Monday, December 30, 2013

Jews are too nice

Jews are generally nice, reasonable people and in dealing with anti-Semites and those in the boycott-divestment-sanctions (BDS) movement who are demonizing and trying to destroy Israel, Jews usually appeal to their reason. We don't want to do what they are doing because we are civilized, we want to be superior and to appeal to their better judgement. But, this is a misplaced tactic.

A German acquaintance once told me that what happened to the Jews during WWII was inevitable because the Jews were weak and vulnerable; he said "when you live among wolves, you must behave like a wolf." There are some who say that we should not allow the enemies of the Jews and Israel to bring us down to their level, we should be morally superior. Yet you have a choice, you can be morally superior and dead or morally compromised yet alive. As my friend Eddie, who survived the Holocaust in Europe says, "the veneer of civilization is very thin" and "to those who ask if my experience in Poland taught me to be more tolerant, I say it taught me that if you don't have sharp teeth and claws you're dog meat." As they say, "it's a jungle out there."

When I was in the Soviet Jewry movement living near Washington DC and organizing student protests, I advised the Jewish students to burn the Soviet flag at a demonstration after the death sentences were handed down for the Jewish hijackers of the Soviet plane in Leningrad in 1970. Apparently the head of the Jewish Community Council, an establishment body of which I was also a member, heard about this, and asked to see me. He told me that we must not do this, because burning their flag was descending to their level. I disagreed, and the flag was subsequently burnt on Xmas Day 1970 and we warned the press to be there. Xmas day is always a slow news day and the burning Soviet flag was seen on the front page of every newspaper around the world, expressing the outrage of the Jews at these sentences.

When people exhibit their hatred of Israel (and Jews) by demonstrating outside supermarkets and in public places, they don't appeal to the reason of their audience. They appeal to their lowest instincts by showing pictures of dead children who they say were killed by Israeli/Jewish soldiers. Doesn't matter if that was true or not, but it has the desired gut effect. We Jews need to be less reasonable and more aggressive. We need to demonstrate with placards showing the dead and injured after the bus bombings, we need to burn the Palestinian flag at demonstrations to protest their hatred of Israel. The IDF and the Israeli government press office must reverse its ruling not to show the immediate effects of bombings and shootings in Israel. Let the audience see the true results, the blood and gore. It has a visceral effect that no amount of rational pleading can have. Let others appeal to the reason of our enemies, as far as I am concerned it is a waste of time and energy. It's like plaintively saying to a Nazi, "but the Jews aren't all that bad!" We are hardly fighting a losing battle. To win the propaganda war we need to get engaged, angry and nasty!


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