Tracey Shipley
Youth, family and addictions counselor/creative therapist/band organizer and manager/event producer/writer

When Ignorance Is Celebrated Around the World

T-shirts with swastikas being sold at California campus photo by Diana Kruzman
Mourning the dead of October 7 photo by Danny the Digger

Re’im, Nov. 30, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

During these very very confusing times where hundreds of thousands of young and older people are jumping on the bandwagon of hatred, one has to ask themselves – why?  Why would all of these people who have no “Dog in the Fight” decide not only to join forces with local lunatics calling for the destruction of the only Western country in the Middle East but actually leading the troops.  As if this was not bad enough, the demonstrations have spawned the ugliest presentation of rampant Anti-Semitism not seen since 1938.  This is what I think.

As a campus activist back in the 70s not long after demonstrations against the war in Vietnam garnered thousands of protesters on campuses around the US, I was thrilled to be a part of something greater than myself.  This is something I had always strived for – to make a difference in the world around me.  Having the privilege to be born Jewish and to a family with close ties with Israel, I didn’t have to look past my own background to find something to believe in and stand up for.  I joined forces with the American Zionist Youth Foundation starting off as a campus representative and moving on to being the regional coordinator for the N. American Midwest.

Setting up tables with information about Israel- this tiny country having such a tremendous impact on the world as a whole and the Jewish people in particular- I was in the unique position to share with the Jewish population on campus that they too can be a part of something greater than themselves, the Jewish State created solely for them. How exciting!!!  This little country whose independence came on the heels of the end of World War 2 which saw the cruelty that rampant hatred created, gave hope to Jews all over the world that no matter what happens in the country they are living in, they would always have a place to go to call their own.

Israel was formed by activists.  People with a purpose who wanted to be a part of the establishment of a Jewish state whose size defied the logic of its continued existence in the Middle East where it was surrounded by enemy nations.  For thousands of years we have cried for the restoration of the Great Temple of Jerusalem, the return to the Promised Land where every year at the Passover table we sing “Next Year in Jerusalem”.  Constantly being driven out of the Land by occupiers of Israel or Canaan or Palestine or whatever it was called at the time, we always had a presence in this important land of the Jewish people no matter what the consequences.

So what am I getting at?  Activism is in our blood. Jews are at the top of every list of contributions to the world be it through financial donations to non-profits or to improving the worldwide quality of life.  When I think about the saying “When the going gets tough the tough get going!” that is our credo. From one persecution to another, from one inquisition to another, from one tragedy to another, we NEVER GIVE UP!!! Not only that, we rise above it all and continue to show the world that as Theodore Herzel put it : “If you will it it’s not a dream.”

Jews have traditionally been treated like victims through persecution and being driven out of whatever land they were inhabiting.   When we were afforded our little State by the British in 1948, the last tyrants to rule our land, we accepted their ridiculous offer of a sliver of Israel or as it was called “Palestine” at the time.  Lucky for us, the surrounding Arab countries did not. They attacked us and lost.  1956 attacked us and lost.  1967 attacked us and lost.  1973 attacked us and lost. You would think they would get the picture.  YOU WILL NEVER WIN!  Egypt at some point got tired of funding these crazy wars and agreed to make peace with Israel. Jordan joined in.  We may not have a “warm” truce with them but we feel safe enough to visit these countries as tourists and not to reinforce our borders with them as extreme as we felt we had to in the past.  Lebanon sadly has not had control over itself since the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) took a stronghold there decades ago eroding its independence and turning what once was the Switzerland of the Middle East into rubble.  Defending our northern border we had to retaliate by every means necessary adding to the destruction of this once beautiful country.  Sadly this continues today with the latest invaders of Lebanon threatening Israel and sending rockets over the border on a daily basis.

I guess you are wondering why I am embarking on this short history lesson.  The point I want to make is that we were loved when we were considered victims.  Once we showed the world that this is not what being Jewish and Israeli is all about the world needed other victims to pity.  As if there weren’t enough when looking at the dire state of so many African countries, the internal death and destruction within Arab/Muslim countries such as Syria where massive killings have been taking place for years, Black September where the Jordanians- for fear that their 70% Palestinian population in addition to the PLO would try to take over the government thousands of Palestinians were massacred in one day, the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, forced female genital mutilation, the marrying off of young girls to older men, etc. the world for some reason ignores these abominations.  It just seems that hating Jews and the Jewish State never seems to go out of fashion.

And so, here we are- 2024- seeing the rampant hatred against the Jewish People and the Jewish State rearing its ugly head way too similar to what we saw at the time of Hitler.  The worst massacre of innocent Jews in Israel since the Holocaust has somehow encouraged anti-Semites to come out of the woodwork and call for the destruction of the State of Israel through their support of Hamas- our present-day ISIS.  Here is a video clip of a family kidnapped and murdered on that fated day October 7th, a date that will forever be etched into the annuls of the Jewish people:

Young people on campuses reminiscent of the Hitler Youth swallowing whatever propaganda they are being fed and igniting more and more hatred across the world with special attention to University Campuses throughout the United States.  I wonder if they watched clips of the hundreds of young people at the Nova Music festival in Israel terrified by the attacking terrorists. This one brought tears to my eyes:

How exciting to be a part of something greater than themselves only this time it’s not about something they have any idea about.  These misguided “students” – led by professional Jew-haters have no idea what or where Palestine even is.  They are calling for an Intifada with absolutely no idea what that is either.  As I shared earlier THEY HAVE NO DOG IN THIS FIGHT but they don’t care.  Sadly hating is fun!  It’s purely adrenalin-driven.  Young people and people in general seem to enjoy feeling superior to others, particularly to those they may secretly consider superior to themselves.  I dare to say that if the “Palestinians” as they call themselves focused on building a society based on progress and supporting their citizens we would not be experiencing this never-ending pity party.  Out of the ashes of our parents and grandparents, we helped to make the world a better place to live in.  We will not be victims.

You can’t contribute to others while feeling sorry for yourself and expecting the world to take care of you, and you will never build a State based on the blood of the Jewish people. Hopefully, you will learn that one day but not at our expense.  Fool us once shame on you, fool us twice shame on us.  Find somewhere else to create a state with the mentality of death and destruction.  That does not jive with the State of Israel.  And you ignorant supporters of Hamas, the poor “Palestinian” people, and other Jew-haters – you are just making fools of yourselves by believing whatever propaganda is thrown at you never taking a moment to explore the facts. I personally feel sorry for you. And even more, I feel sorry for the Arab Israelis in our country who are often considered kin to the anti-Israel Arabs.  Give them a choice and they will never even enter a Palestinian State let alone give up their Israeli citizenship.  No Arab in the Middle Eastern world has it so good as the Arabs living in Israel. Don’t believe me?  I dare you. Go and ask one!!!

About the Author
Tracey Shipley is a youth and family counselor specializing in addictions and family communication. She was born in the US and moved to Israel in 1984 to continue her studies in Art Therapy. She moved back to the US in 1989 and began working in a drug rehab for teens where she was trained while she worked as a primary counselor. She moved back to Israel in 1996 and continued her work in addictions at the Jerusalem Methadone Clinic for a total of 9 years. She initiated projects for the children of the addicts at the Methadone Clinic, Established a program for Ethiopian Teens educating them about their culture and opened the Jerusalem School of Rock program which helps to create teen rock bands and established monthly teen music events at downtown venues where teens perform for their friends in a teen friendly exciting atmosphere. In addtion to her projects Tracey was the English Speaking Volunteer Coordinator for Emunah Jerusalem succeeding in bringing in more funds and volunteers than ever before. Tracey organizes monthly Rock Festivals and manages rock bands young and old. Tracey also writes for Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post.
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