anti-Semitism

The following post is by MYRLN, a non-blogger who is Kalilily’s guest writer every Monday.
ANTI-SEMITISM
One day this week (day may vary depending on locale) on PBS, the “World Without War” episode of the Ken Burns documentary, “The War,” includes coverage of liberating the concentration camps at the end of WWII. Perhaps it will show some of the original news films, those used in movie theatres (which had 2 films, a cartoon, and a newsreel) back in the olden days before television.
If so, whether you have or haven’t seen that film footage — which is gruesome, be warned — of what the Allies found in those camps, you owe yourself (and those who suffered and died there) to watch so you’ll never forget or doubt the reality of the Holocaust. Millions of Jews were tortured and starved and killed along with millions of others by the most repugnant political regime and its despicable loyalists ever to set foot on earth. “Never again,” it was vowed repeatedly after the horrors of the camps and the scope of anti-Semitism rampant in Europe that helped create the camps were all fully revealed. “Never again.”
And yet. Yet…it seems something there is that loves anti-Semitism. Its clawed ugliness still hangs on. Real anti-Semitism, that is, as distinguished from the purported kind foolishly attributed by zealots to anyone who levies any criticism whatsoever of Israel or Jews. As if they are somehow beyond criticism of any kind. They aren’t, and to say they are is to detract from the actuality of true anti-Semitism, the vile and assaultive and murderous kind. Which brings us to an unbelievable, yet real, matter of astonishingly painful irony.
Recently, Israeli police uncovered a cell of neo-Nazis. Inside Israel. Honest. Young Israeli citizens, 16-21 years old, had joined together to spraypaint hate symbols on synagogues and to attack religious Jews, drug addicts, and homosexuals. They even videotaped their attacks and themselves holding Nazi-like meetings. And all of them are Jews, out of families migrated from the former USSR under the Israeli Law of Return.
Jews as Nazis. The world turned upside-down. Photos show tattooed arms with Gothic lettering proclaiming “White Power” and “Skrewdriver” and “88” (eighth letter of the alphabet) for “HH” — Heil Hitler. And therein lies another puzzle. Why tattoos in English? Why “White Power?” Let no one say the world hasn’t gone mad: Jews from the former and repressive USSR with apparently American White Power ties embracing Naziism in Israel. No wonder that country sometimes acts in ways that seem paranoid to the rest of the world.
These neo-Nazis should have to sit and watch the original film footage that Ken Burns may show about the death camps — over and over again. We should all watch it over again so we remember that horror forever and keep our priorities straight, no matter how wrongly Israel sometimes acts (which is not to set it above criticism and even condemnation when warranted). Because: Never again. That must be assured.
Oh, by the way. Here in our country during these particular times we’re trying to live through, remember that anti-Semitism also has a broader meaning than we usually attribute to it. People of Arab heritage are also Semitic.
Yes, they are