Tag Archives: antisemitism

The Vandalization of Those Synagogues in NYC Will Not Change My Faith

Hate is akin to an insidious disease. It takes over you, changing everything about your world and how you see it.

Over the weekend, four different synagogues were vandalized in the Bronx in New York City.

Whomever these people are, if they think that this act will scare me into changing my faith, they have another thing coming. I could go on, but I am going to let two wise men speak instead. Their truths are more powerful than anything I could ever write.

Pin by Cheryl Harris-dowling on Inspirational quotes | Yoda quotes, Fear  leads to anger, Fear quotes

Though I am sure that the justice system will do it’s job, it may not be enough to change the perspective of the perpetrators. I say, drop them in Auschwitz for a night. Let the spirits of those who were murdered teach the ultimate lesson.

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Filed under New York City, Star Wars, William Shakespeare

Where is the Justice for Sarah Halimi?

Justice, in theory, should be blind. However, that does not mean that a murderer should be allowed to walk free.

In April of 2017, Sarah Halimi was murdered simply because she was a Jew. The man accused of killing her was acquitted because he was on drugs.

The accused, a Muslim man originally from Mali, is said to have Allahu Akbar as he took Mrs. Halimi’s life. Before I go any further, I must stress that I am not saying that every member of the Muslim faith is anti-Semitic, just as not every Jew holds anti-Islamic views. There are many in both faiths who just wants to live their lives, the faith of the stranger standing next to them is unimportant.

But the thing that bothers me is that this man got off because he was high. That is a flimsy excuse and in my mind, an easy out for the French justice system. Instead of addressing both the drug issue and the fact that this was a hate crime, they chose to ignore the fact that Mrs. Halimi was only targeted because she was Jewish. Had this not been the case, she would be alive today.

My heart goes out to her family. May her memory forever a blessing. Z”L.

P.S. There will be protest vigil today at 1PM at the French Embassy in New York City.

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Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth Book Review

The best way to learn about a new culture is to speak to a local. They have the insight and experience that an outsider would never have.

Earlier this month, Israeli actress/ producer Noa Tishby published her first book. The Tel Aviv native seeks to understand and explain Israel as it is, without relying on the flashy headlines or the half truths. Using her firsthand experience, she speaks of Israel, both past and present, as it is, and not how some see it or wish it could be.

What I love about this book is how down to earth and accessible it is. Tishby‘s voice is that of the average person, not the academic or historian who usually writes about this topic. That, I believe, provides an opportunity for a dialogue that should have happened long ago.

If you only read two chapters, I highly recommend chapters on BDS and the virulent anti-Israeli sentiment (which is really antisemitism). Even for those who are well versed on the topic, it was an eye opener.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History, International News, Podcast, Television, World News

Bernie Madoff-May You Be Forgotten

When a person dies, the Jewish response is the following: “may their memory be a blessing”.

Bernie Madoff, the Ponzi schemer who stole millions from his clients a dozen years ago, passed away yesterday at the age of 82.

I don’t normally pay attention to what is happening on Wall Street. It’s never been my thing. But I do pay attention when someone of Madoff’s stature re-emphasizes the stereotype about Jews and money. The anti-Semites make up enough lies about us, the last thing we need is validation of those falsehoods via real world examples.

I also pay attention when the economy tanks and there are more people looking for work than jobs needing to be filled. The revelation of what he did added salt to the wound of the Great Recession, creating more uncertainty and stress for those affected by his greed and selfishness.

I would normally say than when a co-religionist of mine passes, that their memory should be a blessing. I cannot say that about Madoff. I can only say that may he be forgotten.

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Filed under History, New York City

Was the Joke About Israel on SNL Satire or Anti-Semitic?

Satire is a beautiful thing. But it can also cross the line.

During the Weekend Update portion of last weekend’s Saturday Night Live, anchor Michael Che made a joke about Israel. To say that it did not go over well is an understatement.

The question I have to ask, is it satire or antisemitism?

I get that it was a joke. Weekend Update is not your serious local weeknight news. It is supposed to be funny and perhaps bordering on not exactly being 100% politically correct.

That being said, I can’t help but agree that it did have a slightly anti-Semitic undertone. My people have been persecuted and murdered because of the lies that have been told about us.

Unlike other countries (ahem, United States) on which the the rollout of the vaccine programs have been unnecessarily complicated or messy, the Israeli government got their shit together. As of February 4th, US News & World Report put out a story that all Israelis over the age of sixteen were able to get the vaccine. The important word in this headline is all. There was no mention of any specific group that was either pushed to the head of the line or denied access because of their religious or cultural background.

I’ve been a fan of SNL for more than twenty years, this program is usually the highlight of my weekend. I can usually laugh at anything. But this joke, I cannot and will never be able to laugh at.

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Filed under International News, Television, World News

Firing Gina Carano was Necessary

What we say and do has consequences. Further, what we say on the Internet sometimes comes back to bite us in the literal behind.

This morning, The Mandalorian star Gina Carano (Cara Dune) was fired due to an Instagram post that is without a doubt, offensive.

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views,” 

Her right leaning politics is not the issue here. The issue is the correlation between being a Republican in America in 2021 and being Jewish in Nazi Germany.

Being Jewish in Europe during World War II was a death sentence. Belonging to the Republican party is not a death sentence.

I take offense to her statement for two reasons. The first is that the entire narrative of Star Wars is about the importance of protecting democracy and human rights from autocracy and hate. The second is that I am a Jewish woman who lost family in The Holocaust. Comments like these make it seem like the six million have been killed all over again.

Only time will tell if Cara will be written out completely or if Carano will be replaced. But there is one thing that is certain, firing her was the right decision.

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Filed under DisneyPlus, History, Politics, Star Wars

How is Marjorie Taylor Greene Still in Congress?

The idea of becoming a lawmaker to represent and speak for the voters in your area is a noble one. But not everyone who is elected is worthy of the job they have been hired to do by their constituents.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has been in Congress for only a short time. But in that short time, she has become a controversial figure. Being a vocal supporter of you know who and QAnon might have been enough, but it was not. She has claimed that the Parkland and Newtown shootings were staged, has advocated for the murders of Democratic leaders, and blamed the recent wildfires on Jewish space lasers.

Minority leader Kevin McCarthy has stated that he will talk to Representative Taylor Greene about her statements. It will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist. She will likely keep her seat on the education committee and be allowed to continue to spew the poisonous lies that are coming out of her mouth.

A slap on the wrist and is the last thing this woman needs. She is entitled to her opinions, as we all are. However, there is a distinct line between one’s cultural/political perspective and making the type of statements she is making. She must be expelled from Congress if we are move on from the chaos and darkness of the last four years.

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Filed under National News, Politics

Thoughts on International Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Democracy, as Americans have recently learned the hard way, is not guaranteed or promised. It must be cherished, protected, and stood up for when necessary. The same could be said for human rights.

Today is International Holocaust Memorial Day. Some may say that we no longer need this day of remembrance, it so far in the past that we can move on. The hard and sad truth is that we cannot move on. Eighty years after the end of World War II, anti-Semitism (and prejudice is general) is as alive and well now as it was then.

Back in the summer of 2019, I went to the Auschwitz museum in New York City. If there is one message that is clear, it is that both the perpetrators and victims were normal people, as normal as you and I.

I recently finished watching the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. It takes place in the fictional Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian patriarchy in which women are second class citizens and non-conformists are enslaved or killed. Though it could be called dystopian science fiction novel, the truth is that this world is closer to our reality than we think it is. The riot in Washington D.C. three weeks ago was a cold slap in the face and a harsh reminder of that truth.

The only way to prevent another Holocaust of any group of people is education, respecting diversity, and remembering the past.

May the memory of those who were murdered because of who they were (my own relatives included) forever be a blessing.

Z”L.

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Filed under Books, History, Hulu, New York City, Politics, Television, Thoughts On....

Thought On the First Night of Chanukah and the First Anniversary of the Jersey City Shooting

History is not always made by the powerful. It is sometimes made by those who have been pushed to the margins of society. It is easy to remain quiet and just go about your business. It is infinitely harder to stand up for your rights and beliefs.

Today is the first night of Chanukah.

Today is also the first anniversary of the shooting in Jersey City. Motivated by antisemitism, the killers walked into a kosher grocery store and started shooting. They killed four innocent people, two of whom were targeted because they were Jewish.

As I write this post, I write it in honor of the victims who are not here to celebrate the holidays with us this year.

May their memories forever be a blessing.

P.S. I thought I would lighten the mood a little, because after all, Chanukah is a celebration of overcoming adversity and the push to assimilate. Thank you, Daveed Diggs for making us laugh and smile in this time of darkness.

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80 Years After the Holocaust, European Jews Still Have a Target on Their Backs

Among the major cities in the world, Vienna ranks among the most beautiful. The city is elegant and timeless, attracting visitors from around the world.

But there is another side to this city that came to the forefront during World War II. Only 130,000 Jewish residents were able to leave Europe before the borders closed. Of the 650,000 people that remained, approximately 2,000 were alive at the end of the war.

80 years later, European Jews (and Viennese Jews to be more specific) still have a target on their backs. At 8PM local time, six gunmen spread across the city. Their first target was the Seitenstettengasse synagogue. As of the most recent news reports, fifteen people were injured and one person is deceased.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am getting tired of seeing headlines like these. At the end of the day, we are all human beings. We all deserve the same respect, opportunities, and rights, regardless of who we are as individuals.

Humanity is better than this. We know that. We have seen what happens when we start to love one another. Unfortunately, there are still far too many who believe that their faith/culture is better than all others. I don’t know what it will take, but its time to stop this foolishness.

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Filed under History, International News, World News