Antisemitism, The Far Right And Me

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Antisemitism, The Far Right And Me

“Tolerance is not a synonym of weakness.” Satyendra Singh

Growing up with the children of Holocaust survivors, I learned it is always an anxious time to be an American Jew. If there isn’t a genuine threat to my safety, my brain can easily invent one. 

The BF says it’s because when my grandparents were being raped and pillaged in Eastern Europe, his grandparents were looking at real estate on the Eastern Shore. We have different anxiety levels.

According to the AntiDefamation League, antisemitism is up and growing over the last five years.

In the past, most antisemitic acts were random acts of violence from  personal hatred of Jews. But lately, the acts are from extremist, political ideology. Most recent acts of Antisemitism are being committed by the Far Right -in particular, white supremacist groups that are embraced by the Right. 

It’s mind-boggling to me that the Jewish Orthodox community has embraced a president who said that the group in Charlottesville who shouted “Jews will not replace us” had some very fine people. He shares the same conspiracy theories about George Soros funding immigrant migration that some synagogue shooters do. 

Antisemitism seems to be the backbone of most far-right groups and conspiracy theories. It certainly is behind QAnon and growing more so. The claim that rich Jews, including the Rothschild banking family, secretly control the world has long been a recurring feature in antisemitism and is behind QAnon theories. I was told that as a child as one of the explanations for Hitler’s popularity. I remember looking around my working-class Jewish neighborhood wondering how anyone could believe something like that.

The age-old anti-Semitic story claiming that Jews kill Christian children to harvest their blood for ritual purposes is making a comeback. I have a personal connection to that one. My last name means “holy seed” because my ex-husband is a descendent of a group of rabbis who defended a Jewish person accused of killing a Christian child to use his blood for a Passover service. They were ultimately killed in his place. I certainly didn’t think I would be hearing that ancient one again. QAnon sounds more and more like a rebranded Nazi cult. I didn’t hear Trump come out against them either.

Antisemitism has been called the world’s oldest hatred. It’s been used throughout centuries to explain all the bad things that happen in a society. It becomes more prominent in times of economic distress and political unrest. My mother used to say that the world needs someone to blame for their troubles. We have a lot of troubles right now. 

Antisemitism is on the rise in Europe as well. It isn’t just “hillbillies raising a confederate flag.” This isn’t an isolated hatred. Don’t stay silent. Two Qanon supporters were elected to Congress this year. Isn’t that how the Nazis started? No one took them seriously and look what happened.

PS I wrote this blog post on Monday.  On Wednesday among the many ugly, white supremacist groups storming the capitol were Nazis.  Carrying swastika flags and wearing shirts that said things like “Camp Auschwitz STAFF, work brings freedom” and “6MWE” (which stands for “six million weren’t enough,” a reference to the number of Jewish people killed in the Holocaust). The Nazis made themselves right at home in the Capitol stoking  fear and sending a clear message of the hate and violence they represent. They were not patriots, Jewish Ivanka.

Stay safe,

JAZ

Museums In Tel Aviv, Israel

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Museums In Tel Aviv

“We used to build temples, and museums are about as close as secular society dares to go in facing up to the idea that a good building can change your life (and a bad one ruin it).” Alain de Botton

Tel Aviv is an outdoor city with beautiful soft sandy beaches, flea markets, food and craft markets and alfresco dining most of the year.

This time I was there in January and February. The first ten days were particularly cold and rainy so I spent some time exploring a few museums.

I’ve written about the Tel Aviv Museum Of Art designed by Preston Scott Cohen before. If you are into architecture as I am you will love the building.

It is located in central Tel Aviv within a Cultural Complex inside a beautiful park.

My god-daughter lives nearby. In a city where everything closes on Saturday, this museum is open.

We walk passed the families in the playground and through the skateboarders to the entrance. The temporary exhibits are always interesting. The one I wanted to see was called Total Red which was photography from early twentieth century Soviet Photographers. Pastel, the museum’s restaurant i is beautiful and delicious.

Visiting Eretz Israel Museum in the rain is probably not the best way to see it. It is a collection of several pavilions and excavations spread out all over.

The focus is on culture and history. When I travel and do large museums, I usually just pick a few exhibits to see, Otherwise it is too overwhelming.

I love photography so I went to those exhibits.

There was one about life in the internment camps in Cyprus where the Holocaust survivor were kept until Israel became a nation.

And another about the Italian ship captain that brought refugees to Israel.

I also watched a film on how Baron de Rothschild helped Israel grow. The restaurant is delicious and the gift store is one of the best in Tel Aviv for art and crafts.

Exodus was one of my favorite TV movies when I was very young.  Paul Newman played Ari Ben Canaan who was the head of the Haganah. I was always interested in them. The Haganah was the military organization that protected the Jewish settlements in Palestine.

It was the predecessor to the Israeli Defense Forces.

The Haganah Museum is located on beautiful Rothschild Blvd in the house of one of the Haganah founders.

It traces the story from the earliest watchtowers to the struggle for independence to the development of the modern army.

You will see many troops of Israeli soldiers being brought there on field trips.

Fly safe,

JAZ