They call me Occupier Barbie. This is not because of any political opinions or leanings but because I am Jewish. I am viewed as a de facto “occupier” not because I live in any disputed area but because I live in Israel, the Jewish State, which some see as being illegally occupied as they venomously chant “from the river to the sea”. Historical facts seem to play no role.
Occupier Barbie is not the only derogatory name I have been called. It is just the most creative. Some of the others are so repugnant, that I don’t want to repeat them in polite company. So why am I bringing this up again? The answer is simple – because as long as this ugly hatred rears its head I will show up to use my voice against it. It is critical that we start to use our voices as often and as loud as possible.
Anti-Semitism, long referred to as the oldest hatred, is spreading like a cancer throughout the world. We have seen it resurface in Europe just decades after the darkest moment in human history, the Holocaust. We must remember that the gas chambers of Auschwitz was built on words, they did not simply appear in a vacuum.
Now this disease has spread to the USA where to date there have been multiple waves of threats against various Jewish Community Centres , graves have been desecrated in cemeteries and property defaced with swastikas and other horrific graffiti. It seems that even the Jewish dead are not allowed peace. Anti-Semitism has been roundly condemned by the US government but it has yet to reach the level of consciousness in the media or popular culture that other issues such as the immigration ban or infamous “Pussy Marches” have had. Yes I said the “P”word but how you interpret it is up to where your mind is at. Weren’t you thinking of a hat…..?
While many of my feminist sisters marched for equal rights and equality, notably missing was a sign that said “Jewish rights are human rights”. The march was even organized by arch anti-Zionist, Linda Sarsour, who demanded to “free Palestine”. She also used an image of Anne Frank to make this point and appropriating a picture of a victim of the Holocaust and using it to support an organization like BDS whose endgame is the destruction of the State of Israel is a new kind of low.
Linda Sarsour hijacks the Women’s March in the most appalling way.
Sarsour attempted a mea culpa by raising money to repair damaged gravestones that had been desecrated by flagrant anti-Semites. Occupier Barbie is not convinced – I detect a lack of authenticity. It felt a lot like well-planned media grandstanding. What I do appreciate is the effort from Muslim veteran who offered to stand guard at Jewish cemeteries and synagogues. I tweeted each one my sincere gratitude. Every single one of them responded positively.
I have to say I am more than perturbed by the silence of the most high profile voices – celebrities. We cannot undervalue the power of their reach through social media and other outlets and we know that they LOVE a good cause and lately every opportunity to speak out at any given moment. Award season has been filled with righteous political speeches but when it comes to anti-Semitism, there is not a sound from the pulpits. Nada. Crickets.
While we know that the ACLU ribbon fabulously accessorizes the right frock and Louboutins, it means nothing if you don’t speak truth to power.
More than a fashion statement?
I would love for them to put their money where the ribbon is and visit a campus and speak to the Jewish students, especially during the course of this month when the dreaded festival of hate, Israel Apartheid Week makes its annual appearance.
Last week it surfaced on the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) campus in Johannesburg. In the face of horrendous hatred and anti-Semitism Pro-Israel students gave us all a masterclass in dignity, class and courage under fire. They refused to be bullied or intimidated and stood up at every turn. They held us up on their mighty shoulders and inspired this blog. They showed us what the collective can accomplish, especially in the face of global silence.
Iron like lions in Zion! Pro-Israel students on Wits Campus don’t take the “die in” lying down…..
They call me Occupier Barbie. I refused to be embarrassed or cowered, instead I am going to own it because I know who I am and what I stand for and invite you to stand with me, name calling and all!
They call me a Zionist apologist and make no mistake, I do not apologise for being a proud Zionist.
I am not naive or stupid. I am well aware of the serious threats and consequences of hate. I live with it every day and have cried countless tears over all those we have lost as a result of incitement and terrorism. I am well aware of loss. Those that seek to destroy us first do so by making us doubt who we are, by instilling fear and dread.
When we stand firm in our conviction, when we show up strong in our identity, they cannot shake our foundations, they cannot sow seeds of doubt. They cannot defeat us.
I am Occupier Barbie and I make no apologies for standing strong, for standing tall, for standing for what is true. Am Yisrael Chai!