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Sunday, October 27, 2013

No Place or Time is Immune From Anti-Semitism

At least here in Israel, the big news after Shabbat was the terrible antisemitic attack on a Jewish family in Australia.  The family, middle-aged parents and adult children were viciously attacked; they needed urgent medical care.  In all honesty, I was disturbed by their reactions:
''It is extremely shocking that an attack like this could happen in Australia, let alone in Bondi being such a multicultural area.''
Faktor said the families of the victims are "very upset" and cannot understand why people would want to hurt them.
"You certainly don't come to Bondi and expect that," he said. "Maybe in Germany in the 1930s and Russia in the 1970s but certainly in Sydney, Australia, Bondi you just don't expect an unprovoked attack."

I find it dangerously naive.  We shouldn't rationalize attacks like that one as needing provocation.  There is no Jewish source in the cause/source of antisemitism. If you could rationalize such attacks as being caused by "provocations," then we Jews could be considered to blame.  I can't accept that.

We Jews are not to blame for the fact that antisemites of all ilks, whether Christian, Muslim or any other religion have no moral justification for their antisemitism.  For some of them it's an ideology and for some it's theology.  And there are also those who just like to pick on people who seem weaker and easy to attack, which can make the source psychology. They can be found all over the world.

Some antisemites are subtle and sophisticated, taking their hatred out in more refined and "sneaky" ways. Others like the Australians on Friday night were honestly brutal in their physical attack on the Jewish family.

I also don't like the term used in the Sky News YouTube caption, "violent brawl." A "brawl" connotes something mutual by people who may even be acquainted or a fight after a disagreement.
brawlbrɔːl/
nounnoun: brawl; plural noun: brawls1.
a rough or noisy fight or quarrel.
"he'd got into a drunken brawl in a bar"
  1. synonyms:fightfist fightskirmishscuffletusslefracasscrimmagefray,meleerumpusaltercationwrangleclashfree-for-allscrum,brouhahacommotionuproar
    datedaffray
    informalscrapdust-upset-toshindy;
    informalpunch-upbust-upruck, bit of argy-bargy; 
    informalafters;
    informalrammyswedgesquare go
    informalstoush
    rarebroil, bagarre
    "a drunken brawl"

From the reports, this was nothing of the sort.  The attackers chose their victims for a reason; the victims appeared Jewish. I think it's very dangerous for Jews to think they are immune or their locations aren't risky.  G-d willing when the true Moshiach takes over and rules we'll be able to destroy and banish antisemitism. In the meantime we must be prepared for it in all guises.

3 comments:

Tzivia in AliyahLand said...

I completely agree - the term "brawl" seems to mitigate the guilt of the Muslim perpetrators, which, of course, the media see the need to do in most cases. As for whether or not it was provoked, as I tell my children all the time, "it doesn't matter what they said or did to bother you - you still have to USE YOUR WORDS." Regardless of what - in their mind - precipitated the attack, the perpetrators had a choice, and chose to attack. :-(

Shy Guy said...

To quote Jihad Watch's Robert Spencer:

But why the coverup? Why must we read tea leaves when it comes to Muslim violence? The mainstream media is doing a grave disservice to the public by reporting stories in this way, rendering them ignorant and complacent in the face of a real threat.

Shimona from the Palace said...

I agree entirely about the use of the word "brawl" and have already commented on a couple of Australian websites about the terminology.