Sunday, January 25, 2009

In der yidishe medine

When I read about members of the Jewish community and other pro-Israel demonstrators in Sweden being attacked by anti-Israel militants without proper protection by the local authorities, or when I read about regional or local authorities in an EU country canceling a Holocaust memorial 'because' of the war in Gaza, I am even more glad than usual that I live in the yidishe medine that Binem Heller z"l mentions in his beautiful poem "Mayn shvester Khaye". You can read the poem here and listen to Chava Alberstein's musical interpretation on YouTube. As a father, a human being and a Jew I feel horrible when I read about the suffering of the children of Gaza, but I am absolutely convinced that whoever uses that suffering to attack Jews in any way or ( abuses his family's history or background ) to make outrageous 'comparisons' between a Jewish and a Palestinian Holocaust, between IDF soldiers and the men of the Wehrmacht or the SS, or between Hamas and ghetto fighters or the members of any other anti-Nazi resistance, only shows that (s)he knows hardly anything about the history, the scope and the characteristics of both the Holocaust and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Nor is (s)he at all truly interested in the fate of the poor people of Gaza, only in vilifying and possibly hurting ( or worse ) Jews and/or Israelis. If only a yidishe medine had existed 70 years ago, Khaye and Binem might have been able to grow up and old together.

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