Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Serious Moment

Hate to be the 2013 Debbie Downer but I need to rant a bit. Allow me this.

I had a great New Years and I hope you did too! It was cold and the wild times promised by Occupy in Zuccotti park were a let down but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Came home without any subway train traffic; limited amount of drunks and noise... it was all smooth sailing. I go on Facebook to catch up on New Years good wishes and the first thing I see?

Now, let's just for a moment ignore the pig in a cop uniform, the ninja, the alien, and the Anonymous folks, and just humour me... notice the Satan character. The Satan character with a Star of David engraved in her forehead and covering her chest. Yep. Just an average Jew; horns and tail and all. Why does this upset me? Because saying Jews have horns is not just a stereotype, it's not just "words", it is propaganda to make people fear and hate Jews. Was I aware anti-semitism and racism were still prevalent? Of course. Did I expect to see it coming from friends of friends in such an open and appreciated manner? Certainly not. I've been badgered enough. It's MY turn to speak and you're going to listen. Or not.

Someone asked me recently if I felt threatened every day as a minority, or in general. My first thought was to say, "No, of course not." Is that true, though? Again, for ANY minority? I think its presence in the everyday has led to us putting up walls. There is a reason ghettos exist. It doesn't mean these people want to be segregated but what is to occur if these enemies (some less predictable than others) choose to live in the same area? Knowing that you can't walk in the street without trusting that no one has an issue with where you were born or to whom or what skin colour or who you love or your gender or your language, that's a threat to your trust and peace and right to feel safe in your own home. I realize this can happen anywhere, anytime, for any reason but if you are particularly aware that a certain group is infamous for their distaste for your people, can you be blamed for wanting to not just avoid them but maintain homeostasis amongst your own, equally-hated kind?

Obviously, because I come from Jewish roots, this hits close to home, even though I do not tolerate intolerance towards anyone. However, oftentimes people will point out that I don't follow Jewish customs or believe in God, so what is my stake in all this? A history. A people I feel a connection to that no other human will ever understand. It may be a joke or a Yiddish word or a tradition... there's always something there that connects Jewish people like no other culture can even hope to "catch onto". An ex of mine once came to my grandmother's house and ordered a ham and cheese hero. I wanted to punch him for destroying her kosher home. We separate meat and dairy utensils, we can't resist a cute mezuza, we find any excuse to bring up Jewishness if we spot another Jew... We have habits! Not to say it's better or worse than anyone else's, just that we have them and we feel comfortable surrounded by people who have them too.

This subject brings me to a new movement (well, fairly old but lately has gained momentum...) That is, anti-zionism. I get my fair share of flack for my zionist views from all angles. Oddly enough, it seems mostly the left-angled folks are on me about this. Which surprises me considering they are progressive. If they can't move forward from the old school views of hating Jews, then I don't think they're going to make much progress. Yes, yes, I know what they say, "Being against Zionists isn't the same as hating Jews!" Funny, because last I checked, if you are supporting "peacefully ridding of Israel and it's inhabitants", you are kind of supporting the same people who want to end all Jews and Americans. These are kind of the same people who would be doing the "peaceful removal", after all. Not to mention, the number of times I've seen these "ambivalent-semites" use the word 'kike' and my personal favourite, 'self-chosenites' is astounding.

ANYWAY, what I was really trying to get at here was a very simple point: Being a Zionist, first of all, doesn't make you part of some mass conspiracy wherein the greatest Jewy powers of the world hold meetings and plot how they will beat you with their sacks of gold, (albeit, there is Goldman Sachs) plant chips in your brain, and take over the world. Second of all, it doesn't mean you agree with everything Israel does. Like any other country, they have their faults. Tons. So is the answer to take it over and either kill or displace all the citizens? Fine, let the Palestines have it. Just wait and see what they do with it. More gay slaying! More nose removal! More stoning! More terrorist training! Huzzah!

Yep. I own that obnoxious but awesome t-shirt.

I am no Islamophobe but facts are facts, these are their laws. Hammurabi shall reign once more! Actually, you know what, I am an Islamophobe. That doesn't mean I hate them, that means I have a fear of them. I think that is a perfectly fair statement. Not all Islamic people, of course. The large portion that want to kill me and my people? Yes, I certainly fear them. Heck, it's not even about the religion, it's about the people who follow the religion in that manner. Am I allowed to say that? Is that PC enough? For those of you who hated that anti-Jihad poster a few months back...

jihad |jiˈhäd|nouna holy war undertaken by Muslims against unbelievers.• informal a single-minded or obsessive campaign

Jihad (English pronunciation: /ɪˈhɑːd/Arabic: جهاد‎ ǧihād [dʒiˈhæːd]), an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)".  Jihad is an important religious duty for Muslims. A minority among the Sunni scholars sometimes refer to this duty as the sixth pillar of Islam, though it occupies no such official status. In Twelver Shi'a Islam, however, Jihad is one of the 10 Practices of the Religion.

Holy war? Isn't that an oxymoron? It is one thing to follow a religion that suggests these things. All religions are pretty horrible.  It's another to say, "Yeah! That part of my holy book sounds like fun! I'm gonna do that one! The peace stuff? Ehh... naw, I'm too busy killing people." This is the kind of ideology the Israelis and the Jews as a whole are dealing with. Was it wise on the behalf of the Jews to go right into the bullseye of every type of people who hate them? No, but whoever said Jews were smart? Oh. Well, they done goofed. To be fair, would they be better off in Europe? No. Africa? Ehh.. doubt it. Alaska? Uh. No. They'd be kvetching all the time. "It's too cold, Morty! Get the heater." ... gets the heater... "Morty, why's it so dry for? You want I should die? If I wanted this, I would have lived in the middle of a desert! I'm schvitzing!"

Go to Israel for the climate, Hell for the Jews. ZING!  That's a horrible joke.

I guess I was raised with a special kind of appreciation for the Jewish culture. Not that the bible and the Torah are the be-all-end-all but that they represent something bigger. A people who really just want to live in peace with everyone. They don't want to rid of anyone, they just want to be accepted for once. Allowed to live. I guess that's the real clincher for me, that's why I really feel such a connection to these people... Who hasn't wanted to be "one of the gang"? Yet is constantly rejected for that one difference? What show or movie doesn't have that one wimpy Jew, or the foreign exchange Indian, or the token black guy? Isn't that sickening? This is why I can't watch these things, I just feel as if every form of exclusion is welcomed. "Aw, isn't that nice... they included "our people"!"

Anyway, I'm way over my 1,000 word usual max... just remember, kids, we don't feel a  special importance because of our heritage, we feel a special importance towards our heritage. The same reason black people say Jesus, Santa, and God are black. The same reason Christians say everything and everyone is Christian. We all need to feel a sense of necessity, of worth... a personal comfort that our people will endure because we are something unique. Chosen for what? Chosen to survive? To be oppressed? To be normal human beings thriving on this planet? Who knows... Just let my people go!

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