Remembering the Mumbai massacre victims (and never forgetting why it happened!!)

Tomorrow is the Hebrew date anniversary of the Mumbai massacre in which Rabbi Holtzberg z”l, Rebbetzin Holtzberg z”l and many, many others were, in 2008, murdered and in which many more were injured. The rampage of terror lasted for 4 days.

The massacre had nothing to do with a territorial dispute in the Middle East, it was not about Muslim v Jewish rights, it was antisemitic, pure and simple, and that’s what makes the situation in Israel impossible to fix.

Antisemitism did not start in 1948!!! Antisemitism would not disappear if all the Jews were to up sticks and leave Israel now!!!

To people who shout down Israel, to people who shout “It’s all Israel’s fault”, to people who call us an apartheid State, THE world abuser of human rights, I ask:

“what about human rights abuses across the Middle East and the rest of the world, what protests are you making about them?”

“how many other countries in the Middle East host Gay Pride events?”

“what about the million or so Jews who had to drop everything and get out of Arab lands over the last few decades, whilst the Muslim population increases in Israel?”

“what about the complete freedom of worship for ALL people of ALL religions in Israel, as opposed to the lack of religious freedom across the rest of the Middle East?”

“what about our democracy and Rule of Law, unique societal features in the Middle East?”

“we have Muslim Arab MKs (Members of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament), some of whom are vehemently anti-Israel  –  that reflects a level of democracy which I doubt exists anywhere else in the world: where else in the Middle East could I, a Jew, an Israeli and a Brit, serve in ‘parliament’ and pour scorn on the country and government?

I can go on….

Antisemitism has been around for thousands of years and it’s here to stay. There is nothing that we, as Jews, can do about it. Look at photographs of the Holtzbergs: Rabbi Holtzberg z”l was from New York, he was killed because he was a Jew. Rebbetzin Holtzberg z”l was from Afula, in Israel, not from Judea and Samaria (not that living in Judea/Samaria justifies your murder!!), she was from Israel ‘proper’ and she was murdered because she was a Jew. Rabbi Teitlebaum z”l, who was also killed in the massacre, he was from New York but he was Jewish and so, in the mind of the killers, he had to die. They were in Mumbai, not on Har Ha’Bait…they were thousands of miles from the Temple Mount! Their lives were devoted to G-d, to Judaism, to love of their achim, of their fellow Jews, to chesed (kindness), to performing good deeds (for all people!) The murderers left the Holtzbergs’ daughter an orphan (and the Rebbetzin was pregnant).

Antisemitism has, over thousands of years, become more and more entrenched, more and more an immovable element within cultures. I’m going to go out on a limb now…I think the majority of the world’s population is, to a lesser or greater extent, antisemitic. I believe that millions of people don’t think they are, that millions of people, if asked “are you antisemitic?” would answer “no”, honestly believing that they are not but let me ask them specific questions like,

“do you think Jews have too much influence in UK and/or US politics?”

“do you think Jews go after money more than non-Jews?” (Dave Whelan and Malky Mackay, we know what you think!)

“do you think Jews are charitable…or not?”

“do you think Jews have too much control and power in the media?” (if people think that the answer is “yes”, how is it that so much of the world’s media is heavily biased against Israel??)

ask questions like this and, when respondents are giving honest answers, the real antisemitic stats come to light

…and to those who blame Israel for the world’s ills, I say,

“when you are having a go at Israel, are you also having a go at China, are you also having a go at Russia, are you also having a go at North Korea, are you also having a go at the executions and human rights abuses and atrocities in our neighbouring countries, are you on the streets protesting against the massacres of Christians in Iraq, do you go on about Assad as much as you go on about Bibi Natanyahu, do you go on about the Taliban and Boko Haram as much as you go on about Israel?”

I could ask so many more questions…

If you are answering “no”, you are not just anti-Israel…you are exhibiting antisemitism. If you are singling out Israel as THE human rights abuser, you are antisemitic.

Israel is seen as ‘fair game’, as the world’s punch bag, as the easy answer….let’s just blame Israel, everyone else is!

Manipulation of minds, manipulation of the world’s press, it’s THE modus operandi of Israel’s enemies. Israel is far from perfect, I have a lot of gripes about Government policy, for example, I do not agree with a policy of continuing to build in Judea/Samaria, it is not helpful, it moves us in the wrong direction, enough now, but the world is a big ‘useful idiot’. Our enemies could not advance their agenda without success on the manipulation front  –  they are succeeding on that front!

Mumbai massacre: 164 victims, 164 killed or injured.

Chaim aruchim to the families of the Holtzbergs, Rabbi Teitlebaum and the other victims of the antisemitic massacre.