Jews Should Stand Together

Jews today face many challenges.

Around the world the increase in antisemitism continues unabated. Across Europe and the United States and many other parts, it is not uncommon to find antisemitic graffiti on Jewish buildings and institutions. It is not uncommon to find Jews being attacked in the streets verbally and physically. It is not uncommon for Israel to be singled out and blamed for stoking conflicts in regional areas that have nothing to do with them.

There are so-called Jewish organisations like IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace who actually advocate against the existence of our Jewish homeland, putting them in the same company as Jew haters like Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. There are also people like Peter Beinhart who writes stupid articles with titles like “How “Pro-Israel” Orthodoxy Keeps US Foreign Policymaking White.” These are the kind of Jews who are so desperate to be ‘accepted’ they’ll betray everything about themselves, only ultimately it won’t make a difference as they’ll still be targeted as Jews. Another perfect example is the J Street organisation who actually endorsed Rashida Tlaib originally – but later found out she wasn’t actually a great endorsement for the Jewish people. What a shocker…

Our continued existence always seems to lie on a knife edge. We have rampant assimilation and Jews marrying out the faith is very common, as many of them have lost their identity and see no value in remaining Jews.

There are also the usual suspects, of course, those who want to destroy our physical selves – the Islamic fascists, the white power supremacists who would like nothing more than a world without Jews or Israel.

And there are those who wish to destroy our spiritual selves like some Christian missionaries who love to celebrate the Jewish holidays as if it’s their own – yet are always trying to push through their agenda of trying to make us accept Jesus to ‘complete’ us. It is a great tragedy that they operate in Israel in growing numbers, praying on the vulnerable.

And we can’t forget the liberal fascists who are so liberal that anyone who has a different opinion to them are labelled ‘Nazis.’ The ideal of Jews being proud of their heritage and standing up for their history and nationhood and country – is something that shocks them to the core and cannot be allowed!

Then there is the cultural appropriation that many people feel at ease to do against Jews, but no one else. For instance if you dress up in a Native American garb and you aren’t a Native American, you will be publically castigated for cultural appropriation. And if you wear a Korean dress and you aren’t Korean, you will be vilified in social media for being culturally insensitive.

However, when it comes to Jews, there is no problem at all. Kamala Harris, who is not Jewish, feels at absolute liberty to speak about Tikkun Olam and Hanukkah as a festival of joy as if she’s an authority on the matter. She isn’t and just because she married a Jew, who is part of the assimilation problem, doesn’t make her one. I find that offensive – but does anyone care about my feelings?

Jew hater Rashida Tlaib says that “Hanukkah inspires me, especially during this difficult time. I hope we can all remember that even in the most unexpected moments, miracles can happen.” Ilhan Omar says, “May your home be filled with peace, joy” even though she supports the destruction of the Jewish state. That doesn’t seem very peaceful and joyful.

Across the world many leaders wish the Jews a happy Hanukkah which is appreciated, but the very next day they are actively working against the very reason that Hanukkah is even celebrated. For instance, Hanukkah is about when Jews fought for their liberation and freedom against oppressors in their own land – the land of Judea and Samaria and what they call the West Bank. And yet they pass silly resolutions that say that Jews are occupying the very lands they just wished us a happy Hanukkah for liberating!

Ultimately we face many challenges from those who openly hate us and from those who pretend to like us, but really wish to change us to something more palatable to their liking – wanting us desperately to become more compliant to their way of thinking.

As a people, we are small in number yet rich in tradition. There are not really many Jews in the world and we make up a mere .2 percent of the world population. So you’d think that those in responsible positions promote unity among us – to stand together, unite in support of our people, our rights and our Jewish homeland, against the many challenges ahead.

But no, even among those leaders or advocates who are in support of Israel, there are those who wish to sow division among us. There are those with large followings who instead of talking about us as one people, want to divide us instead. They want to divide us along the colour of your skin or where your grandfather was born or which foods you eat. They want to play Mizrachi Jews against Ashkenazi Jews as if we’re enemies instead of family, which is what we really are.

How foolish and utterly irresponsible.

Jews are Jews – and it doesn’t matter if you born in Israel or Iraq or New York or London or a small village in the middle of Ethiopia. We have been around for almost 4000 years, expelled from country to country, so of course we are a complex people with histories in many different parts of the world. Some of us are lighter and some of us are darker. Some of us eat gefilte fish and some of us eat malawach.

But despite the many cultural differences, our greatest strength lies in our shared history, our shared nationhood, our stories and our birthright. Those are the things that unite us and those who want to continually use their platform to continually push the differences between us do not serve our people with honour, but hinder us instead, preferring a platform of division rather than unity.

To the outside world, we are Jews – and no one who wants to destroy our physical selves, our spiritual selves, or our Jewish state of Israel – cares about those differences.

And neither should we.

About the Author
Justin Amler is a South African born, Melbourne based writer who has lived in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
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