Albert Russo
"Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world."

Friends, frenemies, and archenemies

With a large segment of the world population, antisemitism is still rife and will persist.  The big culprits are Europe with its 2000-year old hatred of Jews, and, of course, the majority of Muslims.  Let’s consider the Church and the Popes of yore. Not only have they “stolen” the Jewish Bible and used it in the most perverse manner to persecute its initiators, but they have desecrated it with faulty translations.

Here are just two of the hundreds of examples: while the Torah mentions ‘Elohim’ in Hebrew, the monotheistic god of the Jews, the Greek translation gave, in the romance languages, ‘Dieu’, ‘Dios’, ‘Dio’, all deriving from Zeus, a god of Ancient Greece’s pagan mythology.  When in the Torah you read ‘maiden,’ it is translated into Greek as a virgin, thus the Virgin Mary, who most probably was expecting a baby, not from Joseph, but from a stranger.  Joseph, taking pity on her accepted to be her husband, otherwise, she would have been stoned to death.  The early Christians turned her into the mother of god, with supposedly the holy spirit, inseminating her with ‘god’s’ sperm.  This in no way belittles the goodness of Mary — her real name is the Hebrew Myriam — as a human being.  I’m just pointing out the difference in interpretation.

But there is a brighter side: Hindu India, China, the Buddhists, and all the other non-Muslim population, who account for maybe 4 billion people, who are NOT anti-Semitic, on the contrary, they admire the Jews and work very closely with Israel.

Think: Israel has become the 8th world power … yes, tiny Israel.  There is no other example in this whole planet like it — short of a miracle, don’t you think?

I despise the anti-Semites of Europe, the politically correct, the Holocaust deniers, the so-called liberals, the fake leftists, the fake environmentalists, the KKK, et al.  They are the big losers, especially the Islamists, who, in the meantime, wreak so much havoc everywhere and attack Jews barbarically.

Some of the reasons of that antisemitism are crass ignorance, lies, jealousy, envy, blind hatred, and the fact that tiny Israel is one of the most inventive and intelligent nations of the world, while they, their arch-enemies, have not produced a single inventor worthy of mention in a global population of 1.7 billion Muslims.

So no, Israel can never be a nation like others.  Not because it is superior or arrogant — although it is the only democracy in the Middle East, it also has its crooks, its corrupt politicians, its mafia — but because the Jews gave the world some of the biggest revolutionaries of the History of Humankind, whether one likes them or not: Abraham with his monotheism, Moses and his Ten Commandments, the first code of morality of Western and Middle Eastern civilization, still applicable today, Yeshua (yes, Jesus who would be horrified to see what Christians do to his people in his name), Karl Marx with his communism, Einstein, Freud, Magnus Hirschfeld (for the homosexuals), etc.  These revolutionaries have shaken the world to its roots, for better or for worse.  Thus the terrific rage of the antisemites.  Jews are consequently treated by them either as ‘bloody communists’, or as their opposites, ‘shameful capitalists’.

Martin Luther King, Aimé Césaire and so many other Black people around the world loved and admired the Jews, including Louis Armstrong who owed his celebrity to a Jewish family who believed in his talent and pushed him to be what he became, Sammy Davis Jr. who converted to Judaism, and countless others in South Africa, like the Jewish writer Nadine Gordimer, who sided with Mandela during apartheid — she won the Nobel Prize for Literature — and elsewhere; the non-Muslim Africans are also the friends of Israel. Of course, there is Malcolm X, Farrakhan, et al, who are as evil and as racist as the KKK.

In what other instances have you seen billions of people attacking and denying the existence of … 17 million Jews?  Nowhere.  If Jews are the chosen people, I claim that they have been ‘chosen for the worst’ — yes, I repeat, I am an agnostic.

In what other instances have a people resuscitated a language — Hebrew — unspoken during thousands of years?  Where did Hebrew originate from?  Israel.  The Torah mentions Jerusalem more than 700 times, while the Kuran never mentions it.  And Jerusalem isn’t Jewish? “Go tell it to the mountain,” as James Baldwin rightly said.

To avoid another holocaust, so furiously willed by the Arab countries surrounding Israel, by the Hamas in Gaza, by the Hezbollah in Lebanon, by the monstrous Ayatollas of Iran, and by many Muslims, living on the five continents, Israel must fight back its enemies disproportionately, for no one else will protect it.  Remember how America, Britain, and Europe abandoned the Jews during WWII!  Why?  Go back to what I wrote at the very beginning of this essay.

We, Jews, have more and more friends around the world, and that is a wonderful reality, but the old guard, the inveterate liars and the historically deficient will always wish to attack or destroy the Jews and Israel.

Wouldn’t it be great if, alongside Egypt and Jordan, a Palestinian state could live in peace with Israel and benefit from its scientific, medical, and agricultural know-how?  Is this wishful thinking?  The future will tell.

About the Author
Albert Russo who has published worldwide over 85 books of poetry, fiction and essays (35) and photography (50), in both English and French, his two mother tongues, and sometimes in Italian, (Italian being his 'paternal' tongue) - he also speaks Spanish and German and still has notions of Swahili -, is the recipient of many awards,such as The New York Poetry Forum and Amelia (CA) Awards, The American Society of Writers Fiction Award, The British Diversity Short Story Award, The AZsacra International Poetry Award (Taj Mahal Review - US$ 500), the Books & Authors Award, several Writer’s Digest poetry and fiction Awards (winner and finalist), aquillrelle Awards, the Prix Colette and the Prix de la Liberté, among others. His work has been translated into about 15 languages in 25 countries, on the five continents. He has co-published Gaytude with Adam Donaldson Powell, which won Best Gay Book in the USA. Albert Russo’s major books are the AFRICAN QUATUOR (AQ), his memoir CALL ME CHAMELEON (CMC), his humorous ZAPINETTE Series (Zapy), GOSH ZAPINETTE, the first ever series of global Jewish humor, his books of stories and of poetry encompassing 40 years of writing, entitled: THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 1 -CWS1 (the stories and essays) and THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 2 (the poems) CWS2 + the two big books dedicated to his beloved mother Sarah Russo (SR) + about 50 books of photos. His definitive biography penned by the Norwegian African-American writer, poet and artist Adam Donaldson Powell, UNDER THE SHIRTTAILS OF ALBERT RUSSO was released by l’Aleph (November 2017), Wisehouse Publishing. A humanist with roots in Central, Southern Africa, and the Mediterranean, he has been acclaimed by James Baldwin, Edmund White, Martin Tucker, Douglas Parmee of Oxford University, Joseph Kessel, Pierre Emmanuel, both of the Académie Française, among many other literary authorities, as well as by his African peers, Chinua Achebe among them. Albert Russo was also a member of the 1996 jury for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature which often leads to the Nobel Prize of Literature. Latest Prize: Best 2013 Unicef Short Story award in defense of childhood worldwide, for Revenge by proxy / Vengeance par procuration.  His 50-odd books of photography have garnered awards in the USA, UK, Russia, France, etc. Some of his work has been exhibited in the Louvre Museum, at the Espace Pierre Cardin, both in Paris, in Times Square, New York, at the Museum of Photography in Lausanne, Switzerland, in Art Berlin, in Tokyo, in Moscow, etc. The former Mayor of the Big Apple, Mr Bloomberg, has lauded his two photo books on Paris and New York. Some of his novels and memoirs have also been filmed in English, with videos 90 and 100 minutes long. Latest award: I have just received the following award. "Dear Albert, It is with great pleasure to announce that you have been selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for the following book: 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor’ (770 pages). There were hundreds of entries from around the world and 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor' was selected for its high-quality writing, design and market appeal. Congratulations. The Book Excellence Award Committee.” The Book Excellence Awards Advantage. More than just an awards competition, the Book Excellence Awards provides authors and publishers with extended support and resources on topics such as publishing, marketing, writing, publicity and social media. The Book Excellence Awards is a smart investment on your publishing journey and the results and benefits will last a lifetime! Literary website: - "Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world." Albert Russo “Inspiration is like delicious food that your taste buds remember, or a perfume you have long forgotten and whose whiff suddenly brushes your nostrils again, giving you pangs of nostalgia.” Albert Russo