Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by the Jews and Jewish history and culture. It may be a karma thing, or a past life thing, or whatever the hell other new agey thing you want to attribute it to. The fact remains that I’ve been a supporter of Jews and of Israel for as long as I can remember.
I remember the impact the Six-Day War had on me as a ten-year old military history buff. I wanted to build models of the Mirages that flew sorties over the Sinai, an air force that had destroyed three Arab air forces in three days. Maybe it was my subconscious compensating for the lack of achievement on the part of my own people on that tragic day in April 1961 that led me to be such a fan of the Jews. I wish we’d done the same so my grandfather and grandmother would live and smile again in their beloved Cuba. I lived vicariously through the exploits of the IAF and IDF in 1967 and 1973. God knows Vietnam, despite the best efforts of a lot of good men, was not an example worthy of praise. Despite the negative rhetoric I heard around me, plus the ill will and the oil embargo — just after I’d purchased my first car — that the Yom Kippur war created in the West, I was squarely in Israel’s corner.
As I grew older I read more and more about World War II, the rise of Nazism, and horrors of the Holocaust. It was my attempt to understand something that was alien and incomprehensible. I never quite understood the Antisemitism I encountered. After all, my favorite comics were Jewish, my favorite violinists were Jewish, my second favorite food in the world was Jewish. As I once told a little old Jewish lady in the ethnic food aisle at a supermarket, any people that invent something as tasty as potato latkes are worthy of saving. Jewishness surrounded us in so many ways.
Of course, as in all cultures, you had the bad to deal with (Noam Chomsky and George Soros come to mind), along with the good, but I didn’t encounter the negative to the degree that some did, real or imagined. So many folks have gone off the cliff with hate for this one group. But, as I learned as an adult, praise for the achievements of Jews around the world, praise for their 5,000 year old culture and their quest to keep tradition and their religion alive, was dwarfed by the negative, many times hateful and vicious, rhetoric that I would hear in whispers and, yes, spoken out loud. “Dirty kikes.” “Stinking Hebes.” “Fucking Jews.” “All they do is steal you blind.” Etc. I’ve heard them all, just as I have heard the “fucking Cuban” and “dirty spic” slurs directed at mine. I was once called a “dirty Jew” by some sales person, when I became less than courteous about a transaction gone wrong. “Thanks for the compliment,” I replied.
These days, if you’re a progressive, it’s okay to be Antisemitic. Only they, cowards that they are, attempt to hide their hatred by replacing the word “Jew” with “Zionist,” as if the latter was an even dirtier secret word they could use in public to, at the same time, slam the Jews and hide their Antisemitism. Within the last week, principal designer John Galliano of the House of Dior (a big deal, I’m told) was caught on tape declaring,
“I love Hitler. People like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would be fucking gassed and dead.”
In vino veritas. At least the drinks loosened him up enough to be honest about how he really felt.
What’s funny, though, is that this story made the headlines with nary a comment of thoughtful analysis as to the why of this phenomenon. The dirty little secret is that there are a lot of people who think like this over-coddled freak. As an example, over the last couple of days news outlets in the Middle East have gleefully repeated rumors, published by an Israeli news source (!), that Qaddafi is a secret Jew (go to the links in the article to read for yourself); the story, of course, does not come out and explicitly say that because Qaddafi is “Jewish” he’s bad and has caused all the troubles in his country. But to the Arab world, it sure as hell implies it.
Leftist dictatorships, and some on the right supported, and still support, the “causes” that spread Antisemitism and Jew-hatred around the world in the guise of “justice” and “fairness.” Self-haters like Chomsky and Soros continue to do the work of the Nazis, sixty-six years after the defeat of Germany in the war. They hate themselves, their people, and their origins so much that they twist and turn in the wind trying to defend the indefensible, to support the unsupportable. As a commentator wrote a while back, “It sometimes appears as though anti-Israel Jews are more numerous than the high command of Hamas.” Jews like Daniel Pearl, who had, I think, a sincere desire to find out the “why” of Islam’s hatred of the West, came into contact with the modern Arabized and Muftiized version of Der Stürmer and the Einzatsgruppen. He got beheaded for his trouble.
The rhetoric against Jews, and against the State of Israel, in the media, in government, and in private is increasing. This endemic Antisemitism, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, is a clear and present danger to Western Civilization, which cannot exist without the state of Israel. Israel is the sole bulwark of defense we have in the Middle East. At great cost to itself, it provides us in the West a respite from global jihad, a Middle Eastern version of “mutually assured destruction.” But don’t be fooled. Their enemy’s — our enemy’s — evil intent knows no bounds. And they won’t be as pragmatic as the Soviets were.
(A big H/T to Ziva and Honey for their critiques.)