Many people know its outlines. But did you know that after the war but before the Mossad decided to capture Eichmann alive and put him up for trial, there was an armed Jewish group called The Avengers that handled Nazis more directily?
At first they handed over the SS men to the Allied authorities, but many of the SS men “escaped in the chaos that followed the war or were released.” At one point the Russians released two Nazi Germans who had been turned over to them by the Jews. The Germans walked out into the street, laughing at their release. But not for long. The Avengers “cut the men down with a burst of sub-machine gunfire.”
From then on the Avengers simply tracked down and killed former Nazis. Perhaps 1000 Nazis were tracked down in this way after the war.
It seems that, following the war, allies had a habit of letting Nazis escape — not surprising when you consider how much some high-ups among the allies despised Jews.
It was also revealed a few years back that the West German government knew where Eichmann was hiding nearly a decade before the Israelis dragged him from Argentina.
Did the Israelis violate international law in conducting their unauthorized arrest of Eichmann? No doubt they violated many laws. But the keepers of the laws were busy either protecting or ignoring Eichmann — who (after the Nuremburg trials) was the only still-living senior official responsible for the Holocaust.
Eichmann was hardly the bland, colorless bureaucrat some have portrayed him as being. He was the chief administrator of genocide and a dedicated Nazi who continued to dream of setting up a new Third Reich in South America. His bureaucratic apparatus made mass murder possible. His lies persuaded hopeful Jews to believe they were merely being “relocated to the east” instead of being relocated to misery and death. His methods made mass murder go smoothly, with least resistance from the victims.
Before his trial, a lot of politicians and thinkers believed the best course was just to forget the Holocaust. Stop talking about it. Let it fade into history as quickly as possible. The trial of Adolf Eichmann ended all that and started an examination of the process of state-perpetrated evil that continues to this day — more than half a century after his capture.
Seventy-two years years ago today, exhausted and dispirited, long-time labor leader and member of the Polish Government in Exile; Szmul Mordekhai Zygielbojm, wrote a letter, and then tragically took his own life. Here is his letter:
May 11, 1943
To His Excellency
The President of the Republic of Poland
General Wladyslaw Sikorski
Mr. Prime Minister,
I am taking the liberty of addressing to you, Sirs, these my last words, and through you to the Polish Government and the people of Poland, and to the governments and people of the Allies, and to the conscience of the whole world:
The latest news that has reached us from Poland makes it clear beyond any doubt that the Germans are now murdering the last remnants of the Jews in Poland with unbridled cruelty. Behind the walls of the ghetto the last act of this tragedy is now being played out.
The responsibility for the crime of the murder of the whole Jewish nationality in Poland rests first of all on those who are carrying it out, but indirectly it falls also upon the whole of humanity, on the peoples of the Allied nations and on their governments, who up to this day have not taken any real steps to halt this crime. by looking on passively upon this murder of defenseless millions tortured children, women and men they have become partners to the responsibility.
I am obliged to state that although the Polish Government contributed largely to the arousing of public opinion in the world, it still did not do enough. It did not do anything that was not routine, that might have been appropriate to the dimensions of the tragedy taking place in Poland.
Of close to 3.5 million Polish Jews and about 700,000 Jews who have been deported to Poland from other countries, there were, according to the official figures of the Bund transmitted by the Representative of the Government,** only 300,000 still alive in April of this year. And the murder continues without end.
I cannot continue to live and to be silent while the remnants of Polish Jewry, whose representative I am, are being murdered. My comrades in the Warsaw ghetto fell with arms in their hands in the last heroic battle. I was not permitted to fall like them, together with them, but I belong with them, to their mass grave.
By my death, I wish to give expression to my most profound protest against the inaction in which the world watches and permits the destruction of the Jewish people.
I know that there is no great value to the life of a man, especially today. But since I did not succeed in achieving it in my lifetime, perhaps I shall be able by my death to contribute to the arousing from lethargy of those who could and must act in order that even now, perhaps at the last moment, the handful of Polish Jews who are still alive can be saved from certain destruction.
My life belongs to the Jewish people of Poland, and therefore I hand it over to them now. I yearn that the remnant that has remained of the millions of Polish Jews may live to see liberation together with the Polish masses, and that it shall be permitted to breathe freely in Poland and in a world of freedom and socialistic justice, in compensation for the inhuman suffering and torture inflicted on them. And I believe that such a Poland will arise and such a world will come about. I am certain that the President and the Prime Minister will send out these words of mine to all those to whom they are addressed, and that the Polish Government will embark immediately on diplomatic action and explanation of the situation, in order to save the living remnant of the Polish Jews from destruction.
I take leave of you with greetings, from everybody, and from everything that was dear to me and that I loved.
I see where the European Jewish Congress just gave a $100K grant to the Ukrainian Jewish community for their “communal security”. That’s nice. Given that there are one-hundred-thousand Jews living there, maybe they each can buy three or four bullets for their all but hypothetical handguns?
Not likely, given that the government has commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Nazi Holocaust in a very special way. Oh, I know, I know. Free speech, and all that, but meet me down at the ravine, and let’s talk political theory and “physical culture”, ok?
Meanwhile, EJC… Thanks for nothing.
Oh, and in case someone thinks that I am too harsh and “biting the hand…” perhaps this will refresh your memory about the world view of the moral paragons at the European Jewish Congress.
Remarkable thing. A politician speaks the truth. Not an American pol, unfortunately. This one’s from Poland. And the media reporting the story call him both a “gun lobbyist” (i.e. eeeeeevil villain) and “far-right” (journalist’s code word for “not to be taken seriously”).
In Europe, far-right is usually also a code word for xenophobic and probably Jew-hating. But that doesn’t appear to be the case here.
Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who is running for president of Poland but from a tiny minority party, told a TV interviewer that if every Jew had had a gun before World War II the Holocaust would never have happened. (H/T CB for the heads-up)
Well, we know that already, don’t we? But it’s apparently so startling to the Times of Israel that they have to go out of their way to try to prejudice readers against him and his positions twice in one tiny article.
Korwin-Mikke, despite his minority political status, is a fascinating and influential man. And not “far-right” in any sense. He came from the liberationist underground left, worked with Lech Wałęsa and his famous Solidarność movent (which helped bring down communism), and published translations of the work of Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayak.
He courts controversy, uses blunt, colorful language, sometimes says the most un-PC things, and at one time wrote the most popular blog in Poland.
The poor, confused Wikipedia article linked above calls him both a “conservative liberal” and a “libertarian conservative.” He has also been accused of being both an anti-Semite and a “hidden Jew” and a Zionist. (I don’t know his religious history, but he was born in Nazi-occupied Warsaw and his mother died in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.)
An intriguing man, definitely.
He spoke those words, “If every Jew had a gun before the war, there would be no Holocaust,” on the eve of Yom HaShoah, the annual commemoration of Hitler’s genocide. He added that “every young guy has to have a gun.”
And that’s where my headline statement comes in. That’s only a partial truth there, Janusz. Sure every young guy — who has enough responsibility and integrity to use one well — should own a gun and be prepared to use it at need. So should every older, wiser, guy. But don’t forget that when it comes to self-defense and defense of family, home, community, and faith, some of the most determined fighters are most definitely non-guys.
Of the 30,000 Jews who escaped the ghettos and camps and joined the guerrilla battle against the Nazis, a good share were women. And though many cooked, tended wounds, and acted as couriers and spies (something that took great courage), quite a few took up arms. One was even the commander of the partisan group in the woods outside Luckow, Poland.
In modern-day America, it’s wonderful to see that both young guys and young women are increasingly interested in firearms and learning to use them. Many of these young people are (so far) only into the sporting aspects of guns — target shooting, competition, and hunting. But should the day ever come for armed defense against enemies of freedom, foreign or domestic, that’ll be millions more who know what to do and have the tools to do it.
So celebrate the brave men who’ve been freedom’s staunchest defenders over the years, but cheers to the women who’ve joined them — and who will join them in times of future need.
April 19th is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
For those that do not understand what Yom HaShoah and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising has to do with guns, look at all the hands in the photos. When there are hands in the air reaching skyward, you will see guns in the hands of those surrounding them. Guns are the defense against tyranny. For “Never Again” to be more than a slogan you need to be able to ensure that it isn’t by having the means to stop the attack.
At the memorial service I attended today the final speaker talked about something a holocaust survivor had implored him to do. To act, to scream, to talk to people, but no matter what, not to do nothing. To do nothing, to be frozen in inaction was to allow them (nazis) to succeed.
For the flame of liberty to continue to burn, there must be those willing to speak out against evil. There must be those willing to give their time, talent and treasure and pledge their sacred honor. Yes, that phrase comes from the American Revolution. The Battle at Lexington and Concord also occurred on April 19th. But if we do not show up and suit up in the battle for freedom, the flame of liberty becomes the Shoah, the holocaust, as well as the flames that devoured the Warsaw Ghetto, the other Ghettos throughout Europe and the death camps.
What do Yom HaShoah and the Warsaw Ghetto have to do with guns. Everything! The fearful cost of a disarmed people.
What happened exceeded our boldest dreams. The Germans fled twice from the ghetto. One of our companies held its position for forty minutes, while the other one lasted – upwards of six hours… I cannot describe to you the conditions in which the Jews are living. Only a handful will survive. All the rest will succumb, sooner or later. Their fate has been sealed. In almost all of the bunkers in which our friends are hiding one cannot even light a candle at night, for lack of air. Goodbye my friend. Perhaps we will see each other again. The main thing is this: My life’s dream has become a reality. I have seen the Jewish defense of the ghetto in all its strength and glory.
23  April 1943 Mordechai Anielewicz
There is no need to ask “Why does this happen”. Nor is there a need to ask “How can something like this happen.” It’s a pattern, we know how.
One of our readers gave a link to a documentary, it is excellent and this is the longer version of it.
From Yad Vashem’s website, interviews with Fighters who survived the Warsaw Ghetto. What is the end result of Universal Background Checks and other “common sense” gun control? Listen, the survivors will tell you.
Tomorrow is Yom HaShoah. It is the Holocaust Remembrance day. In my area the memorial service will be Sunday. I intend to go. I can do nothing but go. It is my personal feeling, just mine, this is only my opinion, that for me to forget what happened, to allow the memory to become comfortably cushioned in the soft cotton of foggy faded distant memory is folly and disrespectful.
Folly because those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it. I’ve learned some pretty painful long term physical lessons working with my horses. Weather changes bring about certain reminders, very clearly. Care to place a wager on me forgetting how I got them and what needs to be done to prevent a repeat performance? I don’t forget.
Disrespectful because the nazis* goal was to erase Judaism from the earth, to blot out all the names of the victims, to resign them to the faded pages of distant memory. As long as I have breath and am able, I will not be part of that. I will be there, I will pay my respects and I will try to keep their memory and their fate plain. The horrible cost of trusting and disarmed people.
No, I do not mean all of them, but too many. hitler* was elected after all. Not all those that died were Jews either. Estimates are six million Jews died, and five million others made up of groups of gypsies, Poles, Political dissenters, mentally and physically disabled, homosexuals and communists. I’m guessing some of those that died and their family members voted for hitler. Someone pointed out to me last year basically, the Holocaust wiped out the population of Israel. Israel’s Jewish population in 2014 was 6,218,000. The total population was 8,296,000.
Last year I was in Israel during Yom HaShoah. I went with my girlfriend that I stayed with to Ben Gurion University for the memorial service. Since she worked at BGU (אבג) getting in was not a problem. The courtyard where the ceremony was held was packed and people were standing in the windows of surrounding buildings to see the ceremony. We got there early and so sat in the chairs in the courtyard. One thing we noticed, of all the Arab and muslim students that attend there, none that we could see attended the services. It was a profoundly moving services. I didn’t understand a lot of it, it was all in Hebrew of course, and I would only catch words from time to time. But somethings go beyond words. They are universal. One was a dance that was performed.
The dancers were dressed in either white or black, and it was very very clear what the dance was about as the dancers dressed in black appeared to flog, beat and kill the dancers dressed in white. At one point during the dance one of the dancers dressed in white quietly slipped off the stage and disappeared behind a column. When she came back out in a bit it appeared she was being comforted by a staff member. She was unable to finish the dance. The dance finished with the dancers gathered around a pile of their shoes they had all taken off and placed in a corner as they came onto the elevated dance stage. Yeah, like that.
It was very emotional. I can speculate on what those around me felt. I know what I felt, and I suspect it might be different than the majority of those around me.
Following that was the portion where Holocaust survivors or family members came up and read something. I apologize, but my Hebrew just wasn’t/isn’t good enough to recount the stories. But at the end each of the six people went over and lit a candle. Each candle represented a million people. As they read their speeches you could hear something in the background. At first I thought it was suppose to be the sound of muted rifle fire. But then with each person it seemed to be a bit louder and more clear. Not rifle fire. Trains. The sound of trains on the tracks. Damn.
I was already angry from my visit to Yad Vashem just a few days before when I had been livid about the miniscule display of “Resistance during the Holocaust”. It was a miniscule display for more than one reason, but what was going through my mind was that the elected nazi government used all branches of government to target a group of people. And then they used already on the books common sense gun laws like universal background checks to more easily eliminate them.
An article recently appeared that brought to light that among those who tried to help rescue the Jews, were other Jews. They feel that the concept of Jews saving themselves has been muted or lost. The article stated
Part of the mission of the Jewish Rescuers Citation is to re-instill the idea that Jews are not only capable, but prone to be hardened heroes.
The article raises some very interesting ideas. Even if you don’t read the linked article, you might want to check Yad Vashem for a short list and photos of nine people who served in the Resistance, many of them at the greatest cost to save lives. Their names and their lives deserve to be remembered. Their price was large, perhaps you can spare a couple minutes to meet them?
For people to live in freedom, freedom from slavery, from poverty, from annihilation, the first thing we need to do is to quit committing suicide.
By that I mean there is ONE JEWISH state, in all of the world, there is ONE. Look at your elected officials attitudes towards that one state and you will have an idea of their attitudes towards your group.
Look at remarks made towards your group, are they accurate and fair? I’m thinking of the last two years worth of comments at the annual prayer breakfast here.
Are branches of the government targeting certain groups of political dissenters?
Do you put money into the pockets of people that urge you to become disarmed and vulnerable to any of the above? Harry Weinstein, Babs Streisand, Tim McGraw or any of the many other anti-gun entertainers that will then use their bully pulpit to disarm you?
Saddle pads and skirts folks. Check your patterns
There is a stone in the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations, it is to ALL, not Jewish, or non-Jewish, but ALL.
Please G-d, may we need no more of them. The cost is far too dear.
* Some things and some people do not deserve capital letters. Not a typo.
A couple of days ago it was the seventh day of Passover.
On that day, a bit over thirty-three centuries ago, a million people stood trapped against a swampy sea.
Over four hundred years before, facing a massive drought, their forbears had entered Egypt, and “sojourned” there of their own volition… at least initially.
Their status as guests had gradually changed into that of slaves. So had their mindset. Worse, they had progressively abandoned much of their heritage and adopted that of the Egyptians.
A few days before, the Israelites had been thrust out from the Land of Egypt after an escalating series of ten stunning plagues afflicted their captors. Pharaoh relented and ordered them out.
Within a few days Pharaoh, believing them to be merely attending a three day religious pilgrimage in the desert, noticed they had not returned. Furious that “his” slaves had outwitted the god-king of the Nile, he led his Army to either retrieve them or annihilate them at Yam Suf (The Sea of Reeds).
We are told that a strong wind blew all night from the wilderness to the East, drawing back the waters and provided a passageway for them to escape certain re-enslavement or death.
The Israelites and those who joined in their escape made it through to dry land on the other side.
The pursuing chariots of Pharaoh’s Army followed them into the seabed, only to become stuck fast in the mud, and, as the winds abated, they drowned in the returning waters.
The men broke into ecstatic song and dance at the incredible series of miracles wrought on their behalf. Their song noted both the escape, and the total destruction of their enemy pursuers.
Then Moses’ older sister, the prophetess Miriam, joined in the singing and dancing. The other women joined as well.
It is said that the (naturally superior) spiritual nature of women carried the song of praise up through the Heavens, until the Angels themselves joined in the recounting.
This song; the Shirat HaYam, was also a mystical “betrothal” between the People of Israel, and G-d, as bride and groom. The “wedding” took place less than two months later at Sinai.
Suddenly, the thundering voice of G-d himself rang out. “The Egyptians who have just drowned are also my children.” “Do you think I do not weep for their deaths?”
A mild rebuke perhaps, but an important point: The special nature of the Jew lay not in themselves, but in the crucial mission for which they were being prepared.
These past few weeks it has become easy to become callous as some Mohammedans in the Mideast and Africa seem more focused on wanton, orgiastic, slaughter of their brothers, rather than primarily of Christians and Jews.
Perhaps the time will come when they will mature to a point where this hallmark will no longer be central to their culture. This change should be encouraged, as, if they do not, the world will not stand by and wait patiently forever.
Meanwhile, two interesting articles from the past few days have stood out for me; an interesting book review, and a story of being one’s own worst enemy.
Thank you all for reading and for supporting our efforts towards freedom here at The Zelman Partisans!
“We’re gonna have to get as organized as the mafia,”“We better stand up and kick these guys in the ass,” “We just can’t take it anymore [from] these crazy bastards.”“It’s like, here we go again, we’re right back where we were [before the Holocaust]. And the lessons of the past are we better stand up and kick these guys in the ass.”
GREAT idea Harv! Really, kudos! Excellent plan. That attitude is certainly needed as the following video demonstrates. It was filmed a couple of weeks ago on March 22nd. A group of 20 people attempted to storm a Synagogue in London. The worshipers were using chairs, a mop and makeshift wooden clubs fashioned out of furniture pieces to repel their attackers. Perhaps it was a honest mistake, I’m sure “Synagogue” is often mistaken for “Fight Club”. Not sure of the frequency the cry “Kill the Jews” being heard in a fight club, but I don’t frequent fight clubs. Nor am I sure of the statistics on prayer books ripped up in a fight club. Perhaps I need to get out more?
The Jerusalem Post quoted a member of the synagogue who said he heard the men shouting “we will kill you” as they assaulted worshipers and ripped prayer books.
But circumstances have improved. This year those under attack are using chair parts and mops and brooms. Last year in a Jerusalem seminary when students were attacked by a group of peaceful Palestinians throwing rocks at the students during the supper the weapons at hand were chairs, boiling water and the prime defensive weapons appears to have been a pot of cholent, the traditional meat stew. So I guess we should be thankful for small favors, right?
Why the snarky attitude? Because Mr. Tough Weinstein who calls for Jews to fight back condemns them to having cholent as their primary weapon. You see, Mr. Weinstein doesn’t believe Jews or anyone else should be armed and be given a fair chance to defend themselves or their family from the peaceful elements of their area who hurl rocks at them.
“I never want to have a gun,” Weinstein told Stern. “I don’t think we need guns in this country, and I hate it, and I think the NRA is a disaster area.”
Stern asked Weinstein what he would use to defend his family if he were living during the Holocaust, considering both he and Weinstein are Jewish.
Weinstein said there was a justification for using a gun “when you’re marching a half of a million people into Auschwitz.”
Reality apparently escapes Mr. Weinstein. The disconnect between his obamaunicorn stew ideology and the reality of what happens to people who are left at the mercy of those who have none.
Perhaps the illustrious Mr. Weinstein can provide copious amounts of his obamaunicorn stew to the next Synagogue to be attacked prior to the attack, to hurl at their assailants?
Then again perhaps Mr. Weinstein has a reason for keeping people that may be physically smaller and weaker defenseless?
There are those that see what is happening around them and see the pattern, and see it for what it is, they recognize that pattern. Then there are those that see the pattern and because it is ugly they tell themselves they can’t possibly be seeing exactly what they are seeing and pull the covers back over their head and top it off with a pillow. Then there are those that see the pattern, look at it for two seconds and ask what time “American Idol” comes on that night. Ok, if it were National Finals Rodeo I could maybe understand a little, maybe, but sure not much. That is sad, very sad. Then there are those that see the pattern, know exactly what it is, and in fact maybe helping to contribute to it but deny that it is a pattern and vilify those that point it out. They spend their resources assuring the nervous that all is well, it’s just fine,nothing to see here, move along.
A few random things, a NY city Council man David Greenfield went on a trip to Israel, while there he went to Ramallah. While there, after a visit with the American Consul-General in Jerusalem at his Ramallah office he and the group prepared to go back to their transportation. He was asked to remove his Kippah. He refused.
“I walked into Ramallah with my yarmulke on, of course,” he said. “I was pulled aside by security personnel and was told that I should not wear my yarmulke when I was leaving the building.” The surprised Greenfield asked why he was being told this, and the answer was that “there was a security situation on the ground” and that it was not safe.”I specifically asked them if it was unsafe for me or for the group – they said it was definitely not an issue for the group but they could not guarantee my personal safety. I explained for them that for me it’s a very significant issue and that quite frankly, had I been told this in advance, I never would have agreed to come to Ramallah.”I was told that the US government was providing security and as an official, I expected them to keep up their end of the deal,” he said, adding that the request to have him remove the kippah had come from the Palestinian hosts.
Councilman Greenfield certainly gets it. This is a response he presented at a meeting. He gets it very well.
Then there is this speech by the French Prime Minister.
He gets it.
Then we have those that have walked the streets of Europe wearing a Kippah, to show reactions.
And in Paris for ten hours, but this one just loops, it’s not really that long.
We have the 51 Democrats that are Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel. They whined that they didn’t like how John Bohner invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to give the speech. Well, I don’t like Bohner. But I suspect he was correct, if he went through the White House aka the House of Hussein, there would be no speech. I’m pretty confident that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon it will affect the US as well as Israel. But barry is too busy trying to be buddies with the people that want to kill US than to allow mere facts to interfere with his enjoyment of his rainbow stew. This link has the speech embedded in the web site. Nancy Pelosi showed she could edge 20 steps closer to Prozac and a padded room when she called the speech “Insulting and condescending.” It would seem Democrats are far more invested in towing the barry boat than living in reality. They do not get it, and they also attempt to mislead the uninformed that vote for them. There is a very real threat.
I have a very sweet lady in a class I take and we had a conversation about guns. She told me she and her husband absolutely respect the Second Amendment, but they belong to the Brady campaign and they just think that all guns need to be registered to stop crime. Class was over and we were all leaving, but I suggested she do a quick internet search for the “Nuremberg Laws”. I pointed out that Hitler could easily keep Jews from owning weapons to protect themselves because they already had a list of who owned what. So when Hitler decided Jews could have nothing to do with firearms, or own them, they knew where the were, duck soup, round up. She doesn’t get it, at all. But she said she still loved me, and I still think she is a lovely lady. An easy target, but a lovely lady. That “Nuremberg Laws article is pretty interesting by the way. Some compare and contrast in it.
So knowledge and interpretation certainly play a role in what you see, and how you see it. But another aspect is your attitude about it. I recently had a very brief discussion with a Rabbi. It involved my wish that Moshe Feiglin would have been returning to the Knesset. He seemed to think that wasn’t such a great thing. I said I just think Jews should be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, and I do, and I mean right now yesterday. His comment was “When the Messiah comes back”. Really. Because this attitude of accepting little scraps of freedom, the little bits of the Jewish identity people are allowed to retain, the areas where it is safe to walk or as Y.B. pointed out, worship should all be determined by others? The Southern Cowgirl in me rears up and says “OH HELL NO”!
Because when you see attacks on a persons religion, on their ethnicity on their belief system when it harms no one else, you can just about bet the farm that not long after follow the physical attacks. WHY does it need to get to that point?
There are people who see what is happening, they see what is coming. And while the current regime uses government agencies to go after those that speak out, they still must.
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and sayto them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a manfrom among them, and make him their watchman, 3 and if he sees the sword comingupon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then if anyone whohears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes andtakes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound ofthe trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if hehad taken warning, he would have saved his life. 6 But if the watchman sees thesword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned,and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in hisiniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.~~Ezekiel 33: 1-6
These people are called Watchmen.
There is a name for those that attempt to mislead people into thinking everything is fine too, or should agree to things that have been disastrous in the past and would be again. And this song keeps going through my mind when I think about them. Yesh lanu tayis.
Keep your eyes open, and choose carefully who you listen to.
When it comes to the subject of Jews in today’s Europe, I am pretty jaded. Yes, I forward articles and commentary to family and friends. The news so percolates with these stories I know I am a Johnny-One-Note. Still, the Atlantic article Claire blogged about made me very sad, because, despite all the possibilities, they seem so… doomed. And, sooner rather than later.
There is no small amount of pride involved in their staying. As the article mentions, most French Jews are from North Africa. They kind of skip quickly over it, but while the world “knows” all about the displaced Muslim Arabs in the wake of the 1948 war, remarkably few know of the Jews who lived in Muslim lands. They had lived the degrading sting of being the “Dhimmi” all of their lives.
When the Jews of Israel were NOT driven into the sea by victorious Muslim armies in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, etc. Eight Hundred Fifty Thousand Jews of the Muslim countries, some of whom had resided there for nearly two thousand years, were unceremoniously stripped of their citizenship, homes, businesses and possessions and driven out. From Morocco to Iran. Running for their lives.
No wonder they are hardened to being driven out, especially by Muslim thugs, or their Jew-Hating native European soul-mates. It is insulting in the extreme. A very raw nerve.
Many settled in France and became instant assets. A huge population of Persian Jews lives in Los Angeles, bringing traditions of hard work, deep-rooted ethics, and firm loyalty to their new homes. This is the way of the Jews in the Diaspora. And many of these Jews settled in Israel and became instant assets there too.
And, to blow that “Note” (a blowing a shofar, if you will) again… A story closer to home:
My son and his family also live here in the USA, in a modern, economically stable metropolis. They live in the “nice” part of town. This is not a town known for Jews. A local rabbi in the neighborhood runs a very small orthodox congregation out of his house.
A few years ago a neighbor alleged that having those Jews there, all in one place, for a couple of hours every Saturday, and on their weird holidays, was driving down the property values. He sued. It cost the congregation monies they did not have to spare, and shoved off plans for a more permanent home for the congregation. The neighbor lost (but, not really, right?).
Then the Homeowner’s Association alleged much the same thing and also sued. More money picked from a little shul too small and too poor to even rent a building to pray in. The building fund depleted with legal fees, the plans pushed off again. The HOA lost (but, not really, right?).
Recently, the City itself decided to joint the party and sued the little shul, too.
The other day a SWASTIKA was found painted on a car near the little shul-in-a-house.
How soon until people start getting beaten up walking to synagogue? How soon until a mason jar of jellied gasoline crashes through a front window during the Passover Seder? Opening the door and calling for the Prophet Elijah in one breath and screaming as your family burns alive in the next?