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Comments for entry We Are the World...
We Are the World...
I don't know how we got into this discussion. I think it all started when I passed on that joke about an Israeli who was about to be beheaded by an Arab and was given a last request. He asked the Arab to kick him in the ass. I'm not going to repeat the whole joke but the punch line was about how he wanted the American reporters who were also about to be beheaded to see that he got kicked before he killed the Arab so they wouldn't say that the Israeli was the aggressor. Of course, the point of the joke was that the Arab was about to behead him, yet he still needed to prove that he wasn't the aggressor!
Then someone posted saying that he didn't understand the joke. He thought the joke was somehow glorifying violence. And maybe somewhere in my mind I figured that he was seeing it that way because of his Christian upbringing in which the Jews are portrayed as a violent people who screamed, "Crucify him". Then later he posted some comments about how the Jews wanted to kill Jesus and how Pilate was sympathetic. So that just confirmed my suspicion that he was under the spell of the New Testament's anti-Semitic portrayal of Jews. How we got from there to here I don't know. Except that someone else posted asking me if I thought that the Matthew Passion was anti-Semitic, and that opened up a corner of my mind that I had sealed about twenty years ago. And now, both Christian guys have more or less run for cover as we two Jews battle this out. (Which is kind of sad.)
You make a good point that for many Jews today they do not feel anti-Semitism in a constant or violent way. But what about the Jews in Israel. I recently read that there have been something like 5,000 rockets shot into Israeli cities in the past few years from Gaza. You know, I saw a speech today on CSPAN by Newt Gingrich. He mentioned that the Jews in Israel have sustained 60 years of "hysterical" attempts by the Arabs that surround them to exterminate them. And he asked, "What other country has had to suffer like this?" So even though you may have a fine life in Spain, there is still intense hatred of Jews and violence going on against Jews in other places. Even in Europe, there have been many attacks in France and other countries. Add to that all the calls for divestment from certain Christian groups in the U.S. and elsewhere. So even though individual Jews may not be targeted that often today, the Jewish country is under constant attack and threat.
I argue that a lot of the animosity that is targeted against Israel stems from the New Testament portrayal of the Jews. If you are taught as a young child that this group of people were so horrible in so many ways, and then you grow up and hear that the great grandchildren of this group shot a missile into a Palestinian area and killed 20 people...somewhere in the back of your mind you are going to think, "Aha! Just like the New Testament said, they are a violent people", whereas you should be thinking of the Jews as you would think of ANY group of people who had to defend themselves from those who are dedicated to destroying them. So, the reverberations of the New Testament slander against the kind and loving Jewish people still cause constant problems for the Jews to this day.
Now, most Jews do not want to face this, or deal with it. But I am a person who looks between the cracks. I am someone who says, "What can I do that is different from what everyone else is doing? What contribution can I make that no one else is making?" So I chose to play the cello in a different way. And now I am also choosing to tackle a multi generational struggle that continues to haunt the world as it has for millennia. Do I want trouble or "action"? No. I really don't. I want to make people think. And I want to see things get better in the world.
Author: Von Cello Eintrag from 29.03.2008
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