Thursday, April 16, 2015

Holocaust Day, "Medinat Tel Aviv" Media hasn't a Clue

First of all, thank G-d all is well. The story why I haven't been blogging is a simple click away.
Holocaust Memorial Day

Here in Israel Holocaust Day is a major memorial day. Children from the youngest ages are told stories of the Holocaust as "age appropriate" as possible, especially considering that the message is like in the story of Purim, when our enemies condemned us all, from infants to the elderly.

Israel's "founding fathers" were mostly from Europe or their families were. Yiddish was a language many spoke or grew up hearing. In the early decades of the state, and in some Israeli social circles even today, There is discrimination by the ethnic European Jews against North African Jews. Unfortunately Holocaust Day has become a focal point of this problem.

Last night I heard a television talk show about the pros and cons of Holocaust Day, and the discussion ended up on that subject and the claim that the holocaust is/was a European tragedy and not a Jewish one, The panel went into the wrong direction. One speaker said that the solution was to stress the "universal" aspect, which is what Yad Vashem has done of late. That is not what today's Israel must do.

In today's Israel the message should be something totally different. It could be that the "Medinat Tel Aviv" Media is unfamiliar with what I would stress. I think that it is important to point out that the Ashkenaz-Sefard (Europe-North African) divide is rapidly blurring. Among our family and friends here in Israel, our grandchildren are not of the same ethnic groups we are. My paternal great-grandparents' great-great-grandchildren are Yemenite, Tunisian and part-Moroccan. This is the "new Israel." I had expected the panel to mention it.

Yes, today you can find Yemenite, Iraqi, Tunisian, Jews, yes, Jews from all ethnic groups who are descended from Holocaust victims and survivors. No one Jewish ethnic group owns the Holocaust and no single ethnic group is removed or immune. This is the New Israel and this is the true Jewish People.


Hadassa said...

The Nazis, yemach shemam v'zichram, did reach North Africa and did bring Jews from there back to concentration camps in Europe.

Batya said...

Hadassa, yes, but as a community the North African Jews weren't touched as much as Europe and in some countries not at all. They feel that the memorials ignore them.

Netivotgirl said...

"....holocaust is/was a European tragedy and not a Jewish one" Whoever said that is meshugene! 1/3 of Am Yisrael was killed for being JEWS. PERIOD! And as Hadassa alluded to,there were losses in Tunisia. A teacher on my staff from Tunis the capital ciy lost her Grandmother when their building was bombed by the Nazis and I know of other such family stories here in Netivot. Wonderful post Batya!!

Batya said...

Shabbat Shalom