|Anti Semitic Protest Poster At Occupy Wall Street|
The saying "history repeats itself" is a scary truth that us Jews must face every day. We have been scapegoats in the past to countries suffering from both social and financial problems, and today, at the height of American social, political, and financial discontent, it looks like our role of being the "cause of the problem" has come around full circle. I will provide a few examples of things I saw regarding this surge of anti-semitism surrounding this protest movement.
This is a youtube link that leads to a video of a Los Angeles public school district employee who claims the Zionist Jews who run banks need to be run out of this country: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMjm4LxFa1c
This youtube video shows a number of anti semitic incidents at the occupy Wall Street demonstrations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIlRQCPJcew&feature=player_embedded
NOTE: I encourage anyone interested to google "Occupy Wall Street and Anti-Semitism" and a plethora of information will come up.
Aside from the content of the previously posted videos being utterly heartbreaking, if you actually take the time to read the comments under the videos, you will be equally, or more, disheartened to read what some people say about us. Whether you are Jewish or not, if you have a conscience and a heart that beats for equality, freedom, peace, and acceptance, then there is no way that these videos and comments will sit well with you. Things like "Hitler had the right idea when the Jews were doing the same thing to Germany", or "The greedy, money hungry Jews need to be run out of this country", or "Zionists are the cause of all the worlds problems and I'm glad people are realizing it"... The list goes on and it gets more disgusting with every comment...
I wish I could eloquently convey the hurt and sadness I feel when I see such things, but, for once, I just don't have the words to adequately illustrate my feelings. What I feel goes so far beyond lividity, disgust, sadness, and a deep, profound hurt, that I don't think there is even a word, or a string of words, to describe what I feel in the pit of my stomach when I see and hear such things. Perhaps the worst thing about all of this is my complete lack of surprise. I wish this was the least bit shocking. To explain: I don't want you to confuse my meaning here so I will make an important distinction. When I say this surge of anti semitism isn't shocking I do not mean that what is being said isn't shocking; no one can argue that saying "Hitler had the right idea" is down right inhumane. However, I want to divorce the content of what is being said from the act of it being said. This act, to my great sadness, is not shocking, and that is a great illustration that anti semitism is alive and well in the USA and worldwide.
So why not blame the Jews? We make up 0.2% of the world population, yet we have managed to rise to the forefront of almost every major industry. For the most part we are an extremely successful group of people, we are thought of as being very intelligent (if you look at the list of Nobel prize winners over the years I can guarantee that a significant portion are Jewish), we make up most of the big entertainment industries, we are involved and successful in the political sector, and so on. We clearly control everything so we must be the cause when things fail... Right? (for those readers who like to take things literally, please note the sarcastic tone of the last line).
Ignorance is a funny thing. It is the best and most fueling food for the flames of hatred, and our country is filled with people who have no idea about so many things. Yes, for the most part, Jews are successful and prosperous, but that is not without reason. We don't just wake up and control banks, make large sums of money, or build up one of the most successful entertainment industries in the world. Education is stressed in our homes. I feel like I was raised in a typical Jewish household so I will use my upbringing as an example. A profoundly large part of my Jewish upbringing was an emphasis on the importance of learning and acquiring knowledge in many different areas. This strive to be well rounded is something I feel is greatly accentuated in typical Jewish households. A strong work ethic is stressed in our homes, and this is not without reason. We are taught, by our grandparents, parents, relatives, community, and even history, that we have very few friends in the world who will take care of us, so we have to take care of ourselves. We won't get hand outs, nor should we want them, so we have to make sure we can provide for ourselves, our families, and our communites. We are successful because we work like dogs to be so, and it is not an easy road we venture on to get there. At the same time, charity is stressed in our homes, and that is why we usually give away a portion of any large earnings to help others (not everyone does this but in many Jewish homes it is stressed and practiced). The family unit is stressed and families and communities take care of one another. Many Jewish grandparents and parents who started with nothing, built up businesses and empires so that their children and grandchildren would have better lives, jobs, security and so on. And these are the people you think are causing the world's problems? These are the monsters that want to take over the world? Instead of blaming us for problems, work with us to solve them. As a group of people we have a genuinely high success rate of getting things accomplished on our own, but with outside communities as our partners instead of against us, the possibilities for growth and accomplishment would be limitless.
At this point I don't know if it is jealousy at our perceived success, laziness at not wanting to admit that everyone plays a role in terms of how America both succeeds and fails (not just Zionists or Jews), or a complete ignorance that contributes to these anti semitic thoughts. Whatever the cause, however, these sentiments are dangerous, baseless, and have the potential to inflict a great deal of harm. I plead with everyone to stop generalizing. It is utter ridiculousness to think that one group of people can cause all of these problems. It is time we all take responsibility for a system that is not working for the majority of the people out there instead of looking for an easy target group to blame.
I will end with one last thought. I strongly believe that people genuinely don't understand what it means to be a Zionist. There is this stigma that Zionism is racism, and that Zionists want to wipe away the Arabs, delegitimize the Christians, establish world wide domination, and so on... Well, if you will be so kind, allow me blow your mind and provide you with a little education. Here is the definition of Zionism if you were to look it up: A Jewish political movement that has supported the self determination of the Jewish people in a Jewish national homeland. (Note: You don't necessarily have to be Jewish to be a Zionist).
Now, here is the profile of an actual, real life Zionist, but before I give it, I want to distinguish between a Zionist and a fanatic. Just as a Muslim must be distinguished from an Islamic terrorist, so must a Zionist be distinguished from a Zionist fanatic; they are not one in the same and make up a very small portion of the population, but unfortunately, like the Islamic terrorists do to the Muslims, the few Zionist fanatics out there tarnish our good name. Since I know no one in the world better than myself, and I happen to consider myself a Zionist, I feel it is only appropriate to offer my profile (which I think it pretty inclusive of how many Zionists see themselves).
I am Jewish. I am a Zionist. I am for the state of Israel existing as a Jewish state. Israel is my homeland and I would fight to the death for her existence. I am a Jewish, Zionist who is also for Palestine. I am for the Palestinian people having sovereignty over their lands, but that doesn't make me any less for Israel existing as the Jewish state. I am for the two countries existing side by side as partners. I am against settlements, but, again, that does not make me any less for Israel. I am pro peace, pro Israel, pro palestine. I am an American, Jewish, Zionist; a description you anti semites linked with the cause of America's financial troubles. But wait? I have financial troubles!!! So now I am the cause of the problems and someone who is effected by them?? How can this be! Or do you only blame the rich Zionists? And what about the rich Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, etc.? Do they cause problems too? Should we run them out of the country as well?
I am Jewish, I am a Zionist, I am the 99%, and I AM JUST LIKE YOU, so please stop telling me that my people and I are causing all the problems in the world... Just some food for thought!
Until we meet again,