside. What you will not believe is that once in Israel, providing you come with an open mind and expecting little but to be amazed, then you will find that Israel is truly the home of every Jew and welcomed by a community which speaks English as the British saw to that by colonizing almost every corner of the world. Come and spend a month starting, as too many Jews will, in Tel Aviv and once you have had that experience, then visit the periphery. Go to places such as Jerusalem, of course, and Hebron, the Dead Sea and all the other tourist stops and take in the history and the sights. Then visit Tzfat which is a town of artists, Nahariya, which is a beach town largely for other Israelis, Eilat, as it is the southernmost tip of Israel and also a beach resort, and any number of other places not usually seen on the tourist posters. Israel will surprise you as it has a diverse number of places which have their own personality. We love Nahariya and when we visited to get a feel, we were fortunate to stay in Nahariya and were here for the Purim Parade. We definitely advise making it to some smaller town during Purim as the celebration is one of the times of the year that we all come together and celebrate. Holidays in Israel are so completely different than in the United States as in Israel the Jewish holidays are also national holidays and that too is something to be amazed about. Israel, to put it simply, is the Jewish State, period. And it is perfectly safe as Israel does put a great effort into protecting us to the best of their ability.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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