Last night, I chose to watch a film entitled “The Promise.” I thought it was the cinematic version of a book I had once read. It was not. It was a mesmerizing film about the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire during the first world war. The country now called Turkey wanted to cleanse itself of the impure race in its midst… the Armenians were Christians, not Muslims. Has anything changed in the Middle East? Has this mentality actually now infiltrated the pores of Western societies – rather than disappear?
If one had changed the names of those in power and the victims, it could have been a movie about many genocides committed in the 20th century….the Holocaust, the intentional starvation of the Ukrainians by the Soviet Union, Christian Poland targeted by the Nazis, mass murders of the populations of Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Greece under the Ottoman Empire, Rwanda or Syria. Ethnic cleansing repeats itself time and time again. There is no lucid reason to believe we have seen the end of it.
We blithely quote George Santayana who said: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.” But that is exactly what happens time and time again. History rarely repeats itself with the exact same pattern. Governments which are run by mere humans, clearly misread history time and time again. Angela Merkel allowed over one million refugees to arrive on German soil. It is likely that her kindness was a reaction to the inhumane German history of the massacre of the Jews and others under Hitler- and a result of her East-German Communist upbringing. She likely thought that Germany would gain a work-force which would bolster their economy. She naively expected the Syrians to melt into the German population as other immigrants have done in the past. She certainly did not expect thankful immigrants to gang rape German women. Her decision was not based on history, but on a reaction to it. This decision has changed the face and the future of Germany forever. Even when they would like to, national heads of State seem unable to assess the complexities of the political moment. Many have no knowledge of history to begin with and those who do, usually cannot see the long-term results of their decisions. At best, they have selective memory and comprehension. Their decrees, such as Merkel’s implemented immigration policy -usually portend the end of their own political careers.
Multiple surveys of young people across the globe show that they have no sense of history at all. They do not connect to anything that they themselves have not experienced first-hand. They are not being taught about that which has come before them. They know nothing of the World Wars I and II, the Korean and Viet Nam wars… or any of the upheavals outside their local communities. Today’s youth have no world-consciousness. Today’s educational institutions have decided that teaching about such things is too time consuming and irrelevant. Hence, University students are ripe for molding and distortion by those with evil intent. They are a blank slate … lumps of clay waiting for someone to sculpt them for their own purpose. Who will get to them first?
This week the Simon Wiesenthal Center published its list of the “2018 Top Ten Worst Global Anti-Semitic Incidents.” It begins with the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre on a Shabbat, then focuses on Louis Farrakhan using Nazi Propaganda in an attempt to degrade all Jews. Their third focus is active anti-Semitism on U.S. Campuses: Columbia, Duke , Penn State, UC Berkley and Davis, Vassar and Marist Colleges all had physical vandalization of dozens of campus sites including swastikas on University buildings, as well as hate filled flyers blaming Jews for absolutely everything .
Their fourth concern on the list for 2018 is the virulent antisemitism being fomented in the UK by Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party. They report that polls show that 40% of the British Jewish community admits they would consider leaving the UK if Corbyn wins the next leadership election. This is a massive change. Until Corbyn UK Jewry was denying its potential existential threat.
There are six more serious offenders; 1) Hamas’ child abuse and their financial rewarding those who perpetrate Jewish mass murder, 2) The selected antisemitism of AIRBNB which has become a political tool, 3) the German Bank’s BDS, 4) the Episcopalian female Bishop who was happy to spread lies about Israeli atrocities from her pulpit in Massachusetts, 5)the Swedish Hospital which actively participated in antisemitism, and 6 ) – is the flagrant antisemitism of Roger Waters from the band Pink Floyd. The details of all of these subjects can be found on YOUTUBE by entering “Wiesenthal center top ten 2018 list.” You can also find the list with detailed explanations at Wiesenthal.com.
The conclusion is pretty clear for those who wish to face it. For reasons that historians will one day write tomes about- antisemitism is not only virulent in 2018 but has somehow become fashionable in both the extreme Left and extreme Right of the political spectrum. This phenomenon is being fueled and funded in great part by the fundamentalist Muslims world-wide and is being embraced by Women’s movements which attach themselves to the illusion that by caring for Muslim women who are oppressed, that they are part of a sisterhood which must include the agenda of the culture of those same women. Hence the thousands, or perhaps hundreds of thousands of women who are being duped into accepting that if these oppressed Muslim women also hate Jews and Israel, then, by extension – caring for these women means bonding with them. Before long, the cause and effect become blurred and ultimately it will not be the oppressing Muslim men who are at fault, but those they see as their other oppressors; the Jews and Israel. It is all quite convoluted but very clever. Western women need to tread carefully when trying to change the cultural differences of other societies, lest they become tools in a much larger political game.
StandWithUs has published a pamphlet entitled “Stolen Narratives.” This brochure elucidates how those who hate Israel and the Jewish people have taken the accepted histories of others; and have re-written their explanations of their own story by stealing that of other peoples. This is how minds become confused and warped. This is what fuels the success of the new antisemitism. People become haters with no idea how methodically the misinformation has been created and disseminated.
Ultimately we need to face the reality that without vigilance- History will indeed repeat itself. The facts “morph” before our eyes. Nothing is exactly as it was before and thus antisemitism must be combated on every level. The citizens of Israel have ensured that they will never again be the ultimate victims of antisemitism. The Jews of the rest of the world do not have armies to protect them. Most of the Jews outside of Israel have no physical way to protect themselves. Most people own no arms. They have no soldiers of their own. Assimilation has never worked as a safe hiding place in the long term.
Let’s all pray that the work of the organizations to whom we write our checks, will be sufficient to fight our multiple political enemies rearing up their ugly heads around the world. So far with the best of intentions, we seem to be losing the battle. It is a time to be aware, be strong, and participate. This is not a time for lethargy.