Tag Archives: antisemitism

Inviting Mahathir Mohamad to Speak at Columbia University is a Validation of Antisemitism

These days, it’s not that difficult to see the divisions in our world. College is supposed to heal these divisions and teach our young people that diversity is not only acceptable, but it is beautiful.

The message at Columbia University is the opposite.

Malaysian politician Mahathir Mohamad has been invited to speak at the university. The problem with this invitation is that Mr. Mohamad is not only an avowed anti-Semite, he takes pleasure in openly spewing the poison that comes out of his lips.

In defending the invitation, University President Lee Bollinger, stated the following:

“This form of open engagement can sometimes be difficult, even painful. But to abandon this activity would be to limit severely our capacity to understand and confront the world as it is, which is a central and utterly serious mission for any academic institution,” 

Mr. Bollinger claims that the ” invitation is neither a “validation” or “endorsement” of the speaker’s views.”

As I see it, the problem with the invite is that it validates antisemitism. It validates the BDS movement and other organizations that regularly harass Jewish college students, especially those who support Israel.

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in free speech and a college student’s opportunity to expand their world and their perspective. However, given the current political and cultural climate that we live in, a clear line in the sand must be drawn. That line is hate speech. The question is if university administrations have the balls to draw that line.

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Aligning With Linda Sarsour Will Not Get Bernie the Jewish Vote

In any election season, campaigns and candidates will ask how to appeal to a certain demographic to ensure that they will receive their votes.

Jewish Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has decided to bring Linda Sarsour into his campaign. Ms. Sarsour is known for her very public antisemitic and anti-Israel perspective.

I understand that Bernie wants to appeal to progressive voters. However, the choice of Ms. Sarsour, I fear may backfire. Especially with his fellow Jews who are feeling anxious (myself included) about the rising antisemitism in the world.

I also understand that he wants to appeal to the Arab-American community.

However, in trying to appeal to the Arab-American community, he is forgetting his coreligionists. There are quite a few candidates to chose from. In over-appealing to one community, he may forget another, which may end up costing him the nomination next fall.

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The Jexodus Is Not Happening

For generations, most of American Jews have voted and stayed firmly within the Democratic party.

You know who made the following statement today about American Jews and who they may vote for in next year’s Presidential election:

“Any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,”

Americans have unfortunately become accustomed to his off the cuff remarks, dog whistles and half truths. The statement above is all three and much more. I find it to be personally offensive.

When one speaks of loyalty and the Jews, it smacks of antisemitism. The question of whom the Jewish community is loyal to has led the persecution, destruction and murder.

If he thinks that the whole Israel debacle from last week will make American Jews jump ship to the Republican party, he is dead wrong. Most American Jews that I know of still openly and proudly vote Democrat.

If nothing else, this statement may have the opposite effect and it I hope it does. This Democrat is not jumping ship anytime soon.

P.S. If he thinks that Ivanka converting to Judaism and raising Jewish children gives him cred with the Jewish community, he is wrong.

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These Boys are More Than Heroes, They are Our Light in the Darkness

If you are able, I want you to please imagine the following: you are a member of a minority group. It is a warm summer day and you are spending time with your friends at the beach. You see someone drowning, they wear a symbol that represents the destruction and murder of your people. Do you let them drown or try to save their life?

On May 17th in Massachusetts, four young men who are students at a Yeshiva (religious Jewish school) saw a man drowning. They called over a police officer who helped to save this man’s life. They were unaware of the man’s Swastika tattoo.

With the extreme rise in antisemitism, these boys could have easily let this man die. But they saved his life. I hope that he remembers the young Jewish boys who are responsible for keeping him on this earth.

Even in the darkest of moments, there are pockets of light. These boys are pockets of light. I hope that there are more like these boys in this world.

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If the Democrats Want to Win the 2020 Election, I Suggest That They Squash the Antisemitism In Their Party

For the nearly twenty years that I have been able to vote, I have voted mostly Democrat. My family has been also voting along the Democratic lines for as long as I can remember.

I hate to say it, but I may have to rethink my political affiliation. Earlier today, Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) made some comments regarding Israel, Palestine and the Holocaust are not only historically inaccurate, but they also have the capacity to inflame what is already a dangerous conflict. During the interview, she stated the following:

“There’s kind of a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports. I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time, and I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right, and it was forced on them,” she said.

There are a number of inaccuracies that I would like correct the Representative on.

  1. The origin of the name Palestine comes from the Greeks who conquered ancient Israel and changed the name to prevent future generations from identifying Israel as their homeland.
  2. Before 1948, anyone who called the British Mandate of Palestine home was a Palestinian, even those of the Jewish faith.
  3. When Israel was declared to be an independent state, Arab leaders at the time promised a quick and easy war to remove the Jews and establish a new Arab state. The war did not go as planned. Meanwhile, no one talks about the Jews who were living in Muslim countries and had to leave everything behind to stay alive.

I am the first to admit that the actions of the Israeli government are not always perfect. I am the first to agree that there is racism is Israel, as there is everywhere in the world. But it is the only legitimate democracy in the Middle East, where all citizens are treated equally.

I don’t want to have to change my political party. I have no doubt that antisemitism exists in the Republican and Independent parties. But the fact is that if the Democrats do not excise this wound, they may lose the 2020 election. The last thing I want is to have you know who win another four years in office.

P.S. If you are interested in additional reading, Liel Leibovitz’s excellent article in Tablet Magazine hits the nail on the head.

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Grow Up and Stop Blaming the Jews For Your Problems

As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that there is a major distinction between the emotional maturity of a child and the emotional maturity of an adult. A child, when accused of doing something wrong, may blame someone else. An adult, when accused of the same act, will hopefully put on their big boy or big girl pants and accept that they have made a mistake.

The issue here is that some adults have the maturity of a child and not an adult.

In Tarnow, Bishop Andrzej Jeż accused the Jews of plotting to divide the Church and claim that priests sexually abused congregants.

This accusation pisses me off for two reasons:

  1. Yom Hashoah was earlier this week. The same lies that were responsible for the murder of six million Jews are the same lies that are coming out of this man’s mouth.
  2. The cover up of the priests who sexually assaulted their congregants has nothing to do with the Jews. This was a systematic cover up by Church officials. Grow up, put on your big boy pants and admit that the mistake rests solely on the shoulders of those who covered up the crimes.

There are those who say that antisemitism does not exist. It is a thing of the past. From my perspective, this article is just another example that antisemitism is still unfortunately alive and well in this world.

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The NY Times, Antisemitism and Pure Hypocrisy

The purpose of journalism is supposed to be subjective. The reporter is supposed to report the facts as they are and let the reader or the viewer determine how they feel about that particular subject.

Supposed is the key word in that sentence. The problem is that the point of view of the article or the news report often depends on the point of view of the reporter and their employer.

Recently, the NY Times published what can only be described as an antisemitic caricature. The editorial board published an apology yesterday along with an article talking about the rise of antisemitism in the world.

Pardon my French, but that is f*cking hypocrisy.

The irony that makes me angry is that the family who owns the Times is Jewish. The paper’s original owner, Adolph Ochs, was the son of German Jewish immigrants.

During World War II, instead of placing the news about the slaughter of Europe’s Jews on the front page (as they should have), the news reports were buried deep in the paper. If the paper’s then owners were in Europe instead of New York, it is likely that they would have been part of the six million.

As far as I am concerned, the apology is empty and worthless. Not only should the cartoonist be fired, but the editor who approved the cartoon be fired as well. These cartoons not only legitimize antisemitism, they add fuel to the rising fire.

Good job, NY Times. I knew that there was a reason why I don’t buy your paper.

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Today is Yom Hashoah

Today is Yom Hashoah.

Today we remember the six million Jews who were tortured, starved and slaughtered merely because of their faith.

Over the years, we have said never again. But the phrase “never again” feels empty. Between the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue last fall and the shooting at Chabad of Poway synagogue this past weekend, I am reminded that antisemitism is alive and well in our world.

The same lies and hatred that killed my relations decades ago are responsible for the murders at both the Tree of Life and Chabad of Poway synagogues.

 

The picture above is from a memoir that my great-grandfather wrote about Dobromil, the shtetl that he grew up in. One of the reasons that my family is here today is because he immigrated to the United States in the early part of the 20th century. When he left for the United States, he left behind his widowed father, his siblings and their families. They all perished in the Holocaust.

I wish we could say never again. I wish that we could say that antisemitism or hatred/prejudice of any kind is the past. But it is still part of our present. Until we face this kind of hatred and erase it from our world, the phrase “never again” will continue to feel empty and worthless.

 

 

 

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Thoughts On the Chabad of Poway Shooting

A week ago yesterday, which was Easter Sunday, bombs went off across Sri Lanka. When all was said and done, hundreds were dead and many more were injured.

Today, there was a shooting closer to home. In San Diego, one person was killed and three were injured in a shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue. Today is also the last day of Passover.

I hate to ask what is a simplistic question, but can’t we all get along? Is it so impossible to just live and let live? Why must we choose who is worthy and who is unworthy based on factors such as race, religion, sexuality, etc? At the end of the day, we are all human beings. We breathe the same way, we eat the same way and we use the bathroom in the same way.

For once, I wish I could watch the news without hearing that someone has been attacked or killed because of who they are.

May the memory of the person killed be a blessing to those who loved them.

 

 

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Those Who Live in Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones

We all remember where we were on 9/11. Unlike other memories that fade, where were that day and who we were with are forever burnt into our memory.

Last week Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) gave a speech at a CAIR event. It is not a surprise that the right jumped on the speech and a specific phrase in the speech as if it was a piece of meat thrown to a group of famished hyenas.

The phrase, in regards to 9/11 and the rise in anti-Islamic hatred is as follows:

“Some people did something”

There are two issues. The first is that the right and the right leaning media (which unfortunately includes the NY Post, a paper that I have been a loyal reader of for many years) focused on that particular phrase instead of pulling back and getting all of their facts together before reacting.

The second issue is that you know who continues to harp on Representative Omar about her previous antisemitic comments. While I don’t quite think I will ever completely forgive her, the death threats that she and her family are receiving are a symptom of a much bigger issue in this country.

In spite of saying that he is pro-Israel and bears no hatred for people of the Jewish faith, his past tweets say otherwise.

By the way, does anyone else recall that while thousands of innocent people were dying on 9/11, he was bragging that he then owned the tallest building in lower Manhattan? (Starts at 1:50)

Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

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