And Here’s Lesson #11, Yehuda Stark

THANK YOU, Yehuda for the “lessons” you have served up for all of us to read and absorb. However, may I add an additional one for you and the like-minded to consider?

10 lessons from that El Al flight to Athens

So, Yehuda Stark, have you ever paused to wonder why this “ugly prejudice” exists, what and who causes its prevalence?

Could it have something — anything — to do with the determined and ongoing efforts of a minority of Israelis to impose their own customs, beliefs, lifestyle and, yes, prejudices? And not just on the unwilling majority of Israels, but on the overwhelming majority of Diaspora Jewry, as well.

Do you not think that the “ugly prejudices” you bemoan may possibly become less pronounced and prevalent, if the minority I mention above would only learn to live and let live, if only this minority would exhibit the slightest willingness to show toleration towards others, beliefs, lifestyles and customs? If it simply concerned itself with its own communal customs, beliefs and personal conduct, rather than try imposing its own norms on everyone else, either by hook, or by crook?

To put it bluntly, if you just learnt to butt out of the lives of others!

I happen to live in a denominationally overwhelmingly Catholic country, Yehuda. And, guess what? No-one, neither State, nor individual, dares, or even tries to impose its belief system, its customs, force anything to do with religion, either by public pressure, riots in the streets, or through legislation upon me and my Jewish family. Religion and State are separated. I don’t see hordes of priests, monks and novices rioting in the streets, or in front of synagogues, demanding that we compulsorily observe Christmas customs. No-one, let alone Members of Parliament, would dare to make and get away with public statements dripping with the venom of religious hatred if an actor and a television newsreader got married here.

Perhaps, the minority of which you are a self-declared part of, could learn a thing, or two from my European country of residence and the many others which follow the same, civilized set of values.

About the Author
Lived and worked over the decades in Sydney, London and Budapest. Happily settled in Vienna, family on four Continents. My heart is in and with Israel - the nation and the original idea, not any political party. A lifetime of professional journalism behind and, perhaps, ahead of me, both in the Jewish and mainstream media.
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