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Monday, January 19, 2009

Anti-Semitism, Martin Luther King, and Julie Burchill

I recently began training for a new job, just a few days after my last post—which is why I have not been able to sit down, collect my thoughts, and post anew since the 8th of the month. The job involves learning an entirely new area for me (a little real estate, business, etc.) — with a little IT work thrown in for good measure, which I already love doing--I guess being married to a geek has rubbed off--all of which is creating interesting new synapses in my brain . By the time I get home, however, I just want to relax, maybe read—not research topics to blog on my s-l-o-w, maxed-out 512 MB of RAM computer (-which sometimes itself decides to relax and freezes, right in the middle of an operation.)


In the interim, between my last post and now, I’ve been following the war; last week I downloaded an Israeli toolbar with direct access to all the radio stations, TV, etc. – with even an ‘emergency’ four way split-screen dealie where I can see several TV stations, including Al-Jazeera in English (like, why would I want to see that?) simultaneously. An Israeli geek-friend showed me where to go to get that one.


Throughout the war-I know a unilateral cease-fire was agreed to by Israel and now, a “week-long ceasefire” (don’t exactly know what that means) by Hamas-I’ve been reading and listening to the vilification of Israel, and it’s making me sick. What a twisted world we live in, where an organization dedicated to World Peace and Nations Working Together (what, you didn't know that was the United Nations?) condemns Israel for possibly committing “war crimes,” whereas throughout the years of the Intifada and Hezbollah and Hamas rocketing cities in the north and south respectively, and Hamas placing their weapons caches and rocket launchers and terrorist tunnel entrances and exits from which they entered Gaza and smuggled in weapons in their own peoples’ homes and neighborhoods, the U.N. for some reason lost its tongue.


Not a word is said about, say, Israel's part in taking in South Sudanese refugees who are escaping a horrific genocide in their countries of Sudan and Eritrea, a genocide of African Muslims by Arab Muslims-backed by their governments-while Egypt shoots them in the back while they are trying to cross the Egyptian border.


Why are they escaping into Israel? Because they know that Israel will be more humane in their treatment. Where did I read or hear about this? Nowhere in the media, but rather in a Jewish magazine.


I have ruminated for a long time about the reasons for the world’s being so anti-Israel, and I some time ago came to a conclusion: they are resentful, and jealous. Resentful of the Jews, who gave the world a moral code in the form of the Torah, who gave the world a highly civilized way of life. Who, living through centuries of oppression culminating in the horrific Holocaust (oh, sorry--we're supposed to forget about that, 'cause it's over, right?) never gave up, but rather pulled themselves up “by their bootstraps,” returned to their ancient homeland after 2,000 years of exile, and legally created (while fighting at least six wars from the time of the inception of the tiny Jewish state) a First-World, World Class nation and economy, in an enemy-surrounded, Third World region. And jealous, well, uh-because of the same thing.


Just this morning I awakened to another biased, drawn-out NPR (National PALESTINIAN Radio) report on the ‘atrocities’ (-ed.) committed by Israel in Gaza. They interviewed a 55-year old woman whose house was bombed and destroyed. She was railing against Israel, and just a little bit against Hamas, too-but not too much, see: it's safer to say that it's Israel's fault.


I was trying to remember the last time NPR spent as much time interviewing Israelis whose families were murdered and mangled during the Intifada, in pizza parlors and buses by suicide (read that homicide) bombers. Hubby said to me that I should send them a comment to that effect: they have spent more time condemning the death and destruction of Gazans to Israel then they ever did to the Arabs, when Israelis were the victims. I don't remember hearing any interviews of crying family members when 10-month old Shalhevet Pass was targeted by an Arab sniper and shot through the head. Nor when in 1979 the terrorist Samir Kuntar murdered 31 year old Danny Haran in front of his toddler daughter’s eyes, and then bashed her head in with his rifle butt until she was dead.



Imagine my surprise, when I read in the latest Hadassah magazine, that a British journalist named Julie Burchill is defying her colleagues by openly and unabashedly stating her love for Israel and the Jewish people.


It is very appropriate, on this day commemorating the greatness of Dr. Martin Luther King, that we should remember what he said about anti-Semitism and the Jews, as Julie Burchill quoted in the Guardian in 2003:

In 1967, Martin Luther King Jr published his Letter To An Anti-Zionist Friend: "Anti-Zionism is inherently anti-semitic, and ever will be. What is anti-Zionism? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the globe. It is discrimination against Jews... because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-semitism." MLK - what a mensch! A saint in the street. . .

In her interview for Hadassah magazine she is asked and answers-and I think she's put her finger on the pulse-

You have railed against “bleeding-heart ignoramuses” among British journalists such as Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for The Independent—one-sided writers who are highly critical of the Jewish state. What’s at the core of this clearly widespread hostility that permeates so much of the British media?
A. Jews are cleverer than gentiles, both intellectually and commercially. They’ve been subjected to terrible prejudice and oppression and have risen above the suffering without help from Whitey. That makes Whitey angry.

And further,

The Establishment likes minorities it can feel superior to and sorry for. There’s just no way it can do that with the Jews.

You know, sometimes, when the whole world reviles you, you start to go a little insane, and begin to believe the lies. Maybe we are rotten to the core, maybe we are the 'root of all evil.' And then, Julie Burchill comes along to give everyone some perspective, and restore the faith in what is GOOD and TRUE:

I don't care who's doing it - white, brown or pink-and-purple paisley-patterned - if they're picking on the Red Sea Pedestrians, they're wrong 'uns, like all racists. Make no mistake, the Jews are not hated because of Israel; they are hated for their very modernity, mobility, lust for life and love of knowledge. Their most basic toast, "L'chaim!" (To Life!), is a red rag to those who fetishise death because they have failed to take any joy from their life on earth.

It just warms the cockles of my heart.



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3 comments:

Lakewood Falling Down said...

I would gladly add to your post, but you said it all. May Hashem have Rachmanus on all of us.

Lady-Light said...

LFD: Thank you. I think...
Yes, we definitely need Hashem's rachmanut in this century; it doesn't seem to be getting any better any time soon. . .

Beaman said...

It's a shame Liberal-Leftists, who rightly revere MLK cannot understand his wise words in regards to Zionism and anti-Semitism. He was a great man in many regards.

 
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