Skip to comments.Reality Check
Posted on 01/28/2014 8:47:20 PM PST by Ari Bussel
I have often wondered what Jews or decent people could have done to push back against the anti-Semitic propaganda of 1930s Germany, says my friend, Dr. Roberta Seid, the historian and scientific advisor of Stand With Us.
Seid was describing an event at my alma-mater, UCLA, where the speaker, Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, was on the road again with his anti-Israel show and its pack of bigotry and lies.
I wholeheartedly recommend Seids opinion piece, A Speaker who Brings Hate. It is a must reading for anyone who has never attended an anti-Israel event, Barghouti being one of the more poignantly memorable of the pack, albeit not an exception by any measure.
Standing stubbornly against Seids piece is UCLA Hillels Rabbi, our very own Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller. I must admit I was misled for a second, as I read the opening sentence: BDS is poison and Omar Barghouti is its purveyor. I should have known, even before reading his piece, that this is the same Rabbi Chaim I have known for years, for a leopard does not change his spots.
Oh, Rabbi Chaim is good, very good indeed. Mid-way through, he repeats the Chorus line: BDS is poison and Omar Barghouti is a classic anti-Semite. And then he highlights his own achievements, for there is money to be made, long-time supporters he cannot do without: What was genuinely disturbing and compelled my verbal protest and walkout, said Rabbi Chaim, was Barghoutis denial of Jewish peoplehood. I have news, Rabbi Chaim, our enemies almost without exception deny our very right to exist.
Seidler-Feller then reached the crescendo, showing his magnificent colors, like the feathers of an expanded peacocks tail: We who love Israel and care about her survival have spoken out neither forcefully enough nor lovingly against the occupation (sic should have been with a capital O) we, the Jews, cannot rule over another people. And he ends: Indeed, BDS is poison, but so is the occupation. Wisdom, morality, and loyalty to Israel and Judaism demand that we say no to both.
Rabbi Chaim so easily neglects the wisdom of our Bible, teaching that words have meaning and can transform things into being, as God Himself did when He named all creatures during Genesis. Using the word Occupation is both misleading and hazardous, yet Rabbi Chaim uses it so freely, carelessly, and advocates we stand up in protest to fight for its eradication.
Our real obligation is altogether different, because the Jewish people who live in Israel look at Israel and see a society composed of many diverse elements, but definitely not a homogeneous society. Among these is a substantial number of Muslim Arabs. Israelis have lived by the credo that they are equal citizens, with all rights except the obligation of military service.
What we must ensure, as Jews and people who were created in the image of God, is to behave unto others, the foreigner in our midst, the widow and the orphan, the same way we want to be treated ourselves.
Redefine Occupation as living in Israel as part of Israeli society, and suddenly the BDS-Seidler-Feller worldview collapses. No more fantasies of a Palestine with Al-Quds its eternal capital. No more Right of Return of non-Jews to the area between the River and the Sea. No more wishful thinking of exterminating the Jews and eliminating their presence in their homeland.
It is Seidler-Fellers frame of reference and vocabulary that are flawed. So used to self-blame is he, using the word Occupation, that he cannot even see how that very approach is racist. He wants a country with all the Arabs gone, for they, too, like him, hate the Occupation. In this respect, Seidler-Feller is no different than those who call themselves Palestinians. They want to throw the Jews to the Sea (an independent country where Israel is today, with no Jews), and he wants a country with no non-Jews. A perfect partnership indeed.
I, an Israeli, a Jew and an American, take offense to your statement of paramount purpose (Say No to Israels Occupation). But more so, I lament your position, for it is no different from that of the Jews some eighty years ago.
Dr. Seid, analyze Rabbi Chaim, and you may begin to understand how the Jews of Europe accepted what was evolving before their very eyes, for Never Again apparently has not taken hold within our own community deep enough to withstand the test of time. Or perhaps the promise has been sadly forgotten, buried under a sea of Jewish self-hate.
To Rabbi Chaim, Omar Barghouti is a poison because he disturbs the good Rabbis make-belief world. But Barghouti represents the world as it truly is and the true intentions of those who call themselves Palestinians.
I direct Seidler-Feller to a non-profit organization called PMW (Palestinian Media Watch). If he were to follow PMWs output long enough, after the initial shock and waves of nausea have subsided, Rabbi Chaim may see that Barghoutis Poison is nothing but the mainstream approach of those who call themselves Palestinians. There are many of them, those of 67 and those of 48, and many others who are along for the ride. I used to get confused but no more: They are all under Occupation.
Lest the Palestinians in their own words be dismissed as right wing propaganda, the following is taken from Israels Ministry of Foreign Affairs (January, 2014) highlighting the Palestinians Culture of Hatred:
Incitement and hatred toward Israel, and often Jews as well, is spread by Palestinian Authority controlled television and radio stations, public schools, summer camps, official ceremonies, official speeches and Internet outlets. It is often aimed at children and young people.
Several types of incitement contribute to this problem and severely undermine prospects for peace. These include:
1. The glorification of terrorists who have murdered Israeli civilians. The resulting hero-worship of terrorists justifies past and current attacks, while encouraging future attacks.
2. The denial of Israel's existence and the delegitimization of a Jewish state in any borders, in part by denying the existence of a Jewish people and its historic, religious and cultural ties to the land of Israel.
3. The demonization of Jews and Israelis, including by the use of anti-Semitic motifs.
4. The inflammatory language of struggle against Israel and "resistance" (often employed as the Palestinian codeword for terrorism) is being widely used by the PA, despite the renewal of negotiations with Israel. The idea that Palestinians must continue the struggle until Israel is replaced by a Palestinian state is a consistent theme.
For Rabbi Chaim, The Occupation likely refers to the West Bank (and possibly, but less likely, to Gaza). But for the Arabs in Israel, the four million in Judea and Samaria and Gaza and another two million or so who are full-fledged Israeli citizens, the whole area is Occupied, nothing there belongs to the Jews.
The cat is finally out of the bag, and Rabbi Chaim does not like what he hears. He conveniently casts aside any internal bickering in Palestine (who is the real leader Hamas or PA, Iran or maybe some other factions, terrorists or tribes) and wants to believe that they (our enemies) want peace. His soft and most sensitive soul cannot bear the severe burn by Barghoutis revelations. Undoubtedly, the truth hurts.
Our enemies systematically deny our right to exist. They erase and contest any connection we may have to the Land of Israel: The Bible describes events that were never in this geographic area. The Temple Mount, an invention. The land, stolen from its true inhabitants. Those sneaky Jews created, imagined and fabricated what they call The Holocaust as a ruse to steal a land that never belonged to them.
Why did you walk out of Barghoutis presentation? I actually sat through the whole ordeal several years ago when it was at Loyola Marymount Law School (a campus headed by a Jew). You must not miss a word and commit it all to memory (as they prohibit any recording devices), or jot it down on paper. Regrettably, nothing has changed, if anything, the substance has only intensified and became more brazened.
Listen carefully. Study. The words are like those branding irons with numbers that will be etched onto your skin for all your days on this earth. But you chose to leave. How convenient. And then you blame us, you put the responsibility on us, and you cast Barghouti as a fanatic, a liar and an anti-Semite.
Barghoutis efforts must be applauded. He is a genius at what he does, and the BDS movement is one of the most successful in modern times, in a most sinister manner of course. He studies for his doctorate at the Apartheid [Tel Aviv] university in Occupied Palestine and then spews his venom from within Israel proper.
He could be stopped, even in a democratic country like Israel. After all, neo-Nazis are not allowed to spew their venom in Germany today.
But he is not much different in so many ways, from many Israelis in the Israeli Academia. Some of them are called Post Zionists, but whatever the label, they are some of Israels worse detractors.
If Rabbi Chaim were true to his people and our history, he would have done everything in his power to stop Barghoutis appearance at UCLA. He does have power, this Rabbi Chaim, and alongside him stand the Jewish supporters who pour millions into his activities. He could have mobilized the Jewish students and every person who stands for truth and justice to protest the University and its Regents from allowing such hate speech, against permitting Bargouti from entering the pathways of civilization and hallmarks of education.
But he chose otherwise. Rabbi Chaim stood and strengthened Barghouti, for they both sang the same song: The Occupation corrupts. End the Occupation.
What is the difference between them and the extent to which they interpret their positions? Barghouti goes all out, whereas Rabbi Chaim limits his interpretation to the West Bank (and possibly Gaza).
Barghouti calls for BDS, whereas Rabbi Chaim likely would boycott Jewish presence and activities (theater, wineries, etc.) beyond the Green Line. If not him personally, then many others who claim it is legitimate to boycott wines from Judea and Samaria, but add under the same breath, that BDS is wrong, horrible, deplorable and must be fought.
I know several supporters of the New Israel Fund (more correctly the Fund for the New Israel), Americans for Peace Now and J Street who think along these very lines.
I applaud Barghoutis success, for it is the flip side of our miserable failure. He fights, and we stand and strengthen his efforts. Now he can say: Here, even a leading figure in the Los Angeles Jewry like Rabbi Seidler-Feller supports our just call to end the Occupation! Jews return to Europe and America, for you have no place in and no connection to our land!
Confused? Do not be. Next time Barghouti is in town, go listen to his very polished presentation. Sit and weep, for you will understand how the good, gentle, sophisticated, learned Jews of Europe in the 1930s did nothing. You will witness how the intelligent and respected leadership of American Jewry in this second decade of the 21st Century is following in these same footsteps.
As my European ancestors walked later to the crematoriums, their lives likely flashed in front of their eyes. Did they realize what we do not, that they were instrumental in what befell them, for they did not stand with conviction and possess the inner strength to shout: WE WILL NOT PERMIT OUR ENEMIES TO PREVAIL!
That was the article's thesis statement.
So, what could they have done? The article doesn't say: Except to say that the Jews should not have "done nothing," "shouldn't have permitted..."
I was expecting to read concrete "how-to" instructions.
One of the greatest threats to Israel’s existence (besides a billion or so Moslems/Arabs/jihadists) is the internal mental rot of the so-called “Jewish intellectuals” and some of their rabbis.
If this were the 1930’s, they would be telling German and Austrian Jews, “there’s nothing to be worried about. Just stay quiet and they will leave you alone.”
We apparently my grandmother’s family in Lemberg did that and they all ended up either shot or gassed from Lemberg/Lvov to Belzec concentration camp to Auschwitz.
A very well educated Jewish Russian emigre’ to the US one told me, “We too have our asses”.
Looks like we got one helluva herd of them. Where’s the nearest cliff?
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
German Jews couldn't have done much, other than leave which the majority did. Leaving the continent, a more serious problem. Moral people could have done a lot.