“It happened, so it can happen again. That is the essence of what we have to say.” – Primo Levi
Some people have accused me of being fanatical about being Jewish .
Naw …but i am suspicious and curious because all my life i have been at a loss to explain anti semitism.
I just don’t get it because even with friends things spill out in an off hand way and i pay attention . When people don’t think i am listening i do. For 2,000 years we heard a litany of how we killed Christ who was a rabbi ,one of our own but the world has claimed him and his teachings and this has been at the fount of the anti semitism.
We were the despised people because we didn’t tout Jesus as our Messiah …Growing up in French Canada in Quebec i heard the chant
,”Dirty Jews you killed Christ.”
I punched a few noses growing up .
When i hear criticism of Israel and i do a lot i label most of it anti semitism. In fact it is the new anti semitism made palatable and considered smart in polite society to decry the Jewish state ,never mind it is the only democracy in the Middle East .
Never mind it is a leader in medicine,technology and agriculture and food and many other things.
Never mind the state is 70 years old very soon and is surrounded by a billion people who want to wipe us from the face of the earth and we can’t afford to make a mistake or else we go down.
I was there as a volunteer in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 when i was 20 and i witnessed firsthand what happened when on Yom Kippur the country almost lost it’s life. It affected me deeply causing me to leave a lucrative career in the record business in Canada to join the Israeli army in 1982.
In Israel i feel safe as a Jew ..Nowhere else. That is a fact. Elsewhere i am always an outsider.
I remember recently a friend in Spain was telling me about an Israeli couple,artists that had lived on the island since the 50’s. He went on to say they have left a house here that is just abandoned.
“Didn’t they have family to leave it to?” I inquired. .
He paused and he smiled ,Well you know Jews .If there is money there they would have found it!” …an example out of many.
The anti semitism that is raging in Europe is outrageous .
Poland has the nerve to pass into law anyone even saying that Poles were involved in the extermination of Jews will face a 3 year jail sentence. If you even refer to a death camp as Polish you face three years in prison. Most of the concentration camps and killing was done on Polish soil and the general populace certainly aided and abetted. Many others did not but the facts remain.
Today someone in Poland ,a famous writer just said,
“The Jews had fun in the ghettos. ”
The father of the Prime Minister of Poland also just stated that Jews ran to the ghettos gladly because they didn’t like the Poles. Anyone who is a student of the Holocaust knows this is a blatant attempt to rewrite history and you would think the world would decry Poland for this but as usual most are silent except for Israel.
There were many who helped the Jews but there were more who helped in their murder.
My grandmother’s cousin came back from the camps after the war and went to her house in the small village she came from and the neighbor had taken over her house and killed her with an axe when she showed up.
There were no consequences of course.
One more Jew more or less.
I will never hide the fact i am Jewish …I am very proud of who we are.
We are not better than anyone else as some have accused me of thinking.
I do not think that at all.
We are all children of the sun and i am just saying “Viva la difference. ”
I love our culture even though i am not religious.
A synagogue has barely seen me and every Yom Kippur i hike for 12 miles or so in the wilderness where i am more apt to face god.
I am not a fanatic but i don’t hide or conceal.
I am passionate as befits my culture.I talk with my hands,i interrupt because i am excited and don’t want to forget a point,i love discussing ..These are all Jewish traits i think. This is me . Unabashedly and unapologetically me!
Take me or leave me . Just don’t attribute your anti semitic prejudice to my unique characteristics or i will call you on it.
Two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 18-34 years old cannot say what Auschwitz was, according to a study released Thursday Twenty-two percent of Millennials had not heard of the Holocaust at all.
Forty-one percent of American adults as a whole haven’t heard of the Poland-based Jewish extermination camp, and 41 percent of Millennials thought 2 million or fewer Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, according to the study that was released on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
So no I won’t forget as some people have urged me to do .
I know very well what happens if you turn your face away.
Your soul withers and your spirit dies.