Thoughts On Whoopi Goldberg’s Hamas Comment and Netflix’s Farha

There are two ways to view history: the fact as we know them to be and how the information is twisted to represent a certain perspective.

Just before Thanksgiving, The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg said the following about Hamas and the Taliban being labeled as terrorist organizations.

“Depends who you talk to”

This was in response to Ilhan Omar potentially being removed from her committees by the Republican leadership in January. Now granted, this is a partisan proposal that is deeply problematic, but Goldberg’s comments are also problematic.

Both Hamas and the Taliban (as anyone with a brain would recognize), are known terrorist groups. If the only way to create their ideal world is to destroy and kill, so be it. The Hamas Charter goes so far as to say it in black and white.

“Which calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, and would not
become a purely political movement, but quite the opposite, it would continue its policy of “resistance”.

The conflict with Israeli is religious and political: The Palestinian problem is a religious-political Muslim problem and the conflict with Israel is between Muslims and the Jewish “infidels.”

Goldberg seems to be an intelligent and capable woman. She would have lasted this long in Hollywood without a brain. But in making this comment, she has proven herself to be ignorant.

One of the newest films to be released on Netflix is Farha. It is supposed to dramatize the event known as “Nakba“. This is the lie that in 1948, Israel murdered and forced out hundreds of thousands of Arab Palestinians.

In any war, there is violence, there is death, and there is destruction. It is the nature of the beast. Nakba never happened. It was a story concocted to make the Israelis appear the Goliath to the Palestinian‘s David. The problem is that this fiction has continued to enable anti-semitism and has killed multiple generations on both sides.

Every time I read or see something about this, I get sick to my stomach. When I was very young, I was told the story about the ripple in the bond. As it got bigger, it spread. The same could be said for anti-semitism.

The only way to counter this hate is with love and acceptance. But first, we have to be willing to see one another as human beings.

Enjoy your evening.

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Aryeh Shechopek Was Killed in Jerusalem Simply Because He Was Jewish

Jerusalem is a beautiful city. Both ancient and modern, it is home to the world’s three great faiths. Walking through her streets is to walk through history and in the footsteps of the generations that have come before us.

It is also a site of murder, hate, and destruction. Earlier this week, two explosions shook the town. By the time to smoke cleared, eighteen people were injured and one person was killed.  Aryeh Shechopek was fifteen and had dual citizenship in both Israel and Canada.

This boy, who had his entire future ahead of him, was only killed because he is a Jew living in Israel. Nothing more and nothing less.

What I don’t get is why the Palestinian leadership continues to think (and brainwash their citizens) that violence is the answer. It is obviously not. We are here to stay. This is our ancestral homeland, just as it is the ancestral homeland of the Arabs and the Christians.

What I want for the region (and for the rest of the world, as pie in the sky as it seems) is peace. No one, especially a child, should die because of who they are or where they live.

I am going to end this post with a quote from Golda Meir. It is as timely now as it was during her era.

If the Arabs put down their guns there would be no more fighting. If the Israelis put down theirs there would be no more Israel.”

May his memory be a blessing. Z”l.

We Should All Be Paying Attention to the Antisemitism at UC Berkeley

In an ideal world, college (and higher education in general) is an opportunity to spread our wings and see the world beyond what we think it is. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in the real world, which is far more complicated.

A couple weeks ago, a controversy erupted at UC Berkeley in California. Back in August, nine student groups adopted by-laws in which they agree to not invite speakers who “hold views in support of Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel, and the occupation of Palestine.” In other words, the campus has certain sections that are judenrein.

First of all, Palestine is not occupied. Second of all, Israel is not an apartheid state. Third of all, they boiled the complex issue of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict into the idea that all Jews support Israel and subjugate Palestinian neighbors. None of this is true.

Recently Noa Tishby visited the campus and tried to get an understanding of what was going on. The video below speaks for itself.

Sarah Silverman responded to this news as perfectly as one can.

I wish that we would see each other as human beings first and then see us via whatever labels we use to identify ourselves. But we don’t. We rush to judgment and make a generic statement about who they are. My fear in all of this is that the students are our future leaders. Who knows where the poison they spread today will take us tomorrow.

P.S. I don’t know about anyone else, but Kyrie Irving’s apology seems a bit half-ass.

Antisemitic News of the Week: You Know Who on American Jews and the Figurative Moving of the Israeli Capital

Antisemitism is the oldest version of hate in human history. For thousands of years and in many parts of the world, we have been hated, forced out of our homes, persecuted, and murdered.

Earlier this week, a certain former President made the following statement about American Jews.

“No President has done more for Israel than I have,” Trump wrote before saying it was somewhat surprising that “our wonderful Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.”

Aside from his usual braggadocio, the disturbing aspect of what he says speaks to one of the basic tenets of antisemitism. Jews in America (or in any country that is part of the diaspora) are not 100% loyal to the nation in which they live. The culprit is, as usual, Israel. It is curious (though it should not be to anyone with a working brain), why other Americans whose families came from other parts of the world are not accused of the same lie?

Speaking of Israel, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong stated that until the two-state solution is resolved, her country’s embassy will remain in Tel Aviv. They also refuse to recognize that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital city.

I would like to make the following proposal: until her government deals honestly and openly with their colonial past, how about we recommend that their capital city be changed? Instead of Canberra, how about we recognize Melbourne or Sydney as the main seat of the government? How would they feel?

It is morally reprehensible that Israel is told what she can and cannot do, but she cannot turn around and do the same thing. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Just another week of antisemitism. What else is new?

Thoughts On the Friendly Fire Admittance by the IDF

Friendly fire is defined as follows:

An attack by belligerent or neutral forces on friendly troops while attempting to attack enemy/hostile targets.

It is an aspect of war that is unfortunately unavoidable.

After months of investigation, the IDF announced that it was very likely that friendly fire caused the death of journalist of Shireen Abu Akleh.

Two things are apparent to me from this announcement.

The first is that as usual, Israel is figuratively being the bigger person. Their leadership and maturity prove that they are willing to do the work to create lasting peace and coexistence. The second is that the Palestinians, on the other hand, are so committed to the lies that they are spreading, that they will use anyone and anything to support their “truth“.

As usual, the only victims are the innocent people whose lives have been turned upside down at best, or at worst are maimed and/or killed because one side refuses to work with the other.

May her memory be a blessing. Z”L.

Thoughts On the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Munich Massacre

Anniversaries are a funny thing. Whether they are happy or sad, they dredge up memories of what was.

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the Munich massacre. 11 Israeli athletes were held hostage and murdered simply because they were Jews.

It took half a century for the Olympic committee to publicly recognize and remember those who were killed during the games. During this year’s games in Tokyo, a moment of silence commemorated those whose lives were taken.

The German government, led by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, apologized for the inaction that led to the slaughter.

“In the name of the Federal Republic of Germany, I ask for forgiveness for insufficient protection of the athletes” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier

While I appreciate the apology and the memorial to the victims, it’s not enough. What we need to do is to educate ourselves about the lies of antisemitism and shut down those who would make stories about the Jews and Israel for personal/political aims.

May their memories be a blessing. Z”l.

How Many More Anti-Jewish Crimes Will be Committed Before Something is Done?

Antisemitism is a very real thing. Nearly a century after the Holocaust, the same lies and hatred that killed 6 million Jews have once more found new life.

On August 20th, Eyal Haddad, a French Jew of Tunisian descent, was murdered with an axe by a Muslim neighbor. His body was burned and mutilated. Just like Sarah Halimi in 2017, the only reason why he was killed was that he was a member of the Jewish faith.

Yesterday, an Orthodox Jewish man in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn was hit over a parking spot. The young man who hit him threatened to find his victim again and repeat his actions.

I find both events to be extremely frustrating. In regards to the murder of Mr. Haddad, the authorities are already stating that he was not killed because of his faith. It does not take a brainiac to figure out why Mr. Haddad is no longer alive. When it came to the assault in Brooklyn today, no one stood up to this punk kid. They just stood around and let it happen. The person who was behind the camera I find especially culpable. They decided that it was more important to keep filming.

What I am bothered by is the double standard. When Israel (and the Jews by extension) defends herself against verbal and physical attacks from her neighbors, the accusations are fast and brutal. But when we try to call out the antisemitic lies, no one listens.

Cry Those Crocodile Tears, Bella Hadid

We are all entitled to our beliefs. But when those beliefs cross the line and encourage murder and destruction of other people because they are different, that is no longer acceptable.

For some time now, real estate developer Mohamed Hadid and his daughters, Bella and Gigi have been using social media to spread lies against Israel and inflame the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Earlier this week, Bella has been complaining that she has lost jobs and friends.

Of course, there are those who would come to her defense. But I will not give them oxygen on this blog. I will only say that their true antisemitic and anti-Israel colors are showing. If the only way to make them see the errors of their ways is to lose friends and job opportunities, so be it.

Cry those crocodile tears, Bella Hadid. They mean nothing to me.

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In International News: Palestinians Kill Their Own Children & Brittney Griner Sentenced Because she is American

Politics is a game of give and take. But there are some boundaries that if crossed, will result in conflict, in one form or another.

Over the last few days, Palestinians have been again shooting rockets into Israel, purposefully targeting civilians. Approximately 120 rockets never got to Israel proper. They fell to the ground instead of hitting their targets. Nine Palestinian people were killed, four were children. These people do not care about their own. They only care about making the Middle East (and the world by extension) Judenrein.

In Russia, WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in jail for carrying less than 1 gram of cannabis in her suitcase. After six months in prison, she pleaded guilty with the following statement:

“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here,” Griner said. “I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn’t end my life here. I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that, that is far from this courtroom.

“I want to say again that I had no intent on breaking any Russian laws. I had no intent. I did not conspire or plan to commit this crime,” she added.

After the sentence, Griner told a CNN producer as she left court, “I love my family.”

When breaking a law, one should be punished. But the punishment should be appropriate to what they are accused of doing. It seems to me that the Griner is being used because she is an American. Putin and his government cannot strike us directly, but they can use one of our citizens as a pawn. I do wonder that if she was paid the same as male basketball players, would she have had to play overseas and be in her current predicament?

There is talk of a prisoner swap. So far, only talks have been confirmed by either side. Time will tell when Griner comes home. But I am hoping and praying that she does so soon.

That concludes this week’s dip into international news. Thank you for reading and have a good rest of the day.

Jews Don’t Count Book Review

Intersectionality and progress go hand in hand. We cannot make this country and this world better if we only speak to or include certain groups of people.

David Baddiel‘s 2021 book, Jews Don’t Count, takes this racist concept and drops it squarely in the lap of the reader. He speaks about antisemitism on both the right and the left, referring to certain politicians in both the US and the UK. On the right, we are not accepted because we are Jews. On the left, we are seen as the oppressor because the image of the Jew is often of one of Ashkenazi descent (i.e. White). And of course, the issue of Israel is packed in and used as needed.

He also takes on Jewface and the controversy of a non-Jewish performer playing a Jewish character. Particularly when this character is a full-on stereotype without the nuances and humanity that are given to the non-Jewish character.

The problem he points to is loud and clear: if we are to move forward and create a better world, all groups must be included. No one should be left out.

There are only a handful of books that I think everyone should read. Jews Don’t Count is one of them. Especially those of us who are fighting for a future in which we are all equal and judged on our merits, not on our labels.

There was one line that has stayed with me. At this stage of his life, Baddiel is an atheist. He stated that if he were a hidden Jew who was outed during World War II, he would still be killed because he is Jewish. Nothing else would have mattered to the Nazis.

A couple of recent headlines perfectly summed up this idea. Right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro (whom I disagree with about everything) made the following statement about Reform Jews:

“What do you think about what former Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer once said: that Israel should put its political fortune in the Evangelist community rather than in the Reform Jewish community [in the US]?” Segal asked Shapiro, who at just 38 years of age has written 11 books.

“As a matter of blunt fact, that’s true,” Shapiro answered. “It’s an unfortunate reality of life in the United States that Reform Judaism, as a branch, does not see Jewish identity in a serious way, as central.

“It’s a very simple rubric for me: If as a Jew, your values are more in line with same-sex marriage, transgenderism and abortion than they are with, for example, the safety and security of the State of Israel – I have serious questions about how you think about yourself as a Jew,” he continued, receiving a standing ovation.

Then Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano (who is also on the political right) said the following about Shapiro:

“We don’t want people who are atheists. We don’t want people who are Jewish. We don’t want people who are, you know, nonbelievers, agnostic, whatever. This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country.” He also added: “Ben Shapiro is not welcome in the movement unless he repents and accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior

It doesn’t matter to Mastriano and his ilk that he and Shapiro have the same beliefs when it comes to this country’s identity and future. It only matters that Ben Shapiro is a Jew.

The only way to stop this kind of thinking is to stand together. Until we do, the ideals that our founders believed in will be just that.

Do I recommend it? Without a doubt.

Jews Don’t Count is available wherever books are sold.

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