Jewish Post

Welcome to Bizarro World – the World Turned Upside Down

You might recall the Superman comics in which there existed a Bizarro World where everything was backwards, demented and deranged – It is time to realize that we now live in such a world. A few examples:

The US extended official condolences on the death in a helicopter crash of the “Butcher of Tehran” Ebrahim Raisi, and the US Deputy UN Ambassador participated in a moment of silence (requested by Russia and China) for Raisi at the UN Security Council (where the entire UN Security Council rose to honor the memory of this murderer) – Raisi was well known for ordering the execution of thousands of Iranian political prisoners, and the persecution and subjugation of women in Iran. US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had a different approach: “Well I, too, would like to extend my condolences to the people of Iran… For their long suffering under the brutal, theocratic rule of the Islamic Republic. I suspect a great many Iranians would rather Western admirers stop lionizing a man known as the 'Butcher of Tehran' for executing political prisoners”;

The ICC issued arrest warrants for Israeli PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant - and also for Hamas Leaders. UK Minister Michael Gove said “Hamas is a terrorist organization, bent on slaughter. Israel is a state like all states, an imperfect one, but trying to defend its people, so equating the two is just nonsensical.” Rep. Elise Stefanik in Israel to address the Knesset took the position that “the ICC is an illegitimate court that equivocates a peaceful nation protecting its right to exist with radical terror groups that commit genocide” and sponsored a bill that would punish the ICC with sanctions for its Netanyahu arrest warrant bid. The fact is that Israel is not a party to the ICC – nor is the US for that matter – so the ICC does not have jurisdiction over Israel PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant. The allegation that Israel is using starvation as a weapon of war is beyond absurd;

The State Department issued a report which indicated that it was “reasonable to assess” that Israel had violated international humanitarian law while carrying out military operations in Gaza” – utterly ridiculous;

NPR celebrated Israel Independence Day by doing a lengthy story on the “Nakba” which is the description of Israel’s founding as a “disaster”;

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer devoted an entire program to an “explainer” on Divestment from Israel (as if we needed more explanation of this heinous mission) - without virtually any rebuttal;

Megan Stack, a Contributing Opinion Writer in the New York Times (May 16, 2024), reflected on “Israel’s slaughter in Gaza, the creeping famine, the wholesale destruction of neighborhoods”;

College administrators made deals with the protesters to allow them to present arguments for divestment before boards of trustees – doesn’t seem those opposing divestment will be given the opportunity to present their case;

Anti-Semitism is rampant on college campuses where Jewish college students feel unsafe and protesters (who identify with Hamas)run rampant destroying property;

”Both Sides” is a repellent calumny! In an op-ed in the New York Times (May 21, 2024), the following is stated in defense of the ICC Prosecutor who, according to a law professor, “acknowledged that people on both sides of the conflict have legitimate claims and that the law is designed to protect all humanity”. Both Sides? Equating murderous monsters with the leaders of a sovereign democracy is an outrage!; and

The world has literally turned upside down – we are living in an alternate universe – but much of this is disturbingly reminiscent of the period preceding the Holocaust. I always wondered what my parents might have gone through during WWII before they were deported to Auschwitz- they were refugees in Belgium from which they were deported during the German occupation. Now we have a taste of this - baseless hatred again Jews and Jewish institutions - vandalism against Jewish restaurants and stores. Swastikas displayed openly - telling Jewish Students to “go back to Poland” - and of course the intonation of the ‘lovely’ chant of “From the River to the Sea” in favor of the annihilation of the Jewish State. Israel in the crossfire on so many levels.

Let’s face facts: We are living in very difficult times and it is unclear what the future has in store. The inversion of accusing Israel of genocide is nothing new. About Arnold Toynbee in the May 1955 issue of Commentary Magazine it was written: “Mr. Toynbee equates the monstrous crimes perpetrated upon the Jews of Europe by the Germans with what the Israelis did to the Arabs of Palestine, and seems to find the Israelis as much at fault as the Nazis were!” Masha Gessen (“In the Shadow of the Holocaust,” December 9,2023) in the New Yorker equated Israel’s military actions in Gaza to the Nazi liquidation of the ghettoes (she even got an award for this article). Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, The more things change, the more they remain the same.

We must be proud of who we are. None of this is new – but remember all those empires – Babylonians, Romans, Egyptians, and so many more – go see them in museums ! - - empires that now lay in ruins – but the people of Israel still persevere. “Netzach Yisrael Lo Yeshaker” – “The eternity of Israel does not deceive” (1 Samuel 15:29). Our detractors are many – but we must stay united in support of the State of Israel. We will survive – have always survived -- by asserting our right to live in peace in our Jewish homeland. And may the hostages be brought home NOW!

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