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It is tough to be a Jew

It is very difficult to experience the emotions and thoughts of another individual, especially from a different culture, race, religion or nationality. Inner feelings are predicated on life experiences and no two are alike. A constant in the Jewish world is fear, responsibility and guilt. Fear for what can happen, and responsibility and guilt for the real or imagined short-comings of the Jewish world whether in the diaspora or in Israel.

In the Yiddish vernacular the following expression is used very often, even by Jews who do not speak Yiddish. “Tzis shver tzu zan a Yid”. The simple translation would be “It is tough to be a Jew”.

What is prompting me to write this piece in a country where I feel “nearly” completely at home? Notice the word “nearly” and the answer is, of course, Bernard L. Madoff, an American Jew. What a disaster! Mr. Madoff has committed a fraudulent crime which may have no parallel in recent history. It is hard to imagine the magnitude of the fraud when it is reported that 50 billion dollars is involved. In the bail-out of the Canadian car companies our government is spending only 4 billion dollars. When I speak to other Jews about this affair, the first words they utter “Why did he have to be a Jew”.

Bernard Madoff was an equal opportunity thief. Thank goodness for that! He involved some very high profile Jewish charities in his scam such as Yeshiva University, Steven Spielberg`s Wonderkinder Foundation and Boston philanthropist Carl Shapiro`s charitable foundation.

He also victimized institutions of tremendous importance who should have known better like the Royal Bank of Scotland, Nomura Holdings of Japan and the Mann Group, the world`s largest hedge fund.

A non-Jewish observer of this scene might be tempted to say “So what, there are many honest Jews who do so much good for the world”, and that, of course, could also be part of the problem. In the October issue of Vanity Fair 2007 is an article that considers the 100 most powerful and influential people in American society. Jews represent 2.5% of the American people but of the 100 names listed, 51 are Jewish. Jews represent 0.4% of the world’s population but 20% of the Nobel Prize winners. Albert Einstein, physicist, Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, James Salk developed the polio vaccine, Henry Kissinger, American Secretary of State, Pierre Mendes-France, French Prime Minister, George Soros, philanthropist, represent only a few of the very intelligent and successful Jews in the world. For people with anti-Semitic inclinations it is perceived as too many Jews in too many important positions. Forget the good they do!

After the holocaust, Israel, a Jewish state, was formed and from then on anti-Semites would find the state a convenient target for all that used to be targeted at Jewish people. The Arab-Israeli conflict has always been front and centre in newspaper head-lines throughout the world. Since 1950 it has resulted in 51,000 deaths, but to place the war in proper context, if you rank conflicts since 1950 by the number of human deaths, this one ranks 49th. This is the only area in the world where the refugee problem is never solved. The Arabs would like a bi-national democratic state when no other democratic Arab state exists in the region. Why should Israel take a chance, when a two-state solution is the proper and safe course to take? The land mass of Israel is minuscule compared to the area comprising the Arab world. Arnold Toynbee, an historian, was quoted “ that the displacement of the Arabs is an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis” and, to add insult to injury, Tony Blair, the former British Prime-Minister, is saying what others have said: the ruckus in the Muslim world won’t go away until at least the Arab/Israeli situation is resolved, neglecting to take into consideration the internecine conflicts in the Arab world and really out –of –date anti-imperialistic sentiments.. What about the terrorist bombings in England, Spain, India, France, Argentina, Indonesia, Kenya, etc., and the wars between Shiites and Sunnis? I once read that some religious leaders in the Sunni community believe the Shiite part of Islam was started by converted Jews. It seems that Jews can be blamed for everybody’s problems.

How unlucky can Jews get. Here we get a new president Donald Trump, whose daughter is married to a very prominent Jewish family, The Kushner’s, and his son-in-law Jared is involved in the election with the Russians to get Trump elected.. What are the rest of the American people thinking?

Ammar Shahim, an Egyptian-born American preacher, preached a sermon at the Islamic Center of Davis North California . In it he cited an Islamic hadith according to which the Muslims would fight the Jews on Judgement day and pray to Allah to liberate the Al Aqsa mosque from the filth of the Jews and annihilate them down to the very last one.

Yes, my gentile friends “Tzis Shver Tzu zan a Yid”

 

 

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Name: Murray Rubin

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