Friday, May 18, 2012

When I Say “Dawn,” You Say “Idiot”

26 Iyyar, 5772
May 18th, 2012
41st Day of the Omer

By now, most have heard of Greece’s “Golden Dawn,” - the neo-Nazi party that recently won 7% of Parliament in elections. 

Now, it’s clear that Golden Dawn’s power came through its opposition to the Greek Austerity Plan. However,these charming individuals are also known for opposition to foreign “filth”(read, immigrants), Holocaust denial, and general thuggery. 

On days like this I think of Aldous Huxley’s Ape and Essence: “The leech’s kiss, the squid’s embrace,/The prurient ape’s defiling touch./And do you like the human race?/No, not much.”

There is a prayer that Jews every morning: “May it be your will, our God and God of our ancestors, to keep us from insolence in others and arrogance in ourselves; from an evil person, an evil friend, an evil neighbor, an evil encounter, and from destructive accusations.”

This prayer is not the height of optimism, but this week I understand it. May God keep us far away from such people. May God reduce tolerance for their views in our midst. May God change their hearts.

I am forced to point out that the prayer mentions others and ourselves. Such mention is not accidental. A few weeks ago, this came across my desk. 

For the many who do not speak Hebrew, this gem is a mock wedding invitation between a Muslim man - Muhamad, son of Navil and Oum Jihad - and a Jewish woman, whose name rendered means “You should hope that this isn’t your daughter.”

The e-postcard, put out by an Israeli “anti-assimilation organization” called Lehavah, therefore urges:
“Do not let your daughter work with Arabs. Do not let her do National service with goyim. Do not buy from stores that employ enemies (Arabs); Do not let goyish workers into your home.

This, of course, goes hand in hand with a recent-years decree from rabbis not to sell or rent to Arabs.

What must be said is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is beyond complicated. There are no butterflies or rainbows. We are talking about deep hatred and enmity. However, how we respond in our anger is of paramount importance. And before one goes to justify the sentiments behind such an ad, please read the following. They are from various German laws and speeches of the late 1930’s. My hope is that, seeing them, your blood will run cold.

Ultimately, we will be judged not only for what we believe, but for which beliefs we benignly tolerate. 

  1.  Marriages between Jews and nationals of German or kindred blood are forbidden.  Marriages concluded in defiance of this law are void, even if, for the purpose of evading this law, they are concluded abroad.
Jews will not be permitted to employ female nationals of German or kindred blood in their households.
Article 7
1. Jews cannot legally acquire real estate and mortgages.
Deutsche! Wehrt Euch! Kauft nicht bei Juden (Germans! Defend yourselves! Do not buy from Jews) – Slogan from the Nazi boycott against Jews.

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