In November 2005, the United Nations decided to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the few surviving Jews from the Auschwitz Death Camp in Poland on January 27, 1945, as an International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On that day, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the Holocaust is “a unique evil which cannot simply be consigned to the past and forgotten.”
The reality is that the lust for Jewish blood is very much a part of the present.
In December 2022, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) published its latest poll. It showed a dramatic spike in the number of West Bank Arabs in favor of killing Israeli Jews. The gap in Jewish blood lust between Gazans and West Bank Arabs was at the narrowest level since the Second Intifada / Two Percent War.
The results of the PCPSR poll were depressing, showing Palestinian support for terrorism against Israeli Jews and a rejection of a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. In particular, Arabs showed vigorous support for new terrorist groups emerging in Jenin which had committed a number of deadly attacks inside of Israel.
On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance, when the world pretends in understands #NeverAgain, the Israeli Defense Forces launched a raid to capture several terrorists in Jenin who had committed, and were planning to launch, terrorist attacks. The IDF was successful in eliminating several terrorists when the Arabs opened fire on the soldiers, and left Jenin without the loss of any IDF troops. Two West Bank civilians were killed according to reports from Arab media.
About twelve hours earlier, U.S. forces killed a top leader of the Islamic State and ten other fighters in a raid in Somalia, without the loss of any American troops. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the terrorist “was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan.”
And just a few hours before the U.S. raid, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “terrorism remains a global scourge — an affront to humanity on every level. It affects people of all ages, cultures, religions and nationalities.” Indeed, as the U.S. and Israeli raids against terrorism highlighted.
But there’s an important difference.
Gutteres pointed out that terrorism “is a global scourge” which impacts all religions and nationalities. Lloyd Austin mentioned that the Islamic State was building a base “in Africa… worldwide, including in Afghanistan.”
But Palestinian terrorist groups are only coming for the Jews, and the majority of Palestinian society supports them. These terrorists are not a fringe radical group but represent a mainstream sentiment. That desire elected a Holocaust denier to the presidency in the last Palestinian election and will likely vote a terrorist as president in the next.
Many actively deny this reality. We pretend that targeting Jews was “consigned to the past” and the occasional terrorist attack in Israel is part of a “global scourge” which “finds its home in vacuums” as Gutteres opined.
It’s not. It’s grounded in a perverse anti-Semitism.
As we remember the 6 million Jews murdered by Nazis and their collaborators, let us not forget the “unique evil” was that Jews were systematically targeted for annihilation. So it was in Europe in the 1940’s, and remains so among Palestinian Arabs in the holy land today.
The United Nations will lead its Holocaust Commemoration with portraying Jews as refugees, rather than as slaughtered defenseless victims.
On January 27, 2023, the United Nations will mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust under the theme “Home and Belonging”. It will include several exhibitions, the major one called “After the End of the World: Displaced Persons and Displaced Persons Camps.”
In describing the event, the U.N. wrote “Victims of the Holocaust had their homes, their nationalities, and sense of belonging ripped from them by the Nazis and their racist collaborators.” While true, the world doesn’t mark the event because of a civil war in which Jews and others became homeless.
It is not why the U.N. created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948, which said “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.”
It is not why societies created Holocaust memorials to mark the targeted torture and slaughter of the most persecuted people in the world.
It is not why Germany and other Nazi collaborators pay reparations to Holocaust survivors for their slave labor, imprisonment, cold-blooded murder of family members and theft of all their possessions.
It is not why many countries made Holocaust denial and the selling of Nazi paraphernalia a crime.
No, the world has seen many wars, countless refugees and significant homeless. The U.N. could run an event for these people under the banner “Home and Belonging” and bemoan those who had “their homes, their nationalities, and sense of belonging ripped from them,” with exhibitions about displaced persons camps.
But it is vulgar for a Holocaust commemoration.
This is the global body whitewashing the barbarous crimes inflicted on Jews to make it more universally appealing to anti-Semites, and it undermines the education it should be imparting, specifically to these people. It is a new insidious form of Holocaust denial, put on the world stage with Jews and elderly survivors acting as dupes.
Yes, homelessness and the existence of millions of refugees are sad issues that should be addressed. It is true, that anti-Semitism and racism are deep flaws in wide swathes of society.
But that’s not the essence of the Holocaust. It was an evil government systematically torturing and annihilating a segment of its own defenseless citizenry, often with the endorsement and participation of other citizens.
If one wants to commemorate the Holocaust for the tastes of modern audiences, focus on stopping violence, especially against Jews. The United Nations’ approach of sanitizing the targeted genocide of Jews by making an appeal for refugees is seemingly a sinister attempt to mark the Jewish State as modern day Nazis who forced Palestinians into statelessness, and paint the U.N. into saviors of Jews in the 1940’s and of Arabs today.
It’s an outrageous lie at its foundation, and deeply anti-Semitic to promote during a Holocaust event.
Each society makes rules to govern its citizenry. It considers the tastes and preferences of its inhabitants and tries to balance enabling human rights and the maintaining of public order. Some countries opt to ban certain activities if they might lead to violence, while others believe that human expression cannot be stifled because of the reactions that might ensue.
The world has seen this play out in the recent past, with an interesting wave of defenses and condemnations.
Charlie Hebdo Drawings of Mohammed
France is a deeply secular society that prizes its freedoms, including freedom of the press. It was perfectly legal for a French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, to draw pictures of the Islamic prophet even though it was highly provocative and upsetting to devout Muslims. Indeed, several Islamic radicals shot up the magazine’s headquarters, killing many of its writers. As part of the jihadists’ derangement, they followed up on that violent vengeance with a visit to a local kosher store to slaughter Jews who had nothing to do with the cartoons.
The western world rallied to the defense of France, with global leaders marching arm-in-arm in defense of freedom of expression and against reactive violence. The provocative nature of the drawings was dismissed as irrelevant.
Gay Pride Parade and Israeli Pride Marches in Jerusalem
The city of Jerusalem is both holy and contentious. It is the holiest city for Jews, the third holiest city for Muslims, and holy for Christians who don’t rank cities as commonly as Jews and Muslims.
It is also a politically sensitive city. Recommended to be an international city (along with Bethlehem) by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947, it became divided between Israel and Jordan in the 1948-9 Arab-Israeli War. After Jordan attacked Israel again in 1967, the reunited city became completely Israeli, even while much of the world still considers it to be international or under negotiations for a final settlement.
The holiness of the city makes the annual gay pride parade offensive to many religious Jews, Muslims and Christians. While legal, the provocative nature of holding the event in Jerusalem has sparked violence, such as occurred in July 2015 when a Jewish man just released from a mental hospital, stabbed six people, killing one. The public condemned the violence and defended the right to parade.
For their part, proud Jewish nationalists flew Israeli flags through Jerusalem, including in predominantly Arab sections of eastern Jerusalem, to mark the reunification of the city. When Palestinian groups claimed the parade was “provocative” and threatened violence, the United States asked Israel to reroute the march away from Arab areas, an action it did not take for the gay parade.
Both legal marches went on as planned, with left-wing groups labeling the nationalist march as provocative, and right-wing groups stating the same about the gay parade.
Israeli Jews on the Temple Mount
In sharp contrast to the legal actions above which are defended, the fundamental human right to pray at a holy site is deemed illegal and condemned. At least, only for Jews in Jerusalem.
The central point of prayer and holiest place on earth for Jews is the Jewish Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Jews around the world pray facing it, and many around the world make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times a year, as commanded in the Jewish Bible.
It has historic significance as the place where two Jewish Temples stood, and deep relevance today, especially to Orthodox Jews.
Jews have a basic human right to pray at their holiest location, as detailed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Even more, they have an accepted right to visit the Jewish Temple Mount according to rules laid out by the Islamic Waqf which has administrative rights on the compound.
But Arab extremists want to have none of it.
Wafa, the official Palestinian news site said “Israeli Jewish supremacist Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, Tuesday stormed the compounds of al-Aqsa mosque in the occupied city of Jerusalem under heavy protection from the Israeli forces.“
The political-terrorist group Hamas’s news site said “Ben Gvir’s incursion into the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyards on Tuesday morning constitutes a grave violation against the Palestinian people and their holy sites.” It condemned and mocked other Jews praying outside of the Temple Mount as “settlers [who] organized provocative dances and performed Talmudic rituals in the Old City and near Al-Aqsa Mosque.“
Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Sinan Al Majali said “The storming of the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque by one of the Israeli ministers and violating its sanctity is a provocative, condemned move.“
While not directly condemning Ben-Gvir’s visit or mocking Jews who pray in Jerusalem, the US Embassy in Jerusalem said that Ambassador Thomas Nides “has been very clear in conversations with the Israeli government on the issue of preserving the status quo in Jerusalem’s holy sites. Actions that prevent that are unacceptable.”
It is deeply disturbing that Israeli Jews visiting their sacred site is greeted by condemnation by not only radical Islamists, but by the western media and governments. Did those same people argue for the “status quo” of banning gay marriage? Segregation? Why do liberal values melt before jihadi zealots when it comes to the Jews?
Jews visiting and praying on the Temple Mount do so because the site is dear to them, not to antagonize Muslims. The people who condemn Jewish visitation and call it and act of “provocation” are not simply echoing radical Islamist propaganda, but denying Jewish history and Judaism itself, while simultaneously trampling on a basic human right.
Chanukah is a celebration of Jews purging the pagan practices of their holy Second Temple in Jerusalem, and expunging the Hellenists from the holy land. It is a worthwhile time to consider how Jews today think about the Jewish Temple Mount and the future of Jewish prayers on the site.
Reform Jews are the largest denomination of American Jews, accounting for roughly 33% of American Jews (right ahead of 29% of Jews of no religion) according to a 2021 Pew poll. Their authoritative rabbinic body, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) issued a resolution in 2015 about the Reform movement’s view of the Temple Mount. While it said that Jews considered it “holy”, it noted that it only was so because of historic significance. It added some important points:
There is “not to any hope for rebuilding the Temple, reestablishing sacrificial rites, or restoring any future Jewish worship where the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock now stand”
“Supports the status quo on the Temple Mount which restricts prayer to Islamic, not Jewish, prayer.”
“Stands in opposition to those Jews who attempt to alter the status quo by praying on the Temple Mount, which is contrary both to traditional Jewish law and practice as well as peaceful co-existence.”
“Affirms the freedom of religion and the right of persons to pray where they choose, while at the same time, asserts that the interests of peace and safety are, in this unique and extraordinary circumstance, best served when some rights are suspended and legitimate religious passions restrained in deference to the rights and sensibilities of others.”
“Encourages efforts of the [Reform Movement’s] Israel Religious Action Center, in cooperation with the Religious Action Center, to maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount while combating terror and incitement to violence.”
The Reform Movement repeatedly makes clear that it opposes Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount now and forever. It believes that Temple Mount is simply a relic of the past, and any Jew who seeks to pray at Judaism’s holy site is essentially inciting violence.
The Reform movement’s leaders echo this theme. Rabbi Rick Jacobs lied to his base during Chanukah 2016 that the Maccabees of 2,200-years ago fought for religious tolerance when they did did the opposite. The Maccabees fought for a Jewish Temple, period. Further, it is perplexing (revolting) that the movement advocates for religious tolerance seemingly for all religions except for Jews at their holiest location.
The Conservative Movement is the fastest shrinking denomination of American Jewry. For every Jew who joins, three leave according to Pew, with the vast majority migrating to Reform or Jews with no denomination.
The movement has said remarkably little about the Temple Mount.
Way back in 2001, the Rabbinical Assembly issued a resolution which said almost nothing about its position about the sacred site, other than confirming its holiness to Jews, and respectfully asking Islamists to stop proclaiming otherwise. It has issued no other official comments about the holy compound.
Its silence can be found in other places as well.
In 2016, the Conservative movement published a new prayer book, a siddur, meant to be more egalitarian which included a wide variety of contemporary commentators. The siddur sits somewhere between Reform and Orthodox denominations’ liturgy, but much closer to Reform as it relates to the Temple Mount.
While Orthodox Jews recite a short prayer after the central Amidah service three times a day (four times on Sabbath and holidays), as well as earlier in the morning service, asking for the Temple to be rebuilt, the Conservative Movement omitted it:
May it be Your will, Adonoy, our God, and the God of our Fathers that the Holy Temple be rebuilt speedily in our days, and grant us our share in Your Torah. And there we will serve You reverently as in the days of old, and in earlier years. And let Adonoy be pleased with the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem as in the days of old and in earlier years.
Perhaps the Conservative movement agrees with Reform Jews that there is no need for a Third Jewish Temple and that Jews should be banned from the site. Or maybe it is just staying out of the fray.
While most non-Orthodox American Jews do not focus on the Temple Mount even as they might pray facing it, the small Orthodox community actively prays about rebuilding the Third Temple, as seen above. Many have gone to the site in recent years, during the few hours in which visitation for non-Muslims is currently permissible.
In December 2013, the Chief Rabbis of Israel reimposed a ban on Jews ascending the Temple Mount, as Orthodox Jews began to do so with greater frequency. The rationale had nothing to do with angering Islamists, as it did with potentially walking on the most holy of spots, which is not permitted for Jews other than a High Priest, according to Jewish law.
Despite the ban, the number of Jews visiting the Temple Mount has jumped in recent years as Orthodox Jews have rationalized that the location of the holy of holies is understood. In 2012, the total number of Jewish visitors was about 7,700. In October 2022 during the Jewish month of Tishrei, the figure was almost 8,000 according to Beyadeynu, an activist group encouraging Jewish visitation. The group estimates that the total this year doubled to about 50,000 from last year and it hopes to double again – to 100,000 Jews – in the coming year.
That figure remains a small fraction of the millions of Muslims who frequent the site at all hours.
In Israel, the Ultra-Orthodox Haredi community makes up 13% of the population and it is growing twice as fast as the rest of the country. There is roughly another 10% of Jews who are dati, or Modern Orthodox religious. Taken together, the 20%-plus Orthodox Israeli Jews is quite a bit larger than the 8% of Orthodox American Jews. Israel – and Jerusalem in particular – is much more Orthodox than world Jewry, as the devout Jews are drawn to the holy city much more than other Jews.
The increasingly secular nature of the majority of America’s Jews has fed a narrative that the Temple Mount is not central to Jewish prayer or aspirations. As Israel’s new government includes several Orthodox parties in the ruling coalition, the likely promotion of a greater Jewish presence at Judaism’s holiest spot will be cast as foreign and extreme around the world, when it is, and has always been, a basic component of Orthodox Judaism.
Watching Chankah celebrations at the White House and rabbis talking about the holiday on talk shows is an uncomfortable annual ritual. On one hand, I appreciate the elected leader of the country and mass media recognizing a Jewish holiday so publicly with good intentions. On the other, I cringe as invited guests try to cozy up to people in power and influence, often contorting the truth of the holiday.
For one, the desire to make Chanukah appear universal is patently false. Comments from some rabbis-with-microphones that it is a holiday that we pray for “light to defeat darkness” and a time for “all of us to rededicate ourselves to our partners and communities,” is such airy fare to be rendered a blank Hallmark card. This holiday marks when Jews defeated the Selucid Greeks (from Syria) and expunged their pagan ways from the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and throughout the Jewish holy land.
As another matter, the rush of Jewish “leaders” to these scenes in order to score girl scout badges to burnish their bona fides is most troubling. I would be most appreciative had these rabbis taken the opportunity to stand as proud Jews and plainly declare the actual reason for the holiday. But to watch them minimize the particularism of the holiday so they can selfishly obtain influence from parties in power is part of how the Selucid Greeks defiled the Jewish holy land.
The Selucid Greeks and Egyptians were the major powers in the Middle East 2,200 years ago. Israel acted as a buffer region between the two powers, and often fell under the authority of one or the other.
The Selucid King Antiochus III (241BCE-187BCE) expanded his kingdom into Asia and took control of Israel from the Egyptians. Generally, he treated the Jews well and they continued their autonomy and Temple worship in Jerusalem. When he died, his son Antiochus IV became king, who sought to unify the various parts of the expanded Selucid kingdom via a common religion and culture. He removed the Jewish High Priest Yochanan from the Temple in Jerusalem and installed Yochanan’s brother Jason who was willing to permit more Hellenistic and pagan worship, including building a gymnasium in Jerusalem.
“The craze for Hellenism and the adoption of foreign customs reached such a pitch, through the outrageous wickedness of Jason, the renegade and would-be high priest, that the priests no longer cared about the service of the altar. Disdaining the temple and neglecting the sacrifices, they hastened, at the signal for the games, to take part in the unlawful exercises at the arena. What their ancestors had regarded as honors they despised; what the Greeks esteemed as glory they prized highly. For this reason they found themselves in serious trouble: the very people whose manner of life they emulated, and whom they desired to imitate in everything, became their enemies and oppressors.” (2 Maccabees 4:13-16)
Jason was later replaced by Menelaus who promised even more pagan rituals, while Antiochus IV came to the holy land and began to ban important parts of Judaism such as circumcision and observing the Sabbath. “Menelaus, thanks to the greed of those in power, remained in office, where he grew in wickedness, scheming greatly against his fellow citizens…. the king dared to enter the holiest temple in the world; Menelaus, that traitor both to the laws and to his country, served as guide. He laid his impure hands on the sacred vessels and swept up with profane hands the votive offerings made by other kings for the advancement, the glory, and the honor of the place.” (2 Maccabees 4:50; 5:15-16)
The defilement of Jewish laws and ransacking of Israel was aided and abetted by Jewish leaders who sought to gain positions of power from leaders 2,200 years ago. To celebrate Chanukah today, we should not only light candles to mark the rededication of the Jewish Temple those many years ago, but vocally demand Jewish leaders who refuse to sell out Judaism and the Jewish State for self-aggrandizement.
Most people likely start their history at their birthday. Others might consider the important impact of parents or grandparents, and therefore mark those births or perhaps a significant milestone in their lives like moving to a country, as the symbolic beginning of personal history.
For individuals who strongly associate with a collective, whether as citizens of a country or members of a tribe, the origin story varies.
In Art in Mexico Diego Rivera (Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park)
Diego Rivera (December 8, 1886 – November 24, 1957) is one of Mexico’s most famous artists. His murals of Mexicans and Mexican history adorn the walls of government buildings, famous hotels and business headquarters. One of his wives, Frida Khalo (married to her twice, 1929-1939 and 1940-1954) was also a famous painter who shared (and surpassed) his passion for Marxism, which often infused both of their art.
Rivera was a descendant of conversos, Jews who were forced to convert to Catholicism under penalty of expulsion or death by the Inquisition. While his Mexican heritage dominates most of his work, he did share in 1935 that “Jewishness is the dominant element of [his] life,” and it can be seen in one of his famous murals.
Rivera had already painted many of his great works when he was commissioned to paint a mural for the Del Prado Hotel in Mexico City in 1946. At 60 years old, he spent a year painting Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park, a famous park in central Mexico City, frequented by high society.
The mural was enormous, measuring 51 feet long by 15 feet wide. It told the story of the history of Mexico City chronologically, from the earliest period at the far left, to the modern city on the right.
Rivera placed himself in the painting, slightly left of center, even though he clearly did not belong there chronologically. He held an umbrella in one hand and the other grasped the hand of the “dapper skeleton.” Frida Khalo rested one hand on his shoulder while the other held an orb.
Curiously, Rivera portrayed himself as a young boy, begging us to consider the various messages he was conveying.
The dapper skeleton was originally conceived by Jose Guadalupe Posada, a lithographer who mocked upper class Latin women for dressing in French clothing and whitening their skin, seemingly ashamed of their native origins. Rivera painted himself looking up at the skeleton, acknowledging that despite his strong nativist roots, perhaps he too was pulled into that worldview, as he was celebrated by high society around the world.
But that is just part of the message.
Rivera was a foot taller, three times the weight and twenty years older than Khalo. Yet here, Khalo acts as a mother figure, protecting a young Rivera. Why does Rivera have Khalo towering over himself and from what does he need protection?
Khalo holds a yin yang, a Chinese philosophical concept that binds opposite and interconnected forces. She too had become famous in western society and dined at the finest establishments. Perhaps part of the message was that Khalo was keeping the couple grounded in their populist Mexican roots, even as they enjoyed high society.
There is more.
Rivera’s tenth birthday coincided with the 300th anniversary of the execution of the Carvajal family in Mexico City, on December 8, 1596.
The Carvajal Conversos
The Carvajal family were Hispano-Portuguese conversos. The patriarch of the family, Luis de Carvajal the Elder (1539-1591) was a sincere convert to Catholicism who won the favor of King Phillip II of Spain, while many in his family kept their Jewish faith hidden from the Spanish Inquisition.
The king granted Luis the Elder a governorship in the northern parts of New Spain (today’s Mexico to Texas), and in 1579, authorized Carvajal to bring 100 people with him to the new world. Most significantly, the king’s royal charter included the anomalous provision that such individuals need not be subject to the investigation of ancestry, with which the crown typically tried to keep New Christians out of its colonies, as the king had brought the Inquisition to Mexico in 1571. Luis the Elder, knowing of his family’s hidden crypto-Judaism, likely thought that his career could advance, and his family would be safe in the new world.
It would not protect them for long.
In 1589, the viceroy of New Spain arrested Luis the Elder for a commercial matter, and in the investigation, it came out that Luis knew of, but did not report on his family’s secret Jewish faith. He was thereby transferred from the royal prison to the prisons of the Inquisition.
The whole family became implicated, including Luis the Younger (1566-1596), his sister Isabel and mother Francesca. At the auto da fé on February 25, 1590, inquisitors sentenced the entire family to various penances and wearing of sambenito, penitential garb. Not long after, Luis the Younger, his mother and sisters resumed their forbidden practices in hiding. They were caught again after a friend gave them up in February 1595. This time, they did not get off. Francisca, Isabel, Leonor, Catalina, and Luis the Younger were all burned at the stake at the auto da fé of December 8, 1596, as relapsos, or recidivist Judaizing heretics. This history was detailed in the diary of Luis the Younger, an important document in the history of Mexico.
Rivera chose to mark this slaughter of the Carvajal family as the beginning of the history of Mexico City.
Four members of the Carvajal family can be seen in the background with pointy hats tied to the stake with flames around them. The mother, Francesca, with head shaven, is before them being lashed by one Inquisitor while a member of the church sticks a cross in her face.
Rivera was deeply impacted by this story. In another section of the mural, he painted Ignacio Ramirez, a Mexican politician, holding a sign that read “God does not exist.” Catholic officials viewing the mural were offended by the line and asked Rivera to remove the text. He refused to do so and the painting was covered for nine years until he relented.
The Carvajal story elucidates the reason Rivera painted himself as a young boy.
While the history of Mexico City did not start in 1596, his personal history of the city began then due to his connection to conversos in the past. His tenth birthday was likely marked with the 300-year commemoration of the burning of the famous Jews at the stake. It impacted him deeply and he became sickened by religion. Painting about history in the shadow of the European Holocaust in 1946-7, demanded particular attention.
In the mural, Rivera is comforted by his non-Jewish wife who protected him both from the Inquisition as well as from capitalism and high society. While he was a product of many worlds, Jewish-Catholic-agnostic and socialist-capitalist, he relied on his spouse to secure him. On his own, he was left holding a folded umbrella, even while others around him held fancy canes, as he continued to fear various storms. He stood emotionally vulnerable in the nativist past, as he felt the pull of the modern bourgeois.
Rivera could have painted himself as a grown man, just as he could have started the city’s history when the Spanish came in 1521 or with the indigenous people who lived there for centuries. But that would have undermined his message that he was deeply insecure, and his personal view of the beginning of the city’s history.
In Schools in America European (1776) and African Slavery (1619)
Proud Americans have historically viewed the beginning of their history at the Declaration of Independence in 1776. They appreciate the country’s founding fathers pulling away from England and establishing a new system of government with the Federalist Papers (1788) and the U.S. Constitution (1789). The native Americans and the first Europeans who started the colonies 150 years earlier are glossed over in favor of the first American citizens.
A new approach towards the beginning of American history is being fostered among Black Americans. The “1619 Project” has cast America as founded on slavery, a system of prejudice which Blacks continue to experience to this day. They see the start of history as African-Americans as beginning at that time, which directly feeds their orientation as Americans today.
School systems in California and elsewhere are no longer solely teaching the European view of history and are including coursework like the 1619 Project. They want all Americans to understand the various beginnings of the citizens of these United States.
In Middle East Propaganda Palestinians (Canaanites) and Jews (Balfour 1917)
The Arab-Israeli Conflict has been ongoing for a century. Palestinian Arabs consider themselves as the indigenous people of the region and the Jews as new European interlopers. They tell themselves and the world that they are the only rightful claimants to the land based on a false spin of history.
Regarding Jews, Arabs negate the 3,300-year history of Jews in the land and the centrality of the land in Judaism. Palestinians falsely claim that today’s Jews have nothing to do with the Israelites in the Bible and are merely converts from Khazar. The Arabs absurdly assert that even the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem were located somewhere else. They lie that it was the British who launched the Jewish presence in Palestine with the Balfour Declaration in 1917.
Unsatisfied with only negating Jewish history to bolster their supposed higher claim to the land (or nervous that the anti-Semitic smears are too obviously false), the Palestinian Arabs have also changed their own history. Rather than admit that Arabs first came to the holy land en masse with the Islamic invasions of the 7th and 8th centuries, they claim that they are descendants of Canaanites and Jebusites mentioned in the Jewish Bible. Some college professors have even spun the idea of “Palestinian Hebrews”, completely stealing Jewish history and identity.
The Arab propaganda battle is very much about the beginning of their own history and of their perceived enemies, the Jews. It is an instrumental tool in their view of themselves and their position today, and an enormous obstacle to coexisting with the truly indigenous Jews.
In Meals in Religion The Passover Seder for Jews
Jews have a unique approach towards infusing the beginning of their collective history.
While some Jews look to their forefathers of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the founders of monotheism and Judaism, the view of the start of Jewish history is the exodus from slavery in Egypt. It was at that time that they emerged as a nation and received the Torah, the laws to live by.
To cement the story in collective consciousness, Jews have a feast every Passover to mark that specific time in history. They have a seder, which revolves around telling the story of leaving Egypt, accompanied by a Haggadah which has been used for centuries. The meal is geared towards the children at the table, to instill a common past which ensures a uniting bond in the present.
Memory and History Personal and Communal
Melissa Fay Greene authored a piece in April 2021 called “You Won’t Remember the Pandemic the Way You Think You Will.” She made several observations about memory including the strength of the “primacy effect”, remembering firsts, and the “narrative effect,” being able to recall dramatic events. She quoted Robyn Fivush, a psychology professor at Emory University who said “we use our memory in part to create a continuous sense of self, she [Fivush] told me, “a ‘narrative identity’ through all of life’s ups and downs: I am a person whose life has meaning and purpose. I’m more than the subject of brute forces. There’s a Story of Me.”
Greene also quoted Richard McNally of Harvard in discussing memory. “Trauma gouges deeply into our minds, engraving painful and long-lasting memories. “Whether they are rape victims, combat veterans, or earthquake survivors, people exposed to terrifying trauma typically retain vivid memories of the most central aspects of such experiences, often for the rest of their lives.”
On top of firsts, stories and trauma as means to retain memories, Greene discussed the idea of “collective memory,” an idea advanced by the 20th-century French sociologist Maurice Halbwachs. “We don’t shelve a pristine first edition of an experience in a dust-free inner sanctum; we sloppily pass the memory around, inviting comment. The consolidated edition, with other people’s fingerprints all over it, is what we put on the shelf of long-term memory, unaware that we’ve done so.”
The idea that our best recalled personal memories are tainted by outside influences can be set against what that does to the view of a collective event, such as the terrorist attacks of 9/11. “To tell it [a collective event] is to become part of the community, to share the moment, to work together to understand an event that’s difficult to grasp. If we recall and talk about something often enough, it will become a ‘cultural narrative.’… Narrative-memory experts call this “the social construction of autobiographical memory.” While a personal memory has the fingerprints of others, a collective memory is an amalgamation which we accept as truth to fit into the community.
Consider extending Greene’s view of personal and collective memory towards history.
A person cannot remember the beginning of their history; it predates their ability to have memories. However, the way they conceive of themselves in the present – personally and as part of community – identifies the story in the past which made them who they are today.
Diego Rivera took a traumatic event in Mexico’s history as an important early influence on his life. Black Americans have a collective narrative of racism in America and see the slave trade as the start of their persecution. Palestinians are actively constructing an autobiographical memory to understand their lack of a state while the most persecuted people in the world which was almost wiped from the planet in recent memory, managed to create a leading first world liberal society in their backyard.
Collective history is not collective memory. The latter includes a first-person account of an event, unknowingly reformulated with the contribution of peers. It twists a reality without a person realizing that their memory includes various external inputs.
But everyone readily understands that collective history they discuss is imperfect, relying on stories told through the generations. People use their lived experiences – their successes and failures – to identify when that path was set, and simultaneously choose what history is part of their tribal worldview.
Many Americans of European descent object to the 1619 Project as undermining the remarkable accomplishments of America’s founders. While not denying the history of slavery, the slave ships do not anchor the beginning of their history. They strongly object to it being taught in public schools as destroying common heritage. Black Americans cannot fathom that objection if people acknowledge the history of slavery. Conversely, Arabs understand that if they acknowledge that Jews predate them in the holy land, the basis for demanding a country free of invaders is revealed as outrageously anti-Semitic.
Everyone tries to impart collective history to young people. The Passover seder has Jewish children engaged in questions to cement memory and history together. American and Palestinian schools teach revised histories to impart a preferred collective history. And Diego Rivera made clear that his understanding of the beginning of his city’s history was determined when he heard of a horrific story that touched him personally as a child, a trauma he considered as he learned more stories of the European Holocaust as an adult.
Communities seek to build foundations in the youth with the beginning of their histories. The narratives are crafted in schools, family dinners and what kids see in society.
Certainly our past set our current reality, but we choose our origin story based on how we define ourselves today. When our history begins is both about a point in time and our collective memory adapting the story of our collective history.
The beginning of the world as told in the Jewish Bible is a remarkable story. It is a world that seemingly is infused both with the natural and super-natural, where God and man interact regularly: the world was built and then destroyed in a flood, save for Noah and his family, whom God directed to build an ark; Abraham pleads with God to save corrupt cities which are nevertheless pummeled with fire and brimstone.
In the middle of the physical interfacing between God and mankind as well as family drama, the Bible pauses for a few sentence to relay a mundane story. Jacob has a dream.
וַיֵּצֵ֥א יַעֲקֹ֖ב מִבְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ חָרָֽנָה׃ וַיִּפְגַּ֨ע בַּמָּק֜וֹם וַיָּ֤לֶן שָׁם֙ כִּי־בָ֣א הַשֶּׁ֔מֶשׁ וַיִּקַּח֙ מֵאַבְנֵ֣י הַמָּק֔וֹם וַיָּ֖שֶׂם מְרַֽאֲשֹׁתָ֑יו וַיִּשְׁכַּ֖ב בַּמָּק֥וֹם הַהֽוּא׃ וַֽיַּחֲלֹ֗ם וְהִנֵּ֤ה סֻלָּם֙ מֻצָּ֣ב אַ֔רְצָה וְרֹאשׁ֖וֹ מַגִּ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמָ֑יְמָה וְהִנֵּה֙ מַלְאֲכֵ֣י אֱלֹהִ֔ים עֹלִ֥ים וְיֹרְדִ֖ים בּֽוֹ׃ וְהִנֵּ֨ה יְהֹוָ֜ה נִצָּ֣ב עָלָיו֮ וַיֹּאמַר֒ אֲנִ֣י יְהֹוָ֗ה אֱלֹהֵי֙ אַבְרָהָ֣ם אָבִ֔יךָ וֵאלֹהֵ֖י יִצְחָ֑ק הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֤ר אַתָּה֙ שֹׁכֵ֣ב עָלֶ֔יהָ לְךָ֥ אֶתְּנֶ֖נָּה וּלְזַרְעֶֽךָ׃…Jacob left Beer-sheba, and set out for Haran. He came upon a certain place and stopped there for the night, for the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of that place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. He had a dream; a stairway was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky, and messengers of God were going up and down on it. And standing beside him was יהוה, who said, “I am יהוה, the God of your father Abraham’s [house] and the God of Isaac’s [house]: the ground on which you are lying I will assign to you and to your offspring… (Genesis 28: 10-13)
God had already directly given such promise to Abraham while he was awake. It is peculiar that God would choose an elaborate dream with angels on a ladder to convey the same message to Jacob in his sleep.
It is also a curiosity that people today are so fascinated by the story, even more than God talking directly to man. Perhaps it is because God no longer talks directly to people today, even as many of us dream, so we can relate to the story.
Or perhaps it is because Jacob’s dream is the foreshadowing of the life of the biggest character of Genesis, his son Joseph.
Three “Places”, Four Conditions
When the Bible writes about about Jacob’s dream, it repeats the Hebrew word מָּק֥וֹם three times in a single sentence, an oddity. While it can mean “place” it can also mean “God”. It is as though the narrator is telling us that something significant is about to happen, and it is location and God.
The dream is definitely dramatic. While the builders of the Tower of Babel tried to reach the heavens, Jacob actually got to “see” it. While man labored unsuccessfully for years to ascend, angels effortlessly went up and down.
And alongside the ladder was God himself. No one, not even his father and grandfather, had seem Him, but only heard His voice. Now Jacob had a new medium for his connection with God and he chose to concretize the event while awake.
וַיַּשְׁכֵּ֨ם יַעֲקֹ֜ב בַּבֹּ֗קֶר וַיִּקַּ֤ח אֶת־הָאֶ֙בֶן֙ אֲשֶׁר־שָׂ֣ם מְרַֽאֲשֹׁתָ֔יו וַיָּ֥שֶׂם אֹתָ֖הּ מַצֵּבָ֑ה וַיִּצֹ֥ק שֶׁ֖מֶן עַל־רֹאשָֽׁהּ׃ וַיִּקְרָ֛א אֶת־שֵֽׁם־הַמָּק֥וֹם הַה֖וּא בֵּֽית־אֵ֑ל וְאוּלָ֛ם ל֥וּז שֵׁם־הָעִ֖יר לָרִאשֹׁנָֽה׃ וַיִּדַּ֥ר יַעֲקֹ֖ב נֶ֣דֶר לֵאמֹ֑ר אִם־יִהְיֶ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים עִמָּדִ֗י וּשְׁמָרַ֙נִי֙ בַּדֶּ֤רֶךְ הַזֶּה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָנֹכִ֣י הוֹלֵ֔ךְ וְנָֽתַן־לִ֥י לֶ֛חֶם לֶאֱכֹ֖ל וּבֶ֥גֶד לִלְבֹּֽשׁ׃ וְשַׁבְתִּ֥י בְשָׁל֖וֹם אֶל־בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑י וְהָיָ֧ה יְהֹוָ֛ה לִ֖י לֵאלֹהִֽים׃…Early in the morning, Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He named that site Bethel; but previously the name of the city had been Luz. Jacob then made a vow, saying, “If God remains with me, protecting me on this journey that I am making, and giving me bread to eat and clothing to wear, and I return safe to my father’s house— יהוה shall be my God. And this stone, which I have set up as a pillar, shall be God’s abode; and of all that You give me, I will set aside a tithe for You.”…(Genesis 28:18-21)
Jacob was awestruck by the event and anointed the rock-pillow he slept on during the dream, but then conditioned his faith in the real world. He asked God for four things to prove Himself before he would accept Him as his God, and then seemingly for God to truly establish his promise of the land for his inheritance.
These four requests set the tone for the remainder of Genesis.
Three Pairs of Dreams
Jacob, the first dreamer, would be followed by his son Joseph. While Jacob dreamed only once and doubted the veracity of what he saw, Joseph seemingly was confident about his two dreams.
Genesis 37:5-11 relays Joseph having a dream which he told his brothers about their sheaves bowing down to his, and then a second dream which he told his brothers and Jacob, of eleven stars, moon and sun bowing to him. While the brothers hated Joseph for the dream, Jacob considered it, as he knew about dreams himself but continued to be unsure whether to embrace a message told in such fashion.
וַיְקַנְאוּ־ב֖וֹ אֶחָ֑יו וְאָבִ֖יו שָׁמַ֥ר אֶת־הַדָּבָֽר׃ So his brothers were wrought up at him, and his father kept the matter in mind. (Genesis 37:11)
The second pair of dreams (Genesis 40) happened in Egypt, as Joseph listened to the dreams of two fellow prisoners, a cupbearer and a baker. This time, Joseph interpreted their dreams which accurately predicted the fates of the two men.
The third pair of dreams happened to Pharaoh (Genesis 41), which Joseph was brought in to interpret. While they had not proven accurate, they rang true to Pharaoh who immediately sought to take action based on Joseph’s interpretation. This is the first time – after seven dreams told by the Bible – that anyone took dreams to be an omen that must be addressed immediately. Perhaps it was because Pharaoh viewed himself like a God who could take complementary action to God’s will. Either way, it was in sharp contrast to the first dream of Jacob in which he conditioned accepting God’s word.
Jacob’s Four Conditions
While Jacob asked God to stay with him and protect him from harm, it was Joseph who really faced numerous life-or-death situations, and survived. From his brothers trying to kill him, sell him into slavery and being cast into an Egyptian dungeon, God stayed with Joseph and protected him from the spiral of events that started from Joseph’s sharing his first pair of dreams.
Jacob’s second condition was about food. That foreshadowed the baker and winemaker who relayed the second pair of dreams in the prison cells of Egypt.
Jacob’s third condition was clothing. After Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and gave him a plan for addressing the famine that was to come, Pharaoh put him in charge of all the land of Egypt and dressed him in the finest fashion.
וַיָּ֨סַר פַּרְעֹ֤ה אֶת־טַבַּעְתּוֹ֙ מֵעַ֣ל יָד֔וֹ וַיִּתֵּ֥ן אֹתָ֖הּ עַל־יַ֣ד יוֹסֵ֑ף וַיַּלְבֵּ֤שׁ אֹתוֹ֙ בִּגְדֵי־שֵׁ֔שׁ וַיָּ֛שֶׂם רְבִ֥ד הַזָּהָ֖ב עַל־צַוָּארֽוֹ׃ And removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph’s hand; and he had him dressed in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck. (Genesis 41:42)
The three sets of dream correlate to Jacob’s first three conditions to internalizing God’s message in his dream. They represent a life for Jacob without Joseph present, as if his favorite son had become a dream. Jacob did not know whether Joseph was alive or dead, much like he wasn’t sure about the dream’s veracity. The three pairs of dreams were divinely inspired as alluded to at the very beginning of Jacob’s dream with the word מָּק֥וֹם appearing three times in one sentence.
Ultimately, the fourth condition, to “return safe to my father’s house,” was the reunion between Jacob and Joseph. When Jacob heard that Joseph was alive his spirit was awakened, as if from a deep sleep (Genesis 45:27). It was then that God reappeared to Jacob – at night again – to go to Egypt to reunite with his son and that God would return him to the promised land. (Genesis 46:1-4)
That action brought the entire family together, and had Jacob – now Israel – believe in God’s promise, setting the future for the children of Israel.
The first dreamer was awe-struck but doubted the dream’s authenticity, setting conditions to accept God. That action set in motion the life of Joseph and the history of the Jewish people.
There are many popular conspiracy theories. Some are innocuous, like the belief in Big Foot or the Loch Ness monster. Others are more elaborate, such as the notion that the government is engaged in a cover up of UFOs or faked the moon landing. The ideas have followings in the fringe, and do not, for the most part, change a person’s interaction with society.
However, there are some conspiracy theories that get mainstreamed and hurt people.
Alex Jones is perhaps the best known conspiracy theorist with (or used to have) a large platform. He’s said that the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 by Muslim jihadists were actually an inside job; that the Boston Marathon bombing by two Muslim radicals in 2013 was the work of the FBI; and that the shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012 by a deranged man was a hoax. Just last month, the courts ordered Jones to pay $965 million in damages because of a suit brought by parents of the murdered Sandy Hook children.
Despite his crazy and hateful ideas, according to an August 2022 poll by The Economist / YouGov, 9% of Americans think that Jones is trustworthy. An astonishing 21% of people who consider themselves very conservative believe his bile, compared to just 6% of liberals. As to the Sandy Hook massacre itself, 18% of Americans think it was a hoax.
That’s no longer a small segment of society. That’s an alarming percentage who have bought in to the “disinformation.”
In the era of losing trust in mainstream media and government, we have collectively taken to believing pop cultural liars. These individuals have social media platforms that reach millions of people around the world with the ability to spread either old conspiracy theories or new ones.
Some old conspiracy theories gain new twists. The same Economist / YouGov poll found that 20% of Americans believe that COVID-19 vaccines are being used to microchip Americans. It’s a spin on the popular control-themed conspiracy theory with a current event. A number of world leaders have taken to combining that control conspiracy theory with anti-Semitism – such as the leaders in Bulgaria, Turkey and Iran – that Jews engineered the coronavirus for profit to control the world.
Conspiracy theories are alive and unwell.
Conspiracy Theories of “Power” and “Control”
The biggest conspiracy of all – typically tied to extreme Jew hatred – is that the world is controlled by a shadow government. A whopping 58% of Republicans polled hold such belief as well as 26% of Democrats. Some believe that this shadow government is the “Illumanti“, while others contend it is the Jews.
Kanye West / Ye recently came out with a broad conspiracy theory about Jews controlling Black people. He said “They can control Shaq. They can control Charles Barkley. They can control LeBron James. They can control Jay-Z and Beyoncé. But they can’t control me. You see it ain’t no name I won’t name. It’s up.” He then suggested that “Hollywood” deliberately kills family members of Black stars. “Michael Jordan, what about him? His daddy, right? Bill Cosby, his son. Dr. Dre, his son. Out in Hollywood, a lot of people come up missing. It feels like it might be a lot of that, in order to control, traumatize.“
Followers of KanYe West point to companies like Adidas pulling their commercial deals from the musician after threating to go “death con 3 on Jewish people” as evidence of Jewish power. Comedian Dave Chapelle talked about KanYe and Jewish power on Saturday Night Live and ended his monologue “I hope they don’t take anything away from me. Whoever they are,” with the last sentence said in a deep conspiracy-oriented undertone.
Politicians like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) both have called out Jewish control with outrageous smears like Omar’s “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” and Tlaib’s comment that Jews “do it from Gaza to Detroit, and it’s a way to control people, to oppress people… designed by those who exploit the rest of us, for their own profit.“
The media echoes the sentiment of Jewish power, whether at The New York Times or CNN, with the Times sometimes using language right out of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. It’s curious that the left-wing media does it so frequently, as Republicans are twice as likely to believe the conspiracy theory of a shadow government.
The concept of “Jewish power” was covered in several of the Anti-Defamation League’s polling questions about anti-Semitism around the world. The poll asked eleven questions about Jews, of which five were specifically about Jewish power – over the business world, financial markets, global affairs, the U.S. government and the global media. It was in those five areas, that almost every country scored higher (meaning more believed the trope) than other questions such as being more loyal to Israel than their own country, or talk too much about the Holocaust.
In the most recent limited European 2019 poll, Poland and Ukraine were the most anti-Semitic (Muslim countries are the most anti-Semitic, as covered in the global 2014 poll). The conspiracy theories about Jews having power topped the concerns of Poles and Ukrainians.
56% and 72% of Poles and Ukrainians, respectively, felt that Jews had too much power in the business world
56% of Poles and 68% of Ukrainians felt that Jews had too much control over the financial markets
40% and 56% believe that Jews control global affairs
41% and 33% believing they control the United States government
39% and 45% believe that Jews control the global media
The scores for the six non-control questions were much lower, meaning that the driver of anti-Semitism is the Jewish power conspiracy theory, not other items like “Jews think they’re better than other people.”
Clear and Present Danger
The widespread libels are not a curiosity but a clear and present danger. The notion of Jewish power directly influences people to take harmful actions against Jews.
Consider that a radical Muslim man flew from England to Texas, where he took Jewish hostages in a synagogue, and then placed a call to a rabbi in New York, to help free a jihadi extremist in custody. Why would anyone believe that a rabbi could possibly influence the FBI to release a terrorist, other than believing that Jews have some crazy power.
A deranged white man who believed that Jews are importing Hispanics to destroy “White America” shot Jews in a synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, saying that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.“
Two African-American “Black Israelites” shot up a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, NJ in 2019, killing a number of people because these Black people felt there was an invasion and “insidious onslaught to African American life” as “Black homeowners were threatened… by brutes of the jewish community.” How does a couple of Jews moving into a predominantly Black neighborhood constitute an “insidious onslaught” worthy of killing people, unless these Black people have been led to believe that the Jews will overpower them?
The vile anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and violence are no longer fringe held in one corner of America. It is mainstreamed in many communities, including Muslim, Black, alt-right and alt-left.
And this is very much about communities, not organized hate groups.
According to the ADL, the sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the United States are NOT from hate groups, but individuals who have become radicalized, an incredible 87% from “lone wolves.” These are people who have been spoon-fed hate-filled lies that Jews are coming to get them, both directly and indirectly.
Conspiracy theories about Jewish power and control are widespread on college campuses, mainstream and social media platforms, and from the mouths of politicians. It is broadcast from the extreme right, the left, Islamic radicals and Black influencers. The drip of noxious anti-Semitic lies is now a steady stream, coupled with calls to “punch up” and dismantle the visible and invisible power structures hurting the common person and preferred community.
It’s the same narrative that brought Nazis to power to annihilate Jews in the 1930s, and despite knowing history, society is seemingly incapable or unwilling to stop the torrent.
In New York’s 17th congressional district, Democratic incumbent Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney lost his seat to a Republican challenger, Mike Lawler. The pundits – and Maloney himself – offered their opinions as to why the five-term incumbent who spent 5.6 times more than his opponent, lost.
Their conclusion is disheartening, as it further underscores how liberals simply refuse to acknowledge the rampant anti-Semitism and attacks against Jews in society.
The New York Times asked the question directly in its headline “A Powerful N.Y. Democrat Was a Shoo-In for Re-election. What happened?” It offered some ideas including that Maloney opted for running in the wrong district after his historic contours were redrawn. The article wrote that it may have appeared like a safe choice in “diverse, left-leaning places like Peekskill and Ossining,” it neglected to consider the “significant population of right-leaning ultra-Orthodox Jews.“
Jews were the only ethnic group mentioned in the article. Not Hispanics, Blacks, Asians nor any others. Jews were the thorn in the side which helped lead to this congressman’s demise, and possibly Democratic control of the House of Representatives.
In another Times’ article, Maloney was asked why some of his constituents voted against him. He blamed media fear-mongering.
Maloney said that people in the suburbs of New York City are fed lies by conservative media about crime. “New York is home to the fiercest outlet in the News Corporation fear machine. In fairness to the governor, she and the rest of us have to contend with the hysteria of The New York Post and of Fox News… you have these suburban voters who are experiencingthose messages coming out of New York City outlets, which were heavily focused on crime.”
The outgoing congressman said that the media cooked up “messages” about crime to manufacture “fear” and “hysteria.” The issue for this New York politician who’s been serving in congress for ten years was media spin, not actual crime.
Hate crimes against Jews – particularly in New York – is not a fiction concocted to make Democrats look weak on crime. It is an alarming reality, and the scourge is reported by all media outlets, whether CBSNews, CNN or Reuters.
Jews are being harassed, assaulted and murdered with increasing frequency and rather than acknowledge the serious problem, liberals are treating it like false news.
And if that’s not bad enough, they are now blaming Orthodox Jews for flipping congress and thereby hurting the Democratic agenda in the entire country. A little more fuel for liberal Jew hatred for the coming years.
Kanye / Ye has a large following, including 31.8 million on Twitter and millions more on other social media platforms. His espousal of Jewish hatred and incitement to antisemitism finally cost him in some manner, with Adidas and several other companies finally severing lucrative commercial deals with him.
Alas, not so with Palestinian Arabs.
Denying and Stealing Jewish Identity
Kanye said that Jews are imposters and not really descendants of the Children of Israel from the Bible. He claimed that those are actually Black people, with “When I say Jew, I mean the 12 lost tribes of Judah, the blood of Christ, who the people known as the race Black really are. This is who our people are.” He also offered “I can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew.” In an interview with Chris Cuomo he said “You’re saying it’s anti-Semitic, but I don’t believe in that term. One thing is, Black people are also Jew. I classify as Jew also, so I actually can’t be an anti-Semite. So the term is actually, it’s not factual.“
Palestinian Arabs say much the same.
The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas falsely stated “this land [Israel] belongs to the people who live on it. It belongs to the Canaanites, who lived here 5,000 years ago. We are the Canaanites!” His “mainstream” Palestinian party Fatah has posted frequently that Jesus was the first Palestinian martyr. Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American “activist” often promoted by leftists, tweeted that “Jesus was a Palestinian of Nazareth.” Nicolas Massard, a Palestinian-American professor at Columbia University calls the ancient Jews “Palestinian Hebrews.” Supermodel Bella Hadid with over 100 million Instagram followers tweeted that “Jesus was a Palestinian” with a hashtag to keep it an ongoing movement.
Palestinians and Kanye are not simply trying to claim a piece of history for themselves and embracing cultural appropriation of Jews. They are simultaneously trying to rob Jews of their history, and libel them as cheaters, imposters and thieves.
Assertion of Jewish Control
During Ye’s interview with Cuomo on October 17 he alleged that the “Jewish underground media mafia” run the entertainment industry and that “every celebrity has Jewish people in their contract.” He tweeted that “You guys [Jews] have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.” He added “Ima use you [Diddy] as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me.“
Palestinian Arabs have long complained that Jews seek to control them, denying their own ongoing violent rejection of coexistence. The very term “occupation” Arabs throw about carries with it the claim that Israel is unfairly controlling “Arab land,” as if the land isn’t the heartland of the Jewish people and that Jews have no right to live there. The Palestinian Arabs assert that Israel has an illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip, as if Hamas, the terrorist group sworn to the destruction of Israel, doesn’t rule the area. The ADL conducted a poll in Gaza and the West Bank in 2014 which showed that almost every single Arab believed that Jews control the global media, financial institutions and the US government.
Ye and Palestinian tropes about Jewish control are lifted from the notorious forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which in turn fed Henry Ford’s The International Jew and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. It led to millions of Jews being slaughtered.
Claiming Jews Just Want To Make Money Off Of People
Ye offered that “I prefer my kids knew Hannukah from Kwanzaa. At least it will come with some financial engineering.” He said that Jared Kushner put together the Abraham Accords in order “to make money” for himself, and “I think that’s what they’re about. I don’t think that they have the ability to make anything on their own. I think they were born into money.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), a Palestinian-American said that Jews, “from Gaza to Detroit… control people… exploit the rest of us for their own profit… look behind the curtain, it’s the same people who make money – yes they do – off of racism.” Mahmoud Abbas said that hatred of Jews “was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion but against their social function which relates to usury [unscrupulous money-lending] and banking and such.“
Combined with the notion of “Jewish control /power,” Ye and Palestinians foment an us-versus-them mentality. Jews are not part of the broad fabric of society but “others” who cheat, lie and seek to steal from everyone else.
Decrying Holocausts Of Their People
While the Holocaust is a term which is used by almost the entire world to describe the horrible slaughter of European Jewry at the hands of the Nazis and other antisemites, Kanye and the Palestinians use the term about the death of Blacks and Arabs.
“I want you to visit Planned Parenthood. That’s our Holocaust museum,” Kanye said about the millions of unborn Black babies killed in abortions. He blamed Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and the Ku Klux Klan (all non-Jews) for promoting abortion to slow the birth rate of the Black population.
Mahmoud Abbas was much more disgusting. Standing in Berlin, Germany, at the epicenter of the brutal destruction of European Jewry, the leader of Palestinian Arabs said that the Jewish State had committed “50 massacres, 50 Holocausts, and until today, and every day there are casualties killed by the Israeli military.” The outrageous “monstrous lie” was met with global outrage. For a moment. The world continued to coddle him after a few days.
A Call To Kill Jews
Ye ultimately pressed further and threatened violence against Jews around the world, tweeting “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 [sic] on JEWISH PEOPLE.“
The foundational charter of Hamas not only falsely states that Jews control of the world and destroy decency wherever they go, but specifically calls for every Muslim in the world to kill Jews and destroy Israel. Palestinian Arabs voted Hamas to a majority of parliament with such charter and continue to support the political-terrorist group. The Palestinian Authority incites violence daily with its “pay-to-slay” in which in pays terrorist families salaries.
Ye’s rampant antisemitism was ignored by many, until his call to kill Jews made him impossible to ignore. Not so for Palestinian Arabs, who are being funded by the global community despite their rampant antisemitism and calls to kill Jews and destroy the Jewish State.