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Anti-Semitism: See Under Hate, Envy, and Israel


Every weekend I go down to the American River to wash my eyes with its beauty, and to refresh my mind as to what truly matters. I have a saying: Every week that ends by the river, was a good week; every week that begins in the river, will be a good week. But a couple of months back when I went there for my weekend visit, I was shocked to see a swastika painted in white on the bike-trail, from where I take a small dirt path that leads to the bank of the river. I saw no one around, and still went ahead with stopping by my favorite tree on the small hill, washing my eyes with the beauty of the rapids, enjoying the cool breeze, marveling at the flight of the birds.

And yet, this incident kept rolling in my head weeks after I’d informed the police and the park authorities about it, and after I’d been informed by a Park Ranger that they erased it. I did visit the river again, of course, and was happy to see that the hateful emblem was no longer there. Still, with everything else going on around the issue of anti-Semitism—I don’t need to spell it out for you, do I?—I decided to jump into these turbulent waters, see if I can reach the other side with something of value to tell you.

Here’s what I found: The cause of anti-Semitism is rooted, first, in deep old hatred. Hatred that, for whatever reason, is ingrained in some people hearts and minds. I can hardly explain it, as I’m not sure I know where it comes from; but it’s being passed on from generation to generation. Some people are so full of hatred and resentment, it simply blind them to the truth. They bring up and educate their offspring this way, and the children grow up hating Jews, yet without knowing really why they do, just as other people hate blacks or gays no matter the progress we’ve made. That’s the reality that some people live with, while trying to inflict and spread their venom around.

For me, however the question of envy is more prominent. Let’s be frank about it: The Jewish people—wherever they were, however much suffering, atrocity, and misfortunes befallen them—always managed not only to survive, but to excel. They are successful in most things they try their hands in, with some of the best doctors, scientist, artists… you name it. No wonder no other group, race or ethnicity, while being such a minority, can claim so many Noble Prize winners among their ranks. And of course, the need to survive in tough environments and circumstances had thought them how to be good in business. Yes, with money. How to work hard and make a good living.

Nothing wrong with that. Except in the eyes of some uneducated people, who’d rather lay around drinking beer instead of getting an education, or working-skills. Some poor people hate rich people; some unsuccessful people hate successful people; some downtrodden people take these feelings of envy and resentment on the most obvious easy target: the Jews. In their misinformed minds, Jews are responsible for all their problems. If it weren’t for the Jews, they would be well off. They’d get their money and be successful without the need to work hard and get an education. Blame the Jews, it’s easier; unleash violence too, and conspiracy theories on them.

As of late, though, I find myself concerned more with another source for the prevalence of anti-Semitism. It’s the “New anti-Semitism,” as I call it, result of Israel’s government actions, and the attitude of its people. This reason for anti-Semitism, especially in Europe, is a cause for great discontent among Jewish people, especially here in America. Because, when it comes to Israel and the way it deals with the Palestinian people and issue—the occupation and military rule over other people, the constant violation of basic human rights—they prefer to look the other way.

But in the world we live in, this might be of greater cause for anti-Semitism. Many people the world over, most of them democrats, liberals, open-minded people—most prominently in academia, media, and the arts—refuse to look the other way when it comes to Israel’s constant abuse of human rights and international law. Of course, Jewish organizations here in America are quick to equate it—wrongly!—with anti-Semitism. Add to that the large immigration of Muslim refugees, in Europe and also here, from Middle Eastern and North African countries, and we have a combustible situation ready to be ignited.

The Israeli government, especially all these years under the rule of Netanyahu, had operated under the belief that the increase in anti-Semitic virulent sentiments and violent actions in Europe and America, will in return increase the immigration of Jews to Israel. Will help Zionism, the way they see it; decrease the unfavorable demographic situation, and will help deflect the need to solve the Palestinian conflict. Which, to a degree, is what has happened. However, it’s also very unscrupulous and dangerous, as it continues to cultivate and fester anti-Semitism outside Israel, with accusation of Apartheid state in-the-making, and with unforeseen consequences.

* The ‘Leave a Comment’ link is the last tag below, in blue.

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Air-Bnb & Hot-Air

middleeastmonitor.com


The decision by the global home-renting company Airbnb last week to terminate its operation in the Israeli occupied West Bank—i.e. to remove the listing of homes for rent from all Israeli settlements there—has naturally created quite a stir in Israel. Mainly, it brought about a lot of accusations of discrimination, anti-Semitism, anti-Israel, and anti-Zionism. It’s all the fault, and work of the hated BDS movement. The world is against us. In short: a lot of hot air.

Let’s analyze it then, the decision and its aftermath. As for Airbnb’s decision—which yours truly believes was the right decision—it stated that after quite a number of years, and many deliberations, the company has reached the conclusion that “… we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.” Settlements, which the Geneva Convention, the International Community at large, and the United Nations in particular, consider illegal.

Put it in other words: Supporting settlers who are there illegally—many of them American Jews—making them profit and getting richer while being in all practicality criminals, according to International Law, is not in the best interest of the company. Furthermore, the company does not see it as a political action, but as a human rights issue; it does not punish Israel as a whole, where it will continue to operate as before.

Unless, of course, the Israeli government acts to forbid, or make life too difficult on the company to operate in Israel proper. Which is one of the sanctions proposed by this minister or that. Other threats, less severe, were mentioned too. I do believe, though, that it won’t come to be, since the only people to benefit from this operation, other than the company (San Francisco based), are the tourists coming to visit Israel, and the Israeli citizens letting them use their homes and apartments. (I myself stayed in Tel Aviv for two weeks in such a place two years ago.)

Now, as for the accusations thrown at Airbnb. This is of course not an act of anti-Semitism, nor it is an act of anti-Israel or anti-Zionism. Nothing of the sort, and the proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes. The company—unless the government interferes—will continue to operate, as it has done so far, in Israel proper. It has nothing against Israelis, but has a lot against occupying other people lands, seizing their property, building there illegally, and profiting from it illegally. More straightly put: by operating in illegal settlements, the company renders its operation there illegal too.

These accusations by Israeli officials are very common, especially the favorite one: It’s all the BDS movement‘s fault. And yet, it has nothing to do with the BDS movement, to which your truly is in opposition to. Again, the reason is simple—though for reasons that I will explain promptly—no one care to admit it. First and foremost: The BDS boycott is directed against the whole of Israel. It does not differentiate between the occupied territories, post the 1967 war, and Israel proper, prewar. As an example, when the BDS movement convinces an internationally known artist not to appear in Israel, most often it’s in Tel Aviv, or other places in Israel, never really in the West Bank.

Secondly, boycotting Israel is the method to achieve the three main goals of that movement: Ending the occupation, full equality to Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and granting all Palestinians refugees (some 7.5 million of them) the right of return to their homes in Israel. Which basically will end Israel as we know it, as the secure home of the Jewish people. (Hence my objection to it). Airbnb mentions nothing about that, or about supporting these BDS demands. Otherwise, why is it operating in Israel?

Now, you probably asking yourselves, why do those people raise the above-mentioned accusations? The reason is simple, if somewhat elusive: It fits their agenda. Instead of dealing seriously, truthfully with the real problems—the occupation, the settlements, the never-ending dispute with the Palestinians, the steady march of Israel toward being an intolerant society, Apartheid-like, with laws that will make it more of a totalitarian state than a democratic one—it’s easy to deflect the problem and hurl false accusations in return.

Let’s kick the can farther. Let’s accuse other people for our problems. Let’s delay the clear, preferred, obvious solution—the Two-State solution—until the messiah comes. The world hates us anyway. It’s all politics, stupid. Human rights are nonsense. Let’s go have a beer.

* The ‘Leave a Comment’ link is the last tag below, in blue.

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