Fighting Anti-Semitism

A campaign to rid the world of anti-Semitism has been initiated in the Israeli Knesset.  While this is a laudable effort, it is not likely to succeed.  Anti-Semitism, that is hatred of Jews, is as old as prostitution, and that too is never likely to be eradicated.

I compare anti-Semitism to a medieval knight in armor.  Shooting arrows of truth at the knight will not penetrate his armor of irrationality.  One cardinal belief of anti-Semites is that the Jews are planning to take over the world.  As demonstrated in the Holocaust of WWII, the Jews were defenceless and hardly able to survive.  As the constant wars for the defense of Israel demonstrate, the Jews are hardly able to defend one little slip of land, let alone conquer the world.  Yet, anti-Semites will continue to believe their ludicrous conspiracy theories.

It may be true that Jews have an ability for finances, since the international banking system was developed by Jews, for example the Rothschilds.  Usury was banned for Catholic Christians, so the Catholic rulers relied on their Jews, for whom it was not illegal or immoral to earn profit.  But, the Catholics soon changed their tune when they realized that they were missing out on a lot of profit, although they still continued to steal from the Jews.  This was one of the main motivations for the Inquisition and the Holocaust.

Anti-Semites believe that Jews have larger noses than Christians (tell that to De Gaulle).  Jews may be generally more intelligent than Christians (e.g. Marx, Einstein, Freud).  The inevitable conclusion is that their extra brain power is contained in their noses.  And if you believe that you are no better than any anti-Semite.


Poland’s Problem

I agree with the Polish Government that the concentration camps for Jews in Poland were German camps.  The main reason was that the Poles themselves were incapable of organizing Jewish murder on an industrial scale.  The Poles were essentially cowards, attacking and massacring defenseless Jews, often their neighbors, individually and in groups. Recently I edited a book based on a narrative by Eddie Bielawski entitled “Invisible Jews: Surviving the Holocaust in Poland,” whose family of ten people survived for 3 years (1941-4) in hiding.  They were resourceful and brave.
He wrote “We were in a totally hostile environment.  No-one could be trusted.  There were Poles who would kill us, would steal all that we had, or turn us over to the Germans for a reward and to see us dead….there was the occasional Pole who showed human feelings towards us, who fed us and risked his life and that of his family.  But, they were few and far between.”  I think this sums up the true situation regarding the Poles and the Holocaust quite accurately.
Now there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Poland, as elsewhere in Europe.  So for example, a Norwegian MP has nominated the BDS movement in Europe for the Nobel Peace Prize.  If ever there was an organization that is not peaceful and does not deserve any prize, let alone a peace prize, it is the BDS organization.  It was founded by a Palestinian politician named Omar Barghouti who is dedicated to Israel’s destruction.  BDS is allied to Hamas and its only aim is not simply to boycott, sanction and divest from Israel, but to destroy Israel by all means, including the use of violence and terrorism, and this is clear in their literature and their actions.
The Polish PM Morawiecki said in a speech at the Munich Security conference, justifying the current law outlawing certain statements about Poland being responsible for the Holocaust, that there were “Polish perpetrators of the Holocaust, just like there were Jewish perpetrators.”  PM Netanyahu who is also attending said “The Polish Prime Minister’s remarks here in Munich are outrageous. There is a problem here of an inability to understand history and a lack of sensitivity to the tragedy of our people. I intend to speak with him forthwith.​​” 

Anti-Semitism in Europe

While all eyes in relation to anti-Semitism are turned towards the Polish attempt to absolve themselves of any guilt in the massacres of Jews that took -place during WWII in Poland, there are other European countries where anti-Semitism is on the rise.

There were no less than three reports in The Jerusalem Post on Friday related to anti-Semitism.  The most ominous report is that the Community Security Trust, an organisation that provides security to Britain’s Jews and gathers statistics, reported that there was a 30% increase in violent anti-Semitic attacks in 2016 compared to 2015 and a further 3% increase in 2017.  The reported extent of purely verbal anti-Semitic abuse has also risen sharply.

In a separate article, it was reported that Chelsea Football Club is taking extraordinary measures to try to reduce the amount of anti-Semitism that is a regular feature of chants and slogans during matches there.  They have used the pre-game session to try to instil opposition to anti-Semitism by using banners and videos of players and well-known personalities, many of whom are not Jewish, to decry anti-Semitism.  However few believe that this will solve the problem of ingrained anti-Semitism in the British people.  Anti-Semitic chants will probably continue to be a mainstay of all soccer matches in Britain.

No less a person than the French Prime Minister, Edouard Phillipe, stated “there is a new form of brutal and violent anti-Semitism” in France.  This after an 8 year of Jewish boy was brutally attacked in Sarcelles by two 15 year olds, and in a separate incident a Jewish girl’s face was slashed with a knife.  Of course, before that there have been numerous attacks against Jewish individuals, including the callous murder of an elderly Jewish lady in her home and the torture and murder of a French Jew, both of them coincidentally named Halimi.  The French Government lacks the ability to prevent such crimes, when there are right-wing, left-wing and Islamic anti-Semites active in France.

It used to be fashionable to believe that if there was democracy and education, such ancient prejudices as anti-Semitism would wither away.  But, that has certainly not been the case.  People feel free to attack Jews verbally and physically, when they would not attack blacks or other peoples in the same way.  Once again anti-Semitism, in various forms, is both fashionable and politically correct.  I suffered from anti-Semitic attacks, mostly verbal, when I grew up in the UK in the 1950s, so I am not surprised by these reports.  I decided then that there was no way that it could be eradicated, so I left.  I am very happy now that I live in Israel, where we can counter-attack the local anti-Semites as they try to attack us.


Who is the real victim?

Have you ever noticed that people and groups usually identify their own faults in their enemies.  Thus, bullies usually consider themselves victims, they are often under-achievers, and in order to explain their inability to deal with their reality, they blame it on others and attack them for it.  This is known as scape-goating, based on the Biblical tradition of transferring your sins to an animal, usually a goat, and casting it out into the desert (I joke with my wife that she is my scape-wife).

Of course, the classic case of group scape-goating is anti-Semitism.  The Jews were a convenient and defenceless minority which it was easy to blame for the inadequacies of the Germans and other peoples of Europe and the Middle East.  Thus, all the bad characteristics that the German Nazis ascribed to the Jews were in fact their own faults, mirrored in their hatred of the Jews.  For example, Jews were supposed to be planning to take over the earth, a ludicrous idea for such a weak minority, when in fact the German Nazis were actually planning to do so and nearly did and at one point at the beginning of WWII they actually conquered a huge area from France to Russia.

Jews were supposedly obsessed with money and controlled the banks and were stealing money from the non-Jews.  Whereas in fact the Germans were obsessed with money and took every opportunity to steal money from the Jews, and to make it easier they murdered them in a very efficient and abhorrent manner (they were not the only ones to do this, the Spanish Inquisition enriched the Catholic Church in the same way).   The anti-Semites claimed that the Jews were “clannish” and kept to themselves, while in fact the Germans were notoriously racist, believed they were a “pure” “Aryan” white race and in fact did not allow any “inferior races” such as Slavs (Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenes, Serbs, Russians) and Hungarians and Jews to become German citizens before WWI (with some exceptions).  Jews were also criticized for being God’s “chosen people” when in fact the Germans were arrogant and believed they were superior to others.

The same effect is used in the Middle East conflict between Arabs and Jews.  Jews were historically a small minority and were the indigenous people of the region (in fact from Judah or Judea), and were for centuries the victims of Arab oppression, reduced to inferior “dhimmi” status (like Native Americans in the US).  Now the Arabs, masquerading as Palestinians, have usurped that minority status and institutionalized their supposed victim-hood.  Note that the Arabs came from Arabia and conquered the surrounding regions (including Israel) starting soon after the death of Mohammed.  They are not indigenous to the area of Israel. Further, after the break-up of the Turkish Empire after WWI, as ratified in treaties and Mandates of the League of Nations, the Arabs established 6 States (now Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Arabia) and the Jews one (Israel).

The EU and the Europeans in general criticize Israel for being “colonialist” “imperialist” etc. etc., when in fact Israel is the victim of Muslim and Arab imperial power, expressed in the obsession of the UN against Israel,   This is a victimizing of Israel by the majority of the nations of the world, in which supposedly liberal-leftist Europeans gladly participate (as a form of anti-Semitism).  Countries such as South Africa, that  were victimized by white supremacy (apartheid) now turn around and victimize Israel.  What hypocrisy, what ignorance (it was the Arab-Muslim countries that supplied S. Africa with oil in the apartheid era without which they could not have survived to suppress the Blacks).

Such dangerous forms of self-deception and blame unfortunately form the basis of international relations as practised today.  Perhaps Pres. Trump’s in his recent speech on the national security and international relations of the USA might up-turn this apple cart. Perhaps the incredible over-reaction to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the de facto capital of Israel might be the trigger to start to reform this ludicrous state of affairs.


Aliyah and Terrorism

Aliyah is the general term in Hebrew for Jews to move to Israel.  It literally means “going up” since the Holy Land is supposed to be on a higher plane than the Diaspora.  Around Netanya one cannot help but notice the huge influx of French people.  French is now the predominant language spoken in the town center and there are many French-style bistros, patisseries, and charcuteries around town.  The price of apartments has gone up and French people are buying stores and restaurants and making a go of it.  These are people who have had enough with the rising anti-Semitism in France, mainly fueled by Islamic hatred.

Similarly in a poll carried out by the British Campaign Against Anti-Semitism in 2015-7 and recently reported on Sky News and the Jerusalem Post, about 31% of British Jews said they had considered or are considering leaving the UK (most for Israel), about 39% said they no longer felt safe in the UK, 59% said they felt the Government was not doing enough to protect them and a full 83% agreed that the Labour Party is anti-Semitic.  One woman interviewed said she had recently experienced an anti-Semitic incident for the first time and she was now planning to move to Israel and she said she expected a major outbreak of violent anti-Semitism in the UK within ten years.  This is against a supposed backdrop of a 9% decrease in anti-Semitic incidents in the past year.

But, also let’s face facts, European Jews from relatively civilized countries would not be coming here en famille unless they expected they could make it in a relatively affluent country, which Israel is.  We have all the makings here, a growing young population, an industrious and innovative people and also a large lower class of unskilled workers (the Arabs).  Yes, the US has its Blacks and Mexicans, the EU has its Muslim immigrants and Israel has its Palestinians.  Most of them would be happy if Israel could set up companies on the West Bank and then they wouldn’t have to travel for hours to jobs in Israel.  But, the intransigence of the Palestinian political elite prevents that.  They still resort to crude terrorism, even though they will never achieve their goal of destroying Israel.  On the contrary, the upsurge of Islamic-inspired terrorism in Europe is helping to strengthen Israel.


Gross bias

Throughout the Western world  the stigma of being a “Zionist” has replaced the stigma of being a “Jew” as a pejorative term, and in fact any Jew can now be regarded as a Zionist (whether he/she supports Israel or not).  That is clear anti-Semitism.  Here are two examples:

In the UK, the Government allowed a few hundred activists to march through the center of London with pro-Hizbollah flags unfurled and messages stating “Death to Zionists.” Everyone knows what that means, its the same old story “death to Jews.” and it was allowed even though Hizbollah is recognized in the UK as a terrorist group that is a proxy of Iran.  Can you imagine them allowing any group to march that had banners saying “death to Muslims” or death to Arabs” or “death to Blacks.”  No that would be considered to be racist and would be banned because it would upset the targeted racial group.  But, Zionists and Jews can be targeted, that’s not racist.

In Chicago, the annual Dyke March refused to allow a group of Jewish lesbians to march with them with a rainbow flag with a Magen David (Star of David) in the center of it. They said the Magen David would cause concern for the safety to the other marchers and anyway they are all pro-Palestinian.  So now even dykes won’t accept Jews among them. What is it coming to?  Are we back in the 1930’s again.  But, note that dykes can march in the US and Israel, but they would be attacked if they tried that in any Muslim country.


Anti-Semitism abounds

There are troubling signs of a return to violent anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere and an even more troubling lack of official government reaction to it.  Here are some very recent examples.

An Orthodox Jewish family was vacationing on the Isle of White.  They were on the beach when a gang of youths accosted them shouting “Jews” and nasty epithets, and forced them to retreat.  The husband called the police and told them they were under attack.  The police came 15 mins later, but since it was a gang they waited and called for back-up.  The back-up arrived another 15 min later, but by then the gang had dispersed. The police then decided to take no action because no-one had been hurt.  The fact that it was a hate crime was ignored by the police and in subsequent complaints.

Even worse, a Jewish pensioner Mrs. Halimi was murdered in her apartment in Paris last week.  A fervently religious Muslim climbed from the balcony of the adjacent apartment, beat her up because she was a Jew and although the police came, they hesitated to enter the apartment, giving the killer time to dump the victim’s body off the balcony and then return to the adjacent apartment.  When the police finally entered no-one was there so they registered the crime as a murder.  They have refused to consider it as a hate crime, although the killer was a Muslim shouting Islamic and anti-Semitic slogans.

In South Africa the performance of a play “The boy in the striped pajamas” by a Jewish school group was disrupted by anti-Semitic chants. including “Heil Hitler,” that caused the performance to be abandoned.  Because one of the taunters supposedly apologized after the event the school where the performance was taking place and the police took no action.  The S. African Board of Jewish Deputies has lodged a complaint.

The number of such anti-Semitic incidents involving hate crimes that go unregistered by the police in Europe is increasing.  There have been many such incidents in France, UK, Sweden and also in Germany.  They are often carried out by Muslims, but not always. Life is becoming dangerous again for Jews in Europe.  They should all consider moving to Israel.