More Than Just Sticks and Stones

With the days of rage currently rampant in Yehuda and Shomron and the borders of Gaza, sticks and stones do actually break bones – forget the myths that words will never harm you!

The driving force behind this latest spate of violence is through mere spoken words. My aunt has a saying that a wound can heal but a spoken word can never be unsaid.This is true enough, as proven by the incitement emanating from the Hamas/Fatah politburo or even the pulpits of various Mosques across the globe, For example, recently an Imam in Denmark, like many other radicalised Imams, urged followers to kill Jews.

Where have we seen this before? Throughout our history in the diaspora, we are no strangers to being the targets of this incitement. Whether it was the Christ killing accusation which motivated the crusaders to massacre entire communities in the Rhine valley, or the blood libel of Jews using children’s blood for matzah, which ironically ended in the death of Jewish children, the poisoning of wells, tax collecting/money lending, forced upon the Jewish communities resulting in events such as the Cossacks from Ukraine rampaging across Poland massacring Jews.

The infamous “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” resulted in vicious pogroms across Eastern Europe, from Kishinev to the Baltics and across Russia. The Jewish people and entire communities were effectively sentenced to death by the mere spoken word which climaxed in Hitler’s final solution, who accused Jews of degrading the indigenous bloodline with Semitic genes and of spreading Bolshevism and global capitalism.

As a people, to this day we understand the power of incitement and propaganda, which now has taken the form of radical Islam, even in Afro-centric circles, where Jews are accused of promoting the slave trade.

Witness the rise of the neo-Nazis, denying the holocaust, brainwashing people and converting followers by the thousands. Even in the world of Occult, Wotanism (Racially infused Norse Paganism) has found a home for the hatred of the one proverbial scapegoat for all of mankind’s broken wind and attracts Neo Nazis to their ranks. Heinrich Himmler’s own knights circle in Wewelsburg, were practitioners of this brand of spiritual hatred. The power of mass media and social media has only exacerbated this on a grand industrial scale, that would even put Julius Streicher and Josef Goebels to shame.

In South Africa ISIS managed to recruit two young men from a Johannesburg suburb plagued by drugs and gang violence. These twins found a home in radical Islam and were stopped by an anonymous tip-off from a horrified local Muslim citizen. The twins were arrested and found in possession of guns, explosives and are currently in state custody on charges of terror. Their targets included the American embassy, Jewish schools, synagogues and institutions. Ironically, an anti-Zionist Pro- Palestinian Jewish cartoonist was even included.

As a community we diaspora Jews, are nowhere safe from hatred, Each time a war breaks out in Gaza across the world, Jews are violently targeted by local radicalised Muslims and Neo Nazis alike, one of the latter, whom in one court appearance stated they were driven to attack Jews due to the conflict between Israel and the Arabs, in spite of the fact that they themselves hate Arabs for not being Aryan.

The misconception that Jews control the world’s financial resources such as the IMF, Wall street etc, citing the “evil” Rothschild empire, is a popular stereotype and one that even had Hitler himself gloating that should the Jews, with the backing of their financial capitalist resources, succeed in plunging the world into another war, the end result wouldn’t be global Bolshevisation or the victory of capitalism, but the annihilation of European Jewry. Ironically, the Swiss bankers benefitted from the Third Reich’s plunder property and assets of Jews murdered in the death camps of Poland. Every Death camp had an assembly storage area where possessions ranging from jewellery to artificial limbs, to suitcases. Children’s toys were kept and sent back to the Reich. Gold,silver and diamonds from wedding rings, necklaces and even gold teeth were stored in Swiss bank vaults – much of these treasures remain there to this day.

The Rothschild stereotype has far from died out. In fact, it’s rife in the corporate world where it is not unusual for colleagues to have contempt for Jewish co-workers, while school children bully fellow pupils who happen to be Jewish, Certain Mosques preach that Jews control America, that they control the world economy and are henceforth responsible for the suffering of all Muslims in conflicts across the globe ranging from Libya to Iraq. The radicalisation of Islam has taken such a dangerous turn, that no diaspora Jew is safe wherever there is a large Muslim community. This is highly evident throughout continental Europe, as we witness Jews thronging to make Aliyah back home from Sweden, France, Holland, Belgium and Britain. This in turn breeds resentment in sectors of the Jewish community of any Muslim community in the world as Muslim communities become regarded as a threat, due to rising radicalisation. Hence, many oppose a large scale immigration of Muslims, be they refugees or economic migrants alike. Nobody wants a repeat of incidents such as the Jewish woman thrown off a balcony like the recent episode in France and the many other acts of terror that have targetted Jewish communities.

With words alone, Muslims have managed to incite violent mobs or encourage random acts of violence against defenceless Jewish communities or individuals operating as “lone wolves”. They act out their morbid hatred of Jewry engrained in their subconscious as a result of verbal incitement.

Even In Eretz Israel, Al Aqsa TV frequently runs children’s shows, brainwashing toddlers, as soon as they learn to speak, that it is good to hate and kill Jews, with heinous progenies, such as Farfour the mouse, representing the vilest form of child abuse – indoctrinating small children that it is their duty as Muslims to hate and to enact violence against Jews, which even outdoes the horror of the notorius brainwashing of Hitler Youth.

Moslem children are taught by the likes of Al Aksa TV and kindergarten teachers, that Jews are descended from apes and pigs, and that to kill Jews gets you into paradise. These mantras are repeated well into their adult lives as they grow up and attend mosques with inciteful sermons, which gradually, over time, climax into a collective hatred in their psyche. They then believe it’s their sacred duty to wage Jihad on the Jews and it is no longer just an issue of land but a holy duty. One Islamic preacher gloated that with the destruction of Israel, Muslims should still persist afterwards in exterminating Jews and this is an accepeted viewpoint held by many of those coming by the boatloads into Europe from wartorn Syria,Libya and other war-torn Muslim countries.

Before the birth of Israel in 1948, it was a popular misconception that Jews lived safely and unmolested in the Islamic world for centuries. This is far from the truth. For example, In Spain under Arab rule, at one stage there was a violent coup by a Berber prince resulting in Jews being forced to choose to convert or be massacred alongside Christians. In Yemen, Jews were treated throughout the ages with contempt by the local population. Jews were not allowed to ride camels as this would be offensive to Muslims – that an infidel would sit higher than them! In Casablanca and other parts of the Maghreb, pogroms against Jews were common-place, just as they were in Baghdad and Damascus. Only certain parts of the Ottoman empire could be described as tolerant to Jews as it was there that Jews found favour in the courts of sultans – a variety of ethnic religious groups were tolerated provided they did not offend their Muslim hosts.

Sure in Israel itself we have Muslim communities that co-exist peacefully alongside us and perhaps throughout the world, there are well meaning un-radicalised individuals born into Muslim families whom have no interest in harming Jews or anyone else for whatever reason, but they are a shrinking minority as the power of spoken words spread from pulpit to pulpit across different Muslim communities. Yet, anyone of them can be radicalised and brainwashed into hating us as in the case of the twins in South Africa.

What can we do to counter this? While anti-semites and anti-Zionists alike, which are one and the same, consider Israel as an affront and the root of their hatred and resentment, our desire for Aliyah increases and service in the IDF looks more and more desirable as we slowly come to understand the absolute necessity of a strong and vibrant indestructable Jewish state. We cannot change how people feel or what they think about us. It didn’t work in 1942 and it won’t work now. A by-product of their words and actions drives a few extreme Jewish individuals into acts of violence caused by this incessant hatred.

I remember before making Aliyah ten years ago, two French Olim were arrested for murdering an Arab taxi driver out of hatred. They were rightfully sent to prison for their heinous crime. As traumatic as anti-semitism is, we must remember that we must maintain our Hadar (a concept immortalised by Jabotinsky) and integrity so as not to stoop to their level. What we think and feel should not dictate how we behave, no matter what situation we find ourselves in. Be it in a Jerusalem taxi or perhaps manning an IDF patrol/checkpoint. We must strive to maintain whatever dignity the world tried to take from us over the last two millennia. It is not always easy, but it’s part of our purpose as a people who survived relentless persecution and near annihilation. We must not allow ourselves to be reduced to the level of hatred we and our forefathers were exposed to just because we are Jews. By virtue of that alone, Hashem holds us to a higher standard than he does the rest of mankind. It is in our inherent humanity that we reacted in shock and outrage to the gassings in Syria and the crematorium now discovered in Assad’s prison complex. It is our humanity that allows us to empathise with continental Europeans who are being exposed to the raw barbaric and cowardly and violent behaviour perpetrated by immigrants against local women in Scandinavia and Germany alike, despite what the latter did to us seventy years ago. It is our humanity that brought us to take in thousands of wounded Syrian civilians for medical treatment, who were shocked upon finding out that we are nothing like the media or their Imams portray us. It is in our humanity that we empathise with Middle Eastern Christians suffering at the hands of ISIS in spite of the fact that Christianity persecuted us over many millenia. .After all, we are the light unto all nations and the bible tells us that Hashem said “I shall bless those whom bless thee, and curse those whom curse thee”.

So as much as they try to incite against us, Hashem has promised that they would be doing so at their own peril and Hashem’s word is more powerful than that of any man – so powerful that He created the world we live in and so powerful that the promise and prophecies have been fulfilled and continue to be fulfilled as we speak.

About the Author
Alon Fisher was born in Israel and grew up mostly in South Africa. He has always taken a keen interest in the SA-Israel relationship and the demonisation of Israel evident in so many South African and global institutions. He suffers from Aspergers Syndrome and therefore thinks "out-of-the-box."