Having researched and written a book on the Holocaust I feel particularly well versed in the history of that ignominious chapter of human history. I also understand well humankind’s propensity to disavow and rationalize the blight of its offenses and to relegate them to the distant past. We all yearn to be forgiven for our sins and given a second chance. In recent years, the United States close ties to Israel have become the fuel for a new kind of virulent anti-Semitism. All one has to do is to go on YouTube and watch nearly any video with relation to Israel and you can read a firestorm of comments, most treading dangerously close to pure unadulterated hatred of Israel (you can easily substitute the word Israel with the designation Jews), its right to exist and most importantly the United States support of that right to exist. One can also find this particular type of hatred expressed by misguided Jews (self-hatred) on Jewish Media sites and it is rampant in organizations such as J Street. As happened during the 1930’s when a world-wide depression gripped the economies of the world and the “time immemorial” scapegoat, the Jews, became the target for the world’s troubles, so it seems that same scenario is smoldering, albeit less obviously, again today. Today, however, it is cloaked in concern for the Arab world (Arab Spring), an armed and nuclear Iran (nuclear holocaust), and our own national problems at home (unemployment and weak recovery). Hidden beneath this cloak of concern and equanimity lies the same bald faced intolerance and distortion that somehow it is Israel that stands in the way of world peace, and that it is Israel that is the source of our unfortunate involvement in the Middle East, and it is because of our relationship with Israel that we were attacked on 911 and are considered the “Great Satan” by the Arab world, and that our relationship with Iran would be sublime were it not for that “little shitty country”.
Even the rise of Ron Paul, in some ways, is tied to this perception of the inequity of our continued support of Israel. This is a perfect example of politics gone awry. In a world that has become ever smaller due to the internet highway, virtual revolution and global economies that are so closely linked, witness the fluctuations of the stock markets every time Greece sneezes, it seems paradoxical to be suggesting that isolationism would serve our best interests. Yet, there is a growing contingency of our society that would have you believe that we would be better served by cutting off all financial support to the international community and in particular Israel. I have great respect for many of Ron Paul’s ideas, particularly in terms of the “gorilla in the room” the Federal Government (King Kong) which needs to be reduced, reformed, reorganized and restructured from “soup to nuts” or “tax system to special interests”, that is another conversation. I also agree that we can no longer afford to be the “policeman” of the world. However, unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint, Ron Paul’s lack of diplomatic acumen and foresight makes him unelectable. Yet, it is still fascinating and worrisome to observe his growing cadre of faithful followers, especially among the younger population who are increasingly worried about the world that they will inherit.
The truth is so malleable in the hands of adept pundits that I often find myself feeling on the verge of tearing my hair out when I listen to them. As my anger builds my blood seethes in my veins and pounds in my skull until I am forced at times to respond with comments on various media websites. I don’t really like to waste my time doing this as it only encourages the brainless to bombard me with their blathering (my new favorite word for what I mostly hear from the media and people who comment on YouTube, etc.). I would much prefer spending a few minutes on Facebook catching up with my friends and engaging in benign conversations. Yet, grudgingly, I find I must sometimes take the time to posit an argument or clarification to the justifications and immoral platitudes that are so generously put forth as the truth of God, country and personal belief from all of the predator cruisers of the internet. The only good that comes of any of this is naught, as they are not really in the market to discuss and rationally argue their theories. Mostly they blather so as to disseminate their vile hatred with a pungent sampling of poor grammar, indescribably inept spelling, English language inadequacies and deficiencies, and a healthy dose of curse words. I believe Lenny Bruce said it best “Feh!” “Feh!”
It seems that as the world becomes more technologically advanced and we become ever closer to our global neighbors in cyberspace, we “thinking” folks must become ever more discerning and questioning of what we encounter as “gospel truth” on the “information highway”. We would be wise to disabuse ourselves of truths built on lies and instead indoctrinate ourselves in history, economics and politics so as to better wade the tsunami of blathering (there’s that word again) that assails us.
Review by Drora Arussy, Jewish Book Council
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