I am not a big fan of little Bibi. I did not agree with much he said about Iran in his speech at the United Nations. And then, I watched a BBC program: The History of the Jews.
These folks have been treated badly throughout history, even when they tried to fit in. I often wondered why Jews don’t assimilate. They were never allowed, even when they tried. And, they rarely enjoyed help from others, even in their direst moments of need.
Israel is forced to be unreasonable, because Jews have always suffered and learned not expect assistance. If a nation, ie. Iran, threatens to annihilate Israel, then they take that threat seriously. History has taught the Jews that someone was always trying to annihilate them. After years of submission, they became tough and uncompromising. The rest of the world has no one to blame but themselves for Israeli intransigence.
The story of the Jews is a story of how bad humans can act towards fellow humans. Why? Because of something as stupid as religion. All the Jews have ever wanted is to be left alone to follow their own ways. They have never sought convert others, as Christians have constantly attempted, or called all others non-believers, as Muslims do. People should be allowed to believe whatever they want and no one should force those beliefs on anyone else. Period.
Sadly, that will never happen. So, Bibi must hang tough...
Another interesting program on BBC: The History of the Jews, which I watched, because I wanted to understand something I have never understood.
As usual with such programs, I learned a lot, but discovered one interesting fact. 1492 for Americans means the year that Columbus “discovered” America, supposedly being the first European to do so (long since proved erroneous, like so much in the history taught in American classrooms). This date means something else to Muslims, because that was the year that Christians “conquered” Spain and ran them out of town. This year was mentioned by Osama Bin Laden, when chortling over his success on September 11, 2001, which confused all Americans.
What I learned from the BBC program is that this year also has meaning for the Jewish people, because they were also forced to flee from Spain. It seems that Christians, who preach one thing, practice something else. They were far less tolerant than Muslims towards non-believers.
One thing is certain: if I had lived in Spain after 1492, I would have been in trouble. I would not have survived the Inquisition...
Watching RT (Russian Television), I noticed a map during a report about flooding in the eastern part of Russia. The map showed that flooding was devastating several states. I noticed that one state is named Jewish Autonomous Region. Who knew? I wonder how many Jewish people choose this garden spot over Israel...or staying put. And, I wonder how autonomous any part of Russia might be.
I found this quote in an excellent New Yorker article. I am often astounded by statements of politicians, but this floored me. (Now, writing while lying on the floor is difficult, but I will manage.)
Netanyahu also provides a historical dimension to his reluctance to rely on American promises. At a speech to AIPAC, in Washington, last March, he recounted how, in 1944, the U.S. War Department spurned a plea from the World Jewish Congress to bomb the death camps at Auschwitz. “Never again will we not be masters of the fate of our very survival,” he said. “We deeply appreciate the great alliance between our two countries. But when it comes to Israel’s survival we must always remain the masters of our fate.”
I cannot understand how anyone can criticize the United States--or any country--for not wanting to bomb civilians, which is basically what inmates of a concentration camp are. In effect, the current Israeli prime minister cannot understand or accept that Americans did not want to kill Jews. How crass is that? This is the same guy that is trying to lure Americans into a war with Iran. Cool, huh?
By the way, you should read the entire article by the New Yorker editor.
With the aid of a book I am reading on the history of Europe, I have discovered the answer to one of life’s great mysteries. For as long as I can remember, I have wondered why so many dislike, reject, or persecute Jews. My dealings and relationships with Jews have been similar to any other humans: I like some and dislike some, but for purely reasons of character, not religion.
Today, I discovered a passage which provides a simple explanation. The quote is attributed to the chief rabbi of Vienna, uttered sometime at the end of the 19th century.
“The Christian kneels before the image of a Jew, wrings his hands before the image of a Jewess; his Apostles, Festivals and Psalms are Jewish. Most free themselves from (this contradiction) by Anti-semitism. Obliged to revere a Jew as God, they wreak vengeance on the rest of the Jews by treating them as devils...
You may say, Madam, that the Aryan people have emancipated the Jews. This is not the case. The Aryan people have emancipated themselves from the Middle Ages. This is one of the quiet and gradual influences which the Jewish Bible has exerted on mankind.”
This, for me, is a plausible explanation. Treatment of Jews fits the pattern of character assassination, with which (Aryan) people are so fond.
One less mystery in life...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.