To most of us, it is hard to believe that it was exactly a year ago that according to the Mayans, the world was coming to an end. While the world is still turning, it is not difficult to admit that we –as a global interconnected community–are in deep trouble. We continue on the slippery slope of postmodernism, tolerance and multiculturalism one foot in the grave, one foot over the cliff and our head deep in the sand (how’s that for a most uncomfortable and very dangerous posture?)
The temperature of our sick world can be measured from many different perspectives, depending of one’s area of interest or expertise. The proverbial frog of Western civilization in the slowly boiling pot of tolerance and universalism continues to sustain more heat. Enough heat could very soon be generated to cripple the frog inside the pot, to a point of no return.
I am definitely not talking about Global Warming but would like to give us all a Global Warning in the area of the New Anti-Semitism. While I never encourage dwelling on negative or tragic issues, it is necessary to remember and learn from the past to help shape the future, so allow me to review some of the key events of 2013. You can also read the full article for each month by clicking on each title throughout this post.
JANUARY:Stop Insulting Our Intelligence!
On January 27, the day that is recognized as “International Holocaust Remembrance Day”, based on when Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in 1945, many of us were shocked at a cartoon published by Famous British Sunday Times cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, depicting Benyamin Netanyahu building the security fence with bricks interspersed with Palestinian bodies and using Palestinian blood as mortar.
Of course, the fact that the cartoon was published on “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” was a pure coincidence or maybe a busy newsroom oversight, right? Well, I wish I could say that it is true but I am afraid that the day was purposely picked to hurt the Jewish people even more. The link between the cartoon’s accusations and medieval blood libels further used by Nazi Germany shouldn’t be missed.
But before I am accused of going on an anti-liberal-right-winged-bigoted witch-hunt, let me make a statement about Mr. MacFarlane. While I clearly believe that this was inappropriate, I cannot confirm that he is anti-Semitic. Yet, this was reminiscent of some caustic writings by Martin Luther about the Jews. We know from history how Luther’s writings were used to decimate my people, as the Nazis were proud to simply be “finishing up what Luther started”. Tread carefully Mr. MacFarlane, if you do not wish to be responsible for somebody “finishing up what you started”.
The 2013 Israeli Presidential Conference on the theme of “Facing Tomorrow 2013: The Human Factor in Shaping Tomorrow” should have included British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking as one of the keynote speakers. Globally recognized as a genius, Hawking has also become the poster child for science over the last few decades. But in a move that has garnered him both some applause and some criticism, he chose to boycott the 2013 Israeli conference following the advice of Palestinian academics. This will undoubtedly help to vindicate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) in their fight against “Apartheid Israel”. On the English version of the Middle East media site El Arabiya, while some claimed that his health was what made him change his mind, Hawking’s statement was made crystal clear:
OCTOBER: The Many Faces of Anti-Israelism are Just a Mask for Anti-Semitism!
On October 21, 2013, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) published a new report titled: The Top Ten anti-Israel Groups in the US, in which it identified the most virulent of antisemitic organizations in America. While I do not always endorse the ADL’s methods and/or tone in their reporting, or even some of their conclusions, I do find their research always very useful. The list includes:
UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) was born in 1946 out of a need for furthering world peace and security. As indicated in its name, the main goals of UNESCO are achieved through educational, scientific and cultural awareness. Their current motto is building peace in the hearts of men and women.