But in all of Janta in Lebanon, and in the Golan, after Damascus Countryside and Ain es Saheb, we all witnessed how Bashar and his ally Nasrallah bowed before Israel’s tyranny and dragged their tails in shame, reserving a fake right to retaliate which won’t happen even if Israeli army soldiers stepped with their soles on their mercenaries’ necks.
Statement by the President of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces Ahmad Jarba, Posted on March 25, 2014
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“The last people I expected to help was the Israelis,” he said during the panel discussion, The Syrian Refugee Crisis. “We got the image that they are our enemies.”
And while Israel and Syria have been foes for decades, a group of Jewish leaders and Israelis are focusing on the humanitarian side of the war — the more than six million people that have been displaced because of the political unrest.
Syrian refugee crisis brings Israelis and Arabs together in Miami Beach – Carli Teprof – 3/10/2014.
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“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I?”
“That which is distasteful to thee, do not do to another.”
Hillel the Elder, circa 35-B.C. to 10-C.E.
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For God is with those
Who restrain themselves,
And those who do good.
Muhammad, Qur’an, 16:128
Judaism works — should I be sorry to say it? — because Jews have worked on the appearance and puzzles brought to our gregarious species by “awareness, self-awareness, and conscience”, the latter implying awareness of the suffering or potential suffering of others, which should not be confused with dishonest assertions about suffering and convenient libels constructed to make the speaker look heroic (when the speaker who would do that reveals more his cowardice and mediocrity).
If I pitch, it is for the mild, moderate, and middle of humanity — the caring, inherently good, and empathetic — against the two monsters that share the same sociopath psychology: the piratical dictator and the murderous zealot — may their hell be one another for company through eternity. Be that as it may, between the kleptocratic troika that has been Putin-Assad-Khamenei and the zombie mindless Wahhabi-derived blood-soaked bands of Islamic zealots, the “mild, middle, and moderate” of Syrians have taken an horrific beating. For them, there has been no army, no defense, no motivation on the part of the west to intercede militarily (where nuclear Russia has interest), and only mixed — I would call them mixed-up — motivations in the Arab world for ethical and clear-headed military support.
Where the fuzziness begins: The Jews!
The House of Israel — that good place from which aid and medical assistance has been extended to Syrians, as has so far been feasible, on the basis of need alone — appears to remain the arch enemy of Syrians even in an extremis wrought by a modern-day pharaoh, i.e., a monster of a dictator, a political criminal of the lowest form imaginable.
Political anti-Semitism, that sweet sounding poison deadly to the humanity of humanity and what better cultural, political, and religious enterprise it may pursue, has a long and ignoble history founded, perhaps, in a “Jewish rejectionism” posited on belief in an implacable and singular divinity flowing down through the aforementioned “awareness, self-awareness, and conscience.” (Aside: when Adam and Eve first “cover”, it may not be for shame but rather for discovered mutual regard and the necessity of getting other things done: it’s God himself who sews the first clothes — of animal skins — before sending his children from Eden, where they were animated but most unconscious, and into human life).
One friend, a Jewish atheist and secularist, with whom I chat now and then via Skype, has said of the middle east and across the board, “They refuse to fly under the flag of sanity.”
Syria, where the suffering has been as real as it gets and the sadism on display every bit as horrifying as can be, would seem to be the proof of that.
Moreover, while the “humanity of humanity” starts to get its head around the fact that is global polyphonic cultural reality — contained and expressed by about 7,000 living languages worldwide — and catches on to the idea that the promotion of human decency and dignity might be of overarching and universal value, the base might consider ejecting anti-Semitism and related political cant altogether, recognizing the same as a warning signal about darkness within and on the horizon.
I know of no person born without parents plus their legacy in belief, calendar, culture, customs, and language. But a handful of tribes, however, remain isolated on islands or deep beneath the jungle canopy. For the most part, so far as we may know, they’re officially protected by the sovereign powers whose lands envelope their enclaves.
The rest of us: shalom!
Let’s get this Jew-hate (and related processes in Roma-hate, white supremacy, black supremacy, Islamic supremacy, Christian supersession, etc.) off the table.
Because it is dishonest.
Because it doesn’t work.
Because it is self-sabotaging.
Because it no longer hides what may be shameful but rather reveals it.
Because it has become a guilty pleasure, the kind that turns around to strangle and kill its exemplars as they set out to make a mess everywhere they go.
Failures are legend along this axis that goes against the grain of our evolving humanity. From Rome to Spain to Germany and parts between, few political syndromes, if any, have summoned as much sorrow as drummed up and drum-beating anti-Semitism, ever the “socialism of fools” and the cover for political criminals.
Standpoint. “The Socialism of Fools: Anthony Julius, Nick Cohen, and Daniel Johnson.” January/February 2013:
And then there’s a fourth position, the one which is most problematical for those of us who are Jews or who make common cause with Jews in the fight against anti-Semitism. It is a kind of impure nihilism, a kind of destructive fury or a perpetuation of the antagonisms of the pre-1989 Left, but without any balancing constructive project, so one continues in one’s war against America as if the Cold War still existed and the Soviet system still existed. But because there is no real alternative, one is led into more and more extreme gestures of anger and hatred and violence.
I think of the four responses I have identified, the fourth is most difficult for Jews: the searching for enemies-the pursuit of the enemy for its own sake. Jews have comprised the major enemy—certainly the major internal enemy—in the imagination of the West for perhaps 1,500 years. Of course, when that then becomes part of a larger political project, anti-Semitism is not terribly far away.
Wistrich, Robert S. “A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad. New York: Random House, 2010.
Related on BackChannels: “It’s Hard Helping You When You Are Anti-Semitic, Among Other Things.” March 19, 2014.
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