The time to rise

I am incensed. Outraged. Fuming. Enough is enough!! I am climbing on my battered soapbox to appeal to you all – it is time to raise our voices, scream, shout, blow fire and fight the rising hate. It is not enough to say “it is terrible” or sit on the sidelines and hope that someone else will fight the battle – we all have to show up. And the timing could not be more important!

The visuals coming in from the ultra-right or neo Nazi or whatever label one chooses to assign those spewing hatred that would not be out of place in Germany circa 1939, are beyond offensive and should have absolutely no place in our society.

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Charlottesville may have brought rising anti-Semitism into global consciousness with the repulsive visuals but the reality is that this cancerous hate has been bubbling under the surface and now the situation has reached boiling point. The KKK and their ilk never went way – they were just dormant, looking for the right opportunity to don their bed-sheet outfits and flaming crosses and now their cause has been given a tailwind. In a recent poll, it was found that 1 in 10 Americans find neo-Nazi speech acceptable. Did we not vow NEVER AGAIN?

Growing up during the Apartheid years in South Africa, I witnessed what happens when racism and discrimination is allowed to flourish. This heinous, racist regime was brought to its knees and eventually ended because citizens said ENOUGH. Although there is much healing that still needs to happen and the road to reconciliation takes many detours, there is much to be gained from working hard to overcome past mistrust and hurt.

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Apartheid South Africa’s discriminatory laws

Anti-Semitism is oldest hatred in the world. The premise doesn’t change – just the outfit. Whether it is disguised as anti-Zionism, calls for boycotts from BDS, snide WASPY comments, ultra-left intersectionality or neo-Nazi blood curdling hatred, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck – it is a duck!

At the risk of sounding alarmist, the death camps like Auschwitz were built on words and this kind of speech has resulted in acts of violence across the world and they also embolden the latent racists to crawl out of their holes. From the murders of Jews in the Hyper Cacher in Paris to repugnant social media posts in South Africa, the march of hate in Charlottesville to the poster child for intersectionality, Linda Sarsour, saying “Zionists are creepy” or her comments that “Zionists cannot be feminists”. Linda I will meet you at the intersection of Zionism and Feminism anytime!

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The leader of South Africa’s “Black Land First” movement tweets like a twit!

This is not a new and there is very little difference between the hate invective of neo-Nazis, Hamas or even BDS who call for the destruction of the state of Israel We are not talking buildings – but people

The oldest hatred, anti-Semitism is rising. Has risen. Continues to rise.

I think it was the wise Hillel in the Ethics of our Fathers who said “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” –

So the next time you see a swastika or even hear the call “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free “remember that these share the same root – hatred.

I am appealing not just to my Jewish brothers and sisters but to anyone who wants to see this cancerous hatred ended. Stand up. Use your voice. Take action. We have the means, now we need the numbers.

Wise words from my friend Elana Heideman of The Israel Forever Foundation

Do it for the voiceless. Do it for the generations before us who couldn’t. Do it for the generations to come. Do it to make the world a better place. Do it for yourself. When we stand tall and strong and firm in our convictions, we are indestructible! My grandfathers, of blessed memory both served in the forces that fought the Nazi war machine – who am I to be silent now?

It is time to say that it is no longer open season on Jews. Who is joining me?

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Why we do what we do

This article is featured on The Israel Forever Foundation website:

Why we do what we do

A few days  ago, Israel buried three members of the Saloman family, brutally slaughtered this past Friday night as they welcomed in the Sabbath. Responding to a knock on the door, the unsuspecting family let in 19 year old Omar al-Abed from the nearby village of Kobar.  To say that our collective hearts are broken is an understatement.

Fueled on a steady diet of incitement and hatred, al-Abed entered the house and butchered the family, leaving a bloodbath in his wake.

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Salomon family victims

One would think that news like this would grab international headlines but sadly not a peep, or a bleep. The few news channels that did cover the attacked neglected to mention that it was motivated by terror, rather using descriptions like “home invasion”.

A week before, two of Israel’s finest, Command Sergeant Major Hayil Satawi and Command Sergeant Major Kamil Shanaan were killed by terrorists while on duty on the Temple Mount. They were not Jewish, but Druze, sharing an ancient covenant with their Jewish brethren in the land of Israel.

The terrorist who targeted them did not care whether they were Jewish or not just that they wore the noble uniform of our security forces.

Terror does not discriminate. It simply kills.

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Command Sergeant Major Hayil Satawi and Command Sergeant Major Kamil Shanaan

A losing battle?

More often than not I am asked whether or not we are fighting a losing battle, after all we are competing with major budgets and sheer numbers from the other side who seem to be more able to create a narrative for a gullible public than we are. In the court of public opinion, Israel is seen as the Goliath to the Palestinian David and there are no prizes for guessing who gets the sympathy vote.

The mainstream news media seem to ignore the Israeli narrative or pander to major advertisers.

I can understand their frustration – one only has to open a newspaper or surf social media to see the type of comments or sheer volume but we have the same weapons that they do and my answer to anyone who feels overwhelmed is simple. Just show up.

We all have the power to do it. We are all equipped with the same “weapons of mass education”. So let us use them effectively.

The Big Facebook Experiment

Show up on social media to share articles, memes, YouTube clips and the like. Share articles and emails. Most important learn the facts and make sure that you are armed with the truth to disarm the haters. It is important to know that every time you show up and speak the truth, you give a voice to the millions upon whose shoulders we stand. You give a voice to those throughout our history who were silenced. You give a voice to those in communities around the world who are frightened.  You give a voice to those of us who refuse to be silent. And you give a voice to those murdered because others choose to use theirs to incite with hatred.

Speak for Chaya, Elad and Yosef. Speak for Gilad, Eyal and Naphtali, Speak for Hadas and Hadar. Speak for all of them. Speak for all of us. This is why we do what we do.