When I was about 8 my mother told me about her childhood in Transylvania. She was born in 1937. From 1943, her Father, Yehuda Leib Matyas, was head of a Romanian Jewish underground unit and was often gone for months at a time while my mother and grandmother lived in constant fear. They were on the go all the time and faced terrible ordeals (such as rifles being pointed at them as they lay in bed). Ultimately, my grandfather saved 1,500 people (including the Vizhnitzer Rebbe). After the war my grandfather went back to their (now occupied) house in Transylvania. One of the neighbors’ said “What, they didn’t kill you all?”
To this day I have never fathomed this hatred of Jews. This irrational hatred. The Germans, a cultured people, decided for no reason other than pure racism, to try to wipe out our entire European existence. The rest of the world either helped the Nazis or just sat by for years while the carnage took place. Nobody seemed too bothered by the fact that six million Jews were exterminated. However much is written about the holocaust, it’s still mind boggling.
The Yom Kippur war, 1973. I was 11, and went to meet my neighbor Brian for our morning walk to school. I asked him what he thought of the war. His answer was “As long as the Jews don’t win”. This was a town in Scotland with only 400 Jews. Where did this attitude come from? Some of my “friends” in school would throw down small coins on the classroom floor and actually believe I would dive on them out of sheer thirst for money.
A few years later, some of my teenage friends tried to convince me that the holocaust was a competent way of dealing with “population control”. Let’s say that was more a case of ignorance than anti-Semitism. They couldn’t answer why it had to be my cousins who were chosen to be culled (and in such barbaric ways).
I grew up on Pink Floyd. In 1987 I went to Madison Square Gardens in the middle of the night to make sure I could get prime tickets for the Roger Waters concert. The concert was fantastic, but considering it dealt with topics such as nuclear destruction and the end of the world, his message at that time was not anti-Semitic. A few decades on, Waters seems to spend much of his energy on that bastion of hate and lies, BDS. Waters swears he’s not anti-Semitic, but that’s nonsense. He even pulls the “some of my best friends are Jewish” shtick. He’s so blinded by hate that he incorrectly swears that Israel is practicing apartheid. It only takes a few minutes of research to ascertain that we are most certainly not.
Roger Waters is an anti-Semite and selectively ignorant, but how does one explain the hatred of holocaust revisionist David Irving? His intellect is so blinded by anti-Semitism that he has written volumes of Holocaust denial material that defy proven facts. Irving, where did my grandparent’s siblings, parents, grand-parents, in-laws, nephews, nieces and cousins disappear to? Where did 6 million disappear to?
Some of the facts that are ignored by the anti–Israel hordes:
- The Jews settled in this land thousands of years ago. It’s because we were thrown out of our own land several times that we didn’t have a significant presence here all these years.
- Israel (as part of the partition plan) was voted in by the UN in 1947 (how “admirable” that the British abstained). The Arabs (The “Palestinians” as a concept didn’t exist yet) did not accept to live side by side with the Jews and rejected the state of Israel out of sight. Thus followed the war of Independence. Had the Arabs (Egypt, Jordan, and Syria) not attacked Israel with the intention to destroy it, the local Arab population (said to be 700,000) would not have needed to flee, or to be ejected. This population had been assured by our neighbors that they could return after the Jews had been thrown into the sea.
- In 1964 the PLO drew up the “Palestinian National Charter”. This was 16 years after the establishment of the state of Israel, and thousands of years after the Jews first settled in the land. The first concept of a “Palestinian People”. At this point they were still not talking about “Palestine” as a state. The charter decreed that the Jews would be ejected and the local Arabs would live in the land.
- In 1993, after years of bloodshed, The Oslo Accords decreed that the Palestinians would be granted self-determination. Yasser Arafat, one of the founders of modern terrorism, led his long suffering people into the abyss. Instead of grabbing the opportunity, the Palestinian leadership engaged in destruction of the peace process by choosing a bloody path. We Israelis faced suicide bombers blowing up buses and other garish methods of murder and destruction.
So here we are in 2014, defending ourselves from Hamas in Gaza and once again facing hatred from so much of the world. The BBC and CNN are so one sided against Israel, that it can barely be construed as reporting. Certainly not even close to balanced reporting. One would hope that some reporters would have a semblance of journalistic integrity. I googled “selective news reporting” and came up with some very interesting articles (especially one about the playing down of Islamic terrorism). Papers like the Guardian and New York Times choose to miss out essential facts about the Hamas while verbally crushing Israel. While I don’t expect “reasonable weighing up of the situation” from the majority of the world’s Muslims, I would have hoped (how naive) for balanced and measured reporting from elsewhere. The hatred we see on the social networks from the western world is frightening.
We Israelis are living in our own country. We are not “occupiers”. Arabs in Israel have more rights than in ANY Moslem country on the planet. Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005. The only reason the Israeli army had a presence in Gaza in the past was because of the terror coming out of there. Terror has increased since the disengagement.
Gaza is ruled by Hamas, a barbaric terrorist group. The Palestinian leadership (even pre-Arafat) has kept Palestinians in a state of squalor as a political tactic. Arafat himself was said to have amassed at least $1 billion (some “start-up” the PLO), while ten times that amount was hoarded by other PLO leaders. Countless billions have been amassed by the various “rulers of the Palestinian people” and they live in opulence while their own people can barely eat. It appears that the world doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with spending billions on weapons, tunnels and bunkers (for their brave terrorists). Perhaps those billions could have been spent on infrastructure, industries, schools, hospitals, housing and proper sewage? The ridiculous and farcical UN is more concerned with condemning Israel to countless resolutions than checking on the welfare of the Palestinians.
The terrorists hide their weapons in schools, private homes, hospitals and refugee camps. Israel goes to extremes to avoid civilian casualties (let’s face it, Israel is capable of bombing Gaza into oblivion), but the world despises us for retaliating to 14 years of Hamas bombing us (bombing our civilians deliberately). Over 15,000 rockets of various types have been fired into Israel in these years.
I recently saw one of those trendy liberal Jews on SKY News claiming that what Israel is doing in Gaza is criminal (no doubt SKY thought they were being crafty by having one of our own condemn us). He said “It’s time to talk”. Really? Trying to talk to Hamas is like trying to talk to Bin-Laden. It’s a pity the British and Americans appear to have forgotten about 7/7 and 9/11. If bombs were falling endlessly on London or New-York, I’m sure reactions would lead to more than a few hundred civilian casualties.
There are those who state that we are committing genocide. This outrageous claim, along with comparing Israel to the Nazi’s is shameful. “Genocide is the systematic destruction of all or part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group”. This is going on in other parts of the world, not here.
Israel sent in ground troops in order to keep civilian casualties down. This is at great cost to us where every killed soldier is mourned by Israelis as if a member of our own family. Israel is not the party committing war crimes.
What still gets me is that the reason so many in the world hate us is simply because we are Jews. It passes down generations. There is no logical reason for the degree of hatred. The millions of people who spew vitriol don’t appear to give a damn about 180,000 Arab civilians murdered in Syria by a brutal leader. Roger Waters, where is your inflatable pig with a picture of Assad on it?