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April 04, 2003 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-04-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

OTHER, VIEWS

The Versatility Of Bigots

o

ne can't help but be impressed
by the versatility of the bigots
of the world. The old canards
— blaming the Jews for the
killing of Christ; for using Christian
children's blood to make matzot at
Passover; for causing bubonic plague;
for killing themselves while in cahoots
with Adolf Hitler to gain world sym-
pathy while the Holocaust never
occurred — just don't sell anymore.
Even the most uninformed, the
most dedicated bigot doesn't buy that
garbage. So, let's invent some new
garbage, a new Hate-the-Jew message
to rekindle the fires of rabid anti-
Semitism and in the process, help to
destroy the State of Israel and curry
favor and probably hard cash from our
Arab friends.
Let's round up some of our old tried
and true anti-Semites — the dedicated
liars and professional Arabists, many
evidently, already on the Saudi

Jerome S. Kaufman is a Bloomfield

Hills resident.

Arabian pension plan to proclaim the
new message. You have seen them all
over the news media pouring out their
venom unencumbered by truth or
logic.
But, what's the new Hate-the-Jew
message? Why, of course, it is that the
Jews of the world that are the ones
causing the war against Saddam
Hussein in Iraq and the problems with
the rest of the Muslim friends in the
world. The Jews and the Israelis with
their settlements that constitute less
than 2 percent of the land of Judea
and Samaria (West Bank) are the ones
at fault. If it weren't for the Jews and
the State of Israel, we would be all liv-
ing happily ever after.
What with anti-Semitism resurgent
all over Europe and naturally in the
countries containing 1.3 billion
Muslims and with the enthusiastic
support of the confused political far
left and confused far right, this is not
a hard sell. Anti-Semitism, in its most
crass form, has become politically cor-

Indochina, Bosnia, Nigeria,
rect. Emily Post and Miss
Sudan, etc. You name it. The
Manners, as usual, don't apply
list is virtually endless.

to Jews. Hating the Jew is
Also, never mind the fact
totally permissible and even to
that
the American Jewish
be admired.
community and the Israelis
But what are the facts? In
themselves have mixed feel-
fact, there are. conflicts going
ings about the war of Iraq.
on all over the world between
JERO ME S.
There are many Jews and
Muslims and the West that
KAUF MAN Israelis, comfortably at the
have absolutely nothing to do
forefront of so-called "peace
Comm unity
with Jews or Israelis. There are
movements," who don't even
Vi
ews
approximately 30 major world
welcome their participation
conflicts going on right now
any more. And there are many less
and 27 of them are between Muslims
bubbly-minded Jews who wholeheart-
attempting to regain their glory of the
edly support the actions of President
7th-11th century and Christians or
George W. Bush and the Congress of
other ethnic groups that have no
the United States of America.
desire to return to or become newly a
But so what! Hating Jews has always
part of Muslim domination.
Nevertheless, somehow it is the Jews been a favorite indoor sport. And now
with Passover just around the corner
that are the ones to blame for the cen-
and a shortage of Christian children
turies-old wars between Muslims and
disappearing to make all that matzot,
Hindis in India, Pakistan, Kashmir;
for the insurrections of Muslims, in the we have to find a new outrageous lie.
Let's blame the Jews for the war in
South Philippines, for the reversion to
Iraq. That should sell easily.
recidivism in Armenia, Chechnya,



Israelis Celebrate Freedom

Ramat Gan, Israel
he saying that "freedom is
most valued after it has
been lost and recovered"
may be a cliche, but from
the perspective of 5,000 years of Jewish
history, it remains current.
From the Exodus from Egyptian
slavery through the creation of the
State of Israel, we have repeatedly lost
and then fought tenaciously to regain
our freedom, and the struggle contin-
ues.
In each Passover season, Jews tradi-
tionally review the accomplishments in
recovering and preserving our inde-
pendence, as well as the continuing
dangers.
Last year, pre-Pesach shopping for
Israelis was more like a military opera-
tion than preparation for a holiday.
With suicide bombings conducted
almost daily, each foray to the shuk or
mall was carefully planned. We would
check out the level of security in the
area, dash into the store to make our
purchases, and speed home to relative

T

Professor Gerald M. Steinberg is

director of the Program on Conflict
Management and Negotiation Political
Studies at Bar-Ilan University. His e-
mail address is
gerald@vms.huji.ac.il

4/ 4
2003

36

safety.
In other words, we had essentially
lost our independence.
Instead of the usual nature hikes and
other activities, children were kept
close to home. The sounds of bomb-
ings echoed eerily, followed by the
screaming of ambulances. Most Israelis
recognized the names and faces of vic-
tims, and in the neighborhoods of
Jerusalem we heard the gunfire from
the attacks against homes and schools
in Gilo.
While we were sitting down for the
seder, 29 Israelis were slaughtered at
the Park Hotel in Netanya. This and
other attacks during the Passover week
led to the beginning of the long-
delayed Israeli counterattack to regain
our freedom.

Iraq Parallel

In Operation Defensive Shield and its
successors, the Israel Defense Forces
moved to destroy the Palestinian terror
networks which turned schools, hospi-
tals and ordinary houses into explosives
laboratories and terrorist training facili-
ties.
The unwillingness to risk civilian
casualties led to some tragic mistakes,
in which groups of soldiers were killed
by Palestinian explosives, but over the
following weeks and months, the goals
were achieved.

forced to appoint a prime
Since then, Palestinian efforts
minister who declared the ter-
to launch suicide bombings
ror campaign to have been a
against Israelis have not
mistake. Mahmoud Abbas
stopped entirely, but their abili-
may or may not mark a break
ty to reach the cities and buses •
with the past — it is too early
has eroded significantly, and
to tell — but regime change
the attacks are now averaging
has started.
less than once a month.
Perhaps Palestinians will
And, after gaining an initial
GERALD M.
begin
to value freedom and
foothold through the other
STEINBERG
tolerance
over the fanatic
"axis of evil" — Israel-bashing
Special
hatred
of
Israel
that has led to
journalists, "human rights
Commentary
55 years of death and disaster.
activists," diplomats and aca-
demics -- the lies about mas-
sacres were exposed. In the propaganda
Creating Freedom
war to end the hatred directed against
Life for Israelis is still far from "nor-
Israel, some progress is being made.
mal." We still look over our shoulders
Now, one year later, Israelis go shop-
as we stand in line to be frisked at
ping and ride the busses with much
shopping
centers, and some suicide
less fear and greater security from ter-
bombers
continue
to get through. And
rorist attacks. These ordinary actions
now, Israelis are carrying gas masks and
have become small daily celebrations of
have sealed rooms in their houses, in
freedom and survival against a bitter
case Saddam tries to use his chemical
and cruel enemy.
and biological terror weapons against
Some Palestinians also recognize that
the hated "Zionist entity" before being
the campaign of hatred and terrorism
removed from the stage.
has failed and has cost them dearly.
But despite these dangers, the actions
Last year at this time, Yasser Arafat was
of tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers
courted by diplomats and political
have restored our independence and
leaders from around the world. Since
control over own lives. The centrality
then, he has been under "house arrest"
of freedom and of the celebration of
in what is left of his compound in
Passover and the Exodus is as impor-
Ramallah.
tant for us as it was when Moses took
His visitors consist of minor officials
the Jews out of Egypt. ❑
from "old Europe," and he has been

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