Monday, March 26, 2012

Jewish Telegraph's answer to Anti-Semitism? Stop being Jewish!

I have not blogged for some time as I have been busy with other projects but an editorial in this week’s Jewish Telegraph prompted me to publish this blog post as a way of letting off steam.
Many Israeli kids look at the Jews of Germany in 1933 and wonder why they did not leave en-mass, even when normal Jewish life became impossible.
Well, If they would read this editorial in the Jewish Telegraph from March 2012 then they'd understand how this came about.

I have put the most upsetting sentence in BOLD.
No knee-jerk reaction
Were we to succumb to near-paranoia every time there is a tragedy of this type, we are playing straight into the hands of those who seek to destabilise our lives. As a community, in this country, we are well-protected both within and without. Members of the Community Security Trust provide a reassuring presence at major events and in some communities can be seen on the streets with police and community support officers in sensitive areas, particularly during yomim tovim and on Shabbat. And our schools are secure.
If we take sensible precautions by not gathering in public, visible locations — and that includes dispersing speedily after synagogue services and simchas — we do not encourage problems.
The tragic events in Toulouse serve to prove though that there are still those who see Jews as legitimate targets for all manner of grievances, although the gunman in this case had already taken what he saw as misguided revenge against members of the French military. There will always be those whose delusions persuade them to carry out atrocities as in the case of Mumbai, Columbine and other attacks on schools, but there is no suggestion that as a result, we as a community, are under any greater threat than previously. Vigilance though is always the key word."

Does the editor realise the significance of what he has written? His self-denial of the current situation is astonishing. I noticed that the BBC News site last week made a point of writing about how many French Jews are planning or have stepped up their plans to come to Israel? There was even a video about it on the BBC site which was quickly taken down after a few hours. Predictably, the video was replaced by another that sent out exactly the opposite message. Someone saved the old video and posted it on Youtube. Today when I went to put the link on this blog post I found that Youtube had shut down the user’s account.

Rav Yizachar Frand teaches that when he was a child he could not understand why so many of the old men in his shul had the same story. They all came from Germany shortly after their shops had been attacked and destroyed in Kristallnacht. Later he realised that only those who's stores had been destroyed were the Jews who had woken up and left in time!

Secret school in Kovno Ghetto

So what next? The Jewish Telegraph will advise British Jewry to only buy their kosher products through delivery service in unmarked vans so as not to draw attention to themselves? Jewish schools must be situated in cellars, out of site? Mezuzot should be removed from the outside of the doorframe and placed inside so that the homes will not be able to be identified as Jewish homes?
What the Telegraph is suggesting as a response to the rise of Anti-Semitism in Europe is to cease being identified as Jewish. Most secular Jews will conclude that it’s far simpler to stop identifying as Jews all together!

Seder Night in Jerusalem
Meanwhile, last Friday night in Israel, I got annoyed with my eldest son because he kept us all waiting 20 minutes to say kiddush as he was chatting with his friends outside the shul. In less than two weeks time, European Jewry will be sitting down to the Seder on the night of Pesach and singing the words "Next Year in Yerushalayim"! This year, Be'ezrat Hashem, they will listen to their own words!

1 comment:

Reb Mordechai said...

The Jewish Telegraph Editorial
Please read.