Category: Blog

Is Hollywood Promoting Anti-Semitic Ideas?

Mel Gibson probably didn’t suspect the comments for his upcoming WWII Film, Hackshaw Ridge, which is set to be released in US theaters in November to be heavily anti-Semitic.

Gibson, filmed the movie “The Passion of the Christ,” which suggested that Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. In 2004 he was called out for voicing his anti-Semitic views. During a July 2006 DUI arrest, Gibson yelled at Jewish LA police officer James Mee, “F*** the Jews” and claimed that the Jews are responsible for starting all world wars.” Additionally Gibson’s father, Hutton Gibson is a prominent Holocaust denier. Gibson Jr. has not denounced his father’s views.

The question which appeared in a Showbiz411 column, in which renowned critic Roger Friedman asked:  “Are we supposed to separate the man from his art? And how does the director’s personal actions color the way we look at [his] movies? In the case of Gibson, that’s a tough one to call. But the real tests will come when [the] American press comes face to face with Gibson? Will be there a complete amnesia about what has gone on for the last decade?”

Some say Gibson’s personal views are irrelevant to his upcoming World War II movie since it stars a Jewish actor, an official with a leading US-based Jewish human rights organization said. As far as I can see, this is not an undertaking that would cross into the areas of concern that we have,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles added. Cooper continued, “People who are concerned about Mel Gibson will be looking at every film that comes out to see if it in any way crosses the line, but just based on the reviews…[Hacksaw Ridge] doesn’t seem to have a relevancy in any way to our issues.”

In May, controversy erupted when Gibson presented an award to an anti-Israel director at the Cannes Film Festival in France. In January, Cooper criticized the organizers of Hollywood’s Golden Globe Awards for selecting Gibson as a presenter at the 2016 ceremony despite his anti-Semitic history. “We’re disappointed that the Golden Globe Awards committee, at a time of surging anti-Semitism, has chosen to rehabilitate a bigot,” Cooper previously stated.

Source: Algemeiner

By: Inbal Zlotnik

Does fear justify racism?

In a reality of fear and terror, it’s easy to forget that sometimes fear can lead to racism. Living in constant fear can influence our attitude towards the source of our stress. Sometimes the source of the stress is another social group that we have political conflict with. Often we call them terrorists or murderers, and we generalize all the people of their ethnicity as potential terrorists. That’s why we need to be careful about justifying racist acts as self defense.

We must ask ourselves, “is it moral to act this way? Do we have any control of our fear? Are we responsible for our fear? How has terror influenced racism?”  In this article I will answer these questions and try to explain why fear does not justify racism.

The reality of terror and fear originated from two sources: Firstly, terror incidents and war zones. Secondly, the way that the government attempts to prevent the terror attacks, causing exaggerated fear and paranoia. Regular citizens do not know when and how the next attack is going to happen, they only know what they hear from the media.  The media is controlled by the government, which has a political need for safety.

Despite the message spread by the media, the truth is there is no control. No matter how many precautions are made the next attack can happen at any given time. This reality is not good for the government, so they create an illusion of safety. The illusion is made  for keeping the survival of the state  and preventing anarchy. That is why the government needs a safety preserving, preventing all of that.

It is politically good for the state to be frightened. That is why as long as there is a political threat there is political justification for defense. The defense keeps citizens safe and when they are safe the economy thrives. In order to keep the illusion of safety, the government needs a constant intimidation in the image of state enemy, and that enemy is terror.

In times of war or political unrest, many citizens are frightened by the uncontrolled terror event that could happen at any time. They cannot do anything to defend themselves. So when they come across a reminder of terror, which often is a person of the same culture as the vast majority of the terrorists, they are frightened. They react in racist ways and these acts are immoral. The common people are intimidated all the time by terror so they are frightened, and that’s why they are tools in a bigger political game

By definition, fear is a feeling that occurs during (or before) a dangerous event. Fear causes changes in the physiological activity of the body and makes behavioral changes, including: Escape, hiding, freezing in one place and avoiding the cause of the fear. Fear is a situation that’s perceived as danger to one’s health or life. Fear originated through cognitive progression and learning. The cause for fear can be rational or irrational. Despite the difference between the two, the reaction at the physical level is the same. Fear is one of the basic feelings of the human psyche.

Fear is a platform for political manipulation and can implement ideologies that in regular and calm situations, are not acceptable. Every idea, even if contrary to basic human rights,  in situations of fear, will be applied for the safety of the state. The government has a political interest in keeping the citizens frightened in a reality of constant fear, creating fear culture. Fear culture is a term describing a reality which the media dictates and influences peoples’ thoughts, feelings and reactions. Because fear is an uncontrolled response, people are manipulated to be frightened by anything that reminds them of terror. This process in a reality of constant fear, can attribute to racism caused by fear of terrorism.

Because the common people experience these reminders of terror on a daily basis by the media, they are in constant fear and anxiety. This situation creates a gap between the reality and fiction where the fiction, plays as an exaggerated fear of terror.  The government creates a double illusion. One is the never ending danger from terror and the other is the regime control of the terror.

The truth is that nothing is really controlled, and no one really knows what is going to happen tomorrow. But this truth can cause a lot of  political problems and anarchy. The state needs an illusion of safety for keeping the economy and politics moving forward. That is why the culture of fear was created, keeping everything on the capitalism move. That is why, in my opinion, the simple, frightened people are led to be racists, just because they are afraid for their life. The simplest way to correct this misleading situation is to expose the truth.

Even though there is a political and economic benefit from the fear culture, I wouldn’t say that terror danger is fiction and its only purpose is financial. That is not the truth. The truth is, it is nothing but possibilities rather than reality. The worst outcome of the fear culture is racism. People do not know how to defend themselves so they avoid anything that resembles the terror, sometimes it is other people from same racial background as the terrorists.

Racism originated by fear is an important subject that should be dealt with. The first thing that needs to be done is to let people know that fear culture exists. Let them know that there is a political and financial benefit from terror. Secondly, we must help people create a distinction between terror and culture. Despite the same cultural background, terrorists and people from the same culture are different, these people shouldn’t be frightened from and are not the ones to blame.

By: Mager Ynon

From Commemoration to Celebration

The Jewish State marks a few important days in the month of May, including the Holocaust memorial that ISCA followers obviously know plenty about; but the two nonetheless meaningful days in the modern Jewish calendar, just a week after the Holocaust memorial day- include the IDF fallen and Terror victims memorial day, immediately followed by Israel’s independents day: Back to back sorrow and happiness, pain and thrill.

Much can be said about the intense idea of moving from grief to celebration in a matter of seconds. While many countries mark similar days in the calendar, Israel is the only one the does so within 48 hours with an emotional rollercoaster that hits almost every Israeli’s soft spot- yet a another reminder of how intense and high volume life in Israel can get. In the Israeli school system it is pretty common to discuss the meaning of the two days and the reason they are connected. I have some vivid memories of teachers explaining to the class that the reason is mostly historical: The Israeli war for independence started the day after the UN announced its decision to enable an establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel on November 29th, 1947- when Arabs attacked Jews in response to the UN announcement. Five armies (form Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq) have joined the attack on Jews following the Israeli declaration of independence on the 14th of May, 1948. One by one and with very little help from western democracies, the young Jewish state and only democracy in the Middle East managed to fight of the five armies and one by one sign ceasefire agreements with all, the last one being with Syria in July 1949.

In 1951 the Jewish state declared the 4th day in the month of Eyar of the Hebrew Calendar (usually early May in the Gregorian calendar) as the official national memorial day, but in the two years prior to that the Memorial was actually a part of the independence mark- both in one day. Back then and prior to far too many wars, the only Soldiers to remember were those who fell in the lengthy battle for independence- so commemorating on the day of independence made sense. The decision to separate the two days was based on the recognition that the two- the fallen and the independence- deserve their own recognition, and so it was decided to do the celebrating a day after the commemorating. Logically, the fallen soldiers of the later wars were recognize on the already existing memorial day, remaining so up until this very moment.

But I believe there to be a deeper, psychological reason for the unique situation of the two days being connected; a reason that can be found in Israeli culture and behavior, much influenced by Jewish values. In a Jewish wedding it is custom to break a glass in memory of the destruction of the first and second Jewish temple (by the Babylonians and the Romans, accordingly), sending the Jews to exile. Furthermore, In a Jewish Funeral, it is custom to say a blessing. Remembering a disaster in the happiest event and saying a blessing in grief: in Judaism Happiness and sadness are inseparable. One can only truly be happy if he recognizes the lesser moments and even in grief must find the strength to say a blessing, and that must have culturally effected the Jewish state’s decision to establish a tradition of back to back Memorial Day and Independence Day. In a way, every year Israelis tell themselves: “you can only celebrate the overwhelming achievement of your independence if you remember what you sacrificed to get there”.

The two days being connected sends a powerful message about what Israeli values are all about. On top of the historical reason, there is a subconscious cultural-psychological reason that ties sadness and happiness together: Paying respect to the fallen come prior to celebrating independence because the price that is paid for the Jewish democracy is a huge part of the Israeli ethos- the commemoration enables the celebration.

Written By: Daniel Levy

Passover- A short bio

Most Jewish holidays commemorate historical events in the long and complicated history of the Jewish nation. In that regard, Passover is no exception. Many know the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, hence the famous biblical story of the Jews turning their back on slavery and becoming one as a nation. But what is the reason for eating specific food (and specifically not eating some foods), changing the atmosphere at home and in the community and telling the same stories in each and every household? Here is a short Passover ‘bio’- plain and simple:

Passover stands out because of the unique customs it includes- most famously food related. But as mentioned above, its main significance lies within the events that traditionally led to the development of its modern day customs.  As described in the bible, the Israelites were commanded to celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in Egypt and then becoming a nation under the leadership of Moses. According to standard biblical chronology, this event would take place around 1300 BCE. In the bigger picture of the Passover story one can find different meaning. For example, Passover also tells the story of God’s wrath after Pharaoh refused to free the Jews from slavery, punishing Egypt with the famous ten plagues, which some people can choose to interpret as a symbolic ten levels of moral corruption in Egypt the Jews were expected to leave behind. Leaving Egypt abruptly following the ten plagues led to baking bread for the “road” that did not have enough time to rise in the oven, turning into what is known as “Matzah”- a dry, flat and today crunchy form of bread all Jews are commanded to eat for seven days, with no exception.

Commemorating a significant historical event through a specific food is something no other Jewish Holiday shares with Passover. In a way, it shows the importance of Passover, perhaps above all other Holidays: All Jews around the world have been eating Matzah for 3000 years of Jewish history around the family dinner table on the first night of Passover. Once a non-verbal, cross cultural and highlighted as crucial tradition was established, it was easy for Jews in the diaspora to keep the tradition going and unify around the dinner table, eating Matzah (among other things) and telling stories to commemorate the miracle of Passover. Storytelling around the dinner table is also a unique Passover tradition: Just as Jews are commanded to eat Matzah for seven days, they are also commanded to tell intriguing stories to provoke their children to ask questions (one of those questions being: why do we have to eat this weird looking, dry, crunchy flat bread?), initially for the sake of keeping the conversation about the reasons behind the celebration flowing and for the purpose of keeping the tradition alive. To set general guidelines for these stories told around the dinner table, Jewish scholars (first during the Talmudic era) have written a “Hagadah”- an index book of short stories alongside biblical and Talmudic references that is meant to highlight different aspects in interpretations of Passover. This “Hagadah” book has many different styles and is as versatile as the Jewish communities around the globe who read it, though some are more in more common use than others. Some other customs and traditions have made their way into the Passover bonanza over the years, such as cleaning the house entirely, first for the sake of clearing it from “Chametz”- (leavened foods that are forbidden on the Jewish holiday of Passover), but also just for the sake of “spring cleaning”.

Interestingly enough, the many Passover traditions that were apparently meant to set a ‘different’ atmospheres in Jewish households have been apparent for non-Jews worldwide as well. Wherever Jews ended up after the destruction of the second Jewish temple in Jerusalem and the mass Jewish exile that followed (in around 75 BC). Ever since, different incidents of antisemitism took place (mainly in Europe), taking form of ridiculous accusations toward Jews regarding the Passover traditions. These accusations including the notorious “they-make-matzah-from-Christian-blood” have unfortunately led to violence towards Jews.

However, the versatile Passover traditions have managed to develop even more over time and become an experience that I believe is worth sharing with non-Jews as well. The more, the merrier. After all, many people worldwide could identify and feel comfortable with the celebration of freedom and peoplehood, what Passover is essentially all about.

 

Written by: Daniel Levy

 

Anti-Anti-Semitic US Hero

“Nah man. I don’t get it… If you hate racism you gotta hate antisemitism, too. I hate racism. So I hate antisemitism. I’m like, an anti-anti-Semite.”

For the most part, people would obviously rather sit alone on a plane. Since that almost never happens, flyers are often forced into awkward conversations with their flight neighbors, the type of conversations you usually forget about as soon as you leave the airport. Back in 2012, I was a frequent flyer myself, heading south from Ronald Reagan Airport, almost every other week. I can’t say I remember every single conversation I’ve had on these flights to say the least, but this one conversation really stuck with me.

Dressed in full US military uniform, Andre sat next to me on our way to Orlando, FL, in February 2012. “This will be a little crowded”, Said Andre, referring to both our shoulders. “They should match up skinny guys with bigger guys to ease it up a bit” he added with a smile. I laughed. I agreed and pointed out that at least it won’t take very long, referring to the estimated two hour flight. From that point on, the conversation kept on going. Andre told me he was back from his second tour and waiting for his next assignment, shortly followed by a blunt comment about the ‘Army look’ he thought I had, too. “Yes, up until not long ago. But… Not US Army. I served in an IDF special force”. Andre’s eyes widened. I wondered if the conversation would keep flowing. It did. “Wow” he said, and asked multiple questions. He wanted to know what it was like, how long I served and what I think about it. I told him about Gaza, he told me about Iraq.  We spent an hour talking and exchanging thoughts and Army stories, unaware of the time flying by as we were flying over the South- East of the US. We did not notice how many passengers were paying attention to our conversation, either.

Talking about the IDF without mentioning any aspect of the Israeli- Arab conflict is near impossible. As I would usually avoid discussing sensitive political issues with strangers on a plane (too much of a hassle), there was something about Andre’s curiosity that made me open up a bit. Slowly but surely, politics came up. After establishing that we have in common a view that opposes radical Islamic Terror, Andre wanted to know if I think there is a chance for peace in the Middle East. “There is always a chance. I think most Israelis want to live in peace very badly. Most Arabs, too” – I answered without much thinking. “It just looks real bad on the TV” –Andre added. “I know. I think a lot of people are brainwashed to hate the Jewish State. Straight up Antisemitism” –I replied, wondering if that was too much for Andre to handle. It wasn’t.

“Yeah sounds about right” –Andre said. At this point of the conversation I was already under the impression that I was lucky enough to have a seat alongside the nicest US solider in the country, but what really blew my mind and clearly stayed with me since, is what happened next. I said, smiling: “So you don’t think Jews are trying to take over the world? That Israel is Evil? Racist?” Andre looked at me, confused. “Nah man, that’s ignorant” –He said, confidant. I seized the moment and explained why I think the bias against Israel in the media has anti-Semitic roots. Andre agreed and said exactly the following: “Anything racist is wrong. Antisemitism is racism. If you hate racism you gotta hate antisemitism, too. I hate racism. So I hate Antisemitism. I’m like an anti-anti-Semite”.

I could swear I heard people around us applaud Andre, but even if it was just my own imagination working afterhours, it was clear to me that if a random US Army solider sitting next to me on a flight, could say that with so much confidence- there is still hope. What Andre put so simply together is exactly what anyone that hates racism should vouch for: Racism is wrong. Anti-Semitism is wrong. Let’s put an end to both.

(This blog is dedicated to my friend Andre. Wherever you are, may you stay safe and sound)

 

Written by: Daniel Levy

‘A coward drew a swastika on my Synagogue’

I am furious.

Some low-life coward has drawn swastika graffiti on the side of my Synagogue and on nearby bus-stops. It has literally ‘hit home’ for me and I can’t stop thinking about it. This is an assault against the Jewish People and directed towards those in my community. I can NOT be silent. What would drive a person to such deplorable action? Why such hatred?

A Synagogue is a unique and special place. Inside of our walls, time ticks to a different rhythm. Within our Sanctuary, individuals assemble to reflect, pray and meditate. Within our halls, people of all ages gather to acquire wisdom and knowledge. Inside of our kitchen, women, men and children gather to cook meals for the needy. In short, a Synagogue is a symbol of peace. It’s where we support each other during times of crises and celebrate together in times of festivity. It’s purpose: To inspire anyone who enters its doors into becoming a better person. So why would anyone want to deface it?

We are privileged to live in a country such as Australia. Its citizens are privileged to self-determination and experience many freedoms that are not afforded the citizens of other countries. One of those freedoms is the freedom to choose one’s religious beliefs and the expression of those beliefs. Only three days ago I attended the Royal Australian Air Force 95th anniversary celebrations in the presence of the Defence and Air-Force Chiefs and heard inspiring speeches calling for greater inclusion and diversity within our Defence Forces. If our Defence Force is to represent our country’s diverse population, then this is the way it must go. It reminded me that as Australian’s we must be proud of the many cultures and minorities that make up Australia and we must fight to ensure that we are all accorded dignity, respect and the right to religious freedom. Because if these freedoms were to be taken away, it will only be a matter of time before the other freedoms would go too.

Sydney Synagogue Swastika

Any individual that attacks one of the ethnic or religious groups that comprises our nation does not deserve to be called an Australian. Racial hatred has no place in our society and is a direct betrayal of our country’s core values.

Shortly Jews all over the world will be celebrating the Festival of Passover in which we recall G-d’s deliverance of the Jewish people from the oppressive yoke of ancient Egypt. Yet this Festival has come to symbolise much more. It represents the continuous Jewish struggle for freedom and the ultimate victory that will be gained over all of our oppressors.

Over our three and a half thousand year history since the Exodus, the Jews have suffered greatly. Yet we have endured. We have overcome many oppressive regimes and outlived many cruel, fanatical despots.
I have one message to impart to that vandal who desecrated my Synagogue and insulted my people: I pity you. Your hatred is self destructive, it will only consume YOU. So for your own sake, let it go.

Oh, and one more message. You were damn lucky that I wasn’t there to catch you.

***

The author of this piece, Rabbi Yossi Friedman, is the Rabbi of Maroubra Synagogue, in Sydney, Australia. It was originally published on his Facebook account.

B’Chol Dor VaDor- Every Generation

Winter 1953. Preparations for the annihilation of Soviet Union Jewry were peaking. According to Stalin’s orders, elaborated lists of all three million Jews who lived beyond the “Iron Curtain” were made, every worker’s union was required to make a list and send it to the local Government officials. The highlight of Stalin’s anti-Jewish propaganda was the notorious “Doctors’ plot” (or “Doctors’ Case) in which nine Jewish doctors, citizens of the Soviet Union, were falsely accused of plotting to kill government personal. By Stalin’s design, the trial was supposed to result in “spontaneous” Pogroms against Jews all around the Soviet Union. To “protect” the Jews from the pogroms, the Soviet Government was planning to send the Jews to Siberia, so half would die violently on the trains by angry mobs while the rest would freeze to death in the inhumane roofless shelters that were especially pre-made for the Jewish guests in the Siberian Steppe.

Petrified, Soviet Jews were awaiting the storm, hiding in their homes, expecting the pogroms to begin.

But then, on the very same day of Purim 1953, Joseph Stalin died.

The Soviet Regime managed to hide Stalin’s death from the public eye for two days before being forced to come out with an official announcement about the sun setting on the unions’ communist regime. But the date, the very same day of Purim, now that was a thing of notice to Jewish believers.

Interestingly enough, it seems like rulers and dictators of large States, Kingdoms and Empires are unaware of the ancient Talmudic principle: “Dina D’Malchuta Dina”, loosely translated into “the law of the kingdom is the law”. In other words, one must obey the rule and law of the “Malchut”- whatever law of the State, Kingdom or Empire the Jews are a part of (Nedarim 28a, Gittin 10b, Bava Kama 113b, Bava Batra 54b). Despite this principle, it seems like every generation is cursed with a ruler, typically a dictator, who views the Jews as an obstacle, a challenge, a “problem” to “deal with”. As the reason for hostile attention remains unknown just as the roots of antisemitism, it is worth pointing out that overall, the Jews have had an overwhelmingly positive influence on the countries, states and kingdoms they have been a part of in almost every category of statehood and government, while not being persecuted.

In England, Jews were not mistreated from the time of the establishment of the Jewish community in London in the 11th century. The kingdom benefited from the Jewish economic and political involvement, up until they were stripped from their rights piece by piece in the second half of the 13th century. The mass exile of the English Jews at the end of the 13th century had resulted in a quick escalation of the economic stability in the kingdom. Granted, many different factors led to the worsened state of England at the time. But while keeping in mind what followed the mass exile of the Jews in other places, the results are nothing short of mind boggling. In ancient Egypt, Persia and Rome and later on in England, Spain and France and up until modern times in Germany, Poland, Morocco and Russia, every time the Jews were mistreated and eventually expelled, things have worsened and gone downhill.

In my opinion, it is “Dina D’Malchut” that enables Jews to become a big part of society while away from their homeland. The understanding that ‘being a part of’ is the better way to go, has made Jews into an adaptive, resourceful and beneficial ally to those who are wise enough to welcome them as a full partner of the local law and culture. Yet, many, Stalin included, failed to recognize that very obvious outcome and chose to treat Jews as a “problem”. Between the two Jewish holidays, Purim and Passover, that commemorate the miracles that helped the Jews survive those rulers and dictators that sought to annihilate the Jews, it seems fitting to note that luckily, Stalin and his like, have failed miserably and will continue to do so as long as the Jewish people stay united and are able to combine their allegiance to the local law, together with loyalty to their own culture, religion and identity.

Written by: Daniel Levy

A Dangerous Text: Resurrecting Mein-Kampf

In this article I will discuss the influence of texts on people in the social political field. Written words can influence our perception; perception impacts ourselves and our surroundings. The sentences we read influence our behavior and attitudes towards others. We read, think and choose to make a change in the social political field after we read a text that was unique for us, a text which gave us the reason to stand up and do something. In turn, these actions of ours can hurt or even kill other people. This, in a nutshell, is why words can be dangerous.

For explaining this idea I’ll use a poem by Wisława Szymborska showing the power of words and art in general:

“Twenty-seven bones, muscle thirty-five, nearly two thousand nerve cells have all five fingers of the pad. It is enough to write Mein Kampf or the Winnie the Pooh.”

This poem tells us art created by our body can be the story of childhood or the manifest for murder. The ethical question is which story we, as readers, choose to consume. Will we read Winnie the Pooh or Mein Kampf?

Republishing Mein Kampf

Mein Kampf – translated as My Struggle – is the iconic book written by Adolf Hitler. Following the end of the Second World War and the Holocaust carried out by the Nazis, the manuscript was banned from many countries (including Israel and Germany), and copyright issues (they were transferred from Hitler to Germany) made it hard to print. However, On 31 December, 2015, Mein Kampf’s copyright license ended. This enabled the book to be republished. 

Now the book is free of copyright law and can be printed or bought by any one. A Munich history department published 4000 copies during January 2016. The decision to advertise the book was not welcomed in Germany and raised many objections. Despite the objections there is a belief by the Germen academy that the publication of Mein Kampf can help fight antisemitism instead of spreading it. They claim that having the book published by historians, and with research references, is the proper way to educate about the past. By refuting Hitler’s theory and teaching of the genocide it turned into, they say, the chances of trying to repeat the Holocaust drop drastically.

The German academic belief is based on the idea of fighting fire by fire. This means using rational thought to help the readers understand that there is nothing rational in Hitler’s theory. The historians used academic knowledge to exterminate the influence of the theory. There is a problem with that belief, as the German historians relate to all the readers in the same way. They assume the readers all have the same psychological background. Not all the readers are the same, some of them will be persuaded by the historians but there are other who will not be convinced. The opposite! These readers will see the opposition to the theory of Hitler as a challenge and an invitation to fight. For these readers the publication of Mein Kampf is wildfire.

For further explanation of this idea in the next paragraphs I will use Linguistic theory of philosopher Jacques Dridrh -Deconstruction to explain the impact of the text on the reader and using this rationale to wire to why I believe that Mein Kampf was no need to publish.
Deconstruction
Deconstruction is Linguistic theory literary text analysis conceptualized by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. Deconstruction is breaking the basic meaning of text and redefined with a new meaning. In deconstruction theory there is no significance for the writer meaning of text, there is no Wright or wrong but only chain of interpretations, I can understand text in one way and my friend understand in other way, were both Wright and wrong. When we deconstruct text we create a new text who interpret the first text the archetype in semantic relationship, it is homage.
Deconstruction is a post modern way of thinking in art and literary, we can see deconstruction in new ways to interpret modern texts. Deconstruction according to Derrida is liquidation of text and rebuilding it with critical reading.
Derrida’s goal is to subvert the meaning of the text structure and break it, to give it meaning in a new context, not accept the text for granted. According to the deconstruction any text can be interpreted in many ways very different from each every meaning have much difference from the other, this method of critical analysis relies on multiple meanings of the language .according to Derrida relationship between signifier and signified is linearly but differential, variable and arbitrary.
There is no essential connection between the word and its meaning; there is no understanding of the concept, but a series of understandings and interpretations. The language is Unequivocal and alloying many Interpretations, the language is turning against itself. Through deconstruction the connection between words and their global meaning is destroyed, and there is not one way to understand words rather many.

The power of words-deconstruction and Mein Kampf

In his writing of Mein Kampf Hitler did deconstruction of philosophical theory in western philosophy that called “chain of being” which is metaphorical connection between nation or country and body , In addition used old anti Semitic ideas that seeing the Jewish people as parasite and spreading disease. Hitler’s metaphors created the base line of Nazi ideology, a connection between the German state as dying body and Jewish people as parasite poisoning the body. These metaphors was Hitler’s Interpretation of western philosophy and reality, he deconstruct the known and create new meaning of: body, state and blood poisoning. Hitler’s ideas were unique, megalomaniac and homicidal, only by his words he persuaded nation to murder 6 million people that were massacred only by ideas and words that spread by a book written by madman.

The power of metaphors in Mein kampf

In his research of Mein Kampf Andres Musolff analyzed Hitler’s writing and its attribution for holocaust and war world 2. This book is the source for Nazi ideology and the final solution. Hitler’s metaphors are well known but there is significance for the text itself and the way it influenced the German nation.

The research is focusing on the medical political concepts of Hitler’s writing and how leads for the murder of 6 million Jews- creation of death camps. The death camps created by understanding and internalizing the metaphors, the research in a deconstruction of Mein Kampf in understanding how the text was a manifest for murder and lead for murder. Deconstruction of this manifest is a way to show how metaphors in political context are dangerous in their influences on people perception-Uncontrolled political writing can be devastating in its impact, the text is dangerous.

Referring Mein Kampf, Hitler did not use complicated metaphors but simple common anti Semitic images. He took these images gave them structure, order and rationality, in addition he add moral justification for his racial murderous thoughts. Metaphors are more than aesthetic use thinking or artistic expression, it helps set to mean that the writer wants us to understand and want to internalize. Plain text becomes meaningful, and in the context of Mein Kampf destruction of an entire people.

Hitler’s ideology metaphors relay on the analogy between Germany and sick body- the body of Germany is dying. The only solution and cure must be radical; the solution is in the race. If Germany is the sick body the cause for the sickness is the “parasite” Jews whom poisoning Germanys blood, Hitler is the only solution, he is the nation’s doctor. This metaphor was not invented by Hitler but part of western philosophic dialectic (chain of being) that compeering nation with body, this comparison used by many philosophers like Machiavelli, Thomas Moore, Francis Bacon and Thomas hob.

Hitler didn’t analyzed with the theory, but deconstructs it and created new meaning; he turned it from abstract to practical and gave it moral importance for murder. His concept is clear-the state is the dying body by the Jewish parasite, there is no place for imagination when it comes to the solution, Hitler’s solution is himself, he’s the leader who will destroy the Jewish plague which poisoning Germanys body. The narrative in his writing leading the reader to the solution that is not possible to argue about, the only solution that makes sense is extermination of the Jewish people. That is the most dangerous situation in these kind of texts, the writer speak to you and you’re listening, influenced by him or her and decide to take action, one book can destroyed the world, Mein Kampf did.

There is not only one dangerous text- the murder of john lenon

Hitler’s writing in Mein Kampf influenced Germany and changed the people understood race, body and poison, with his words Hitler persuaded that here is nothing wrong with extermination of the nation parasite on the contrary the moral thing is to end the plague for Germany sake. As mentioned before the Nazi movement who was in regime not only assimilated Hitler’s metaphors but gave life to them when it was determinate that the solution for the parasite is extermination and purifying the body, therefore the way to cleanse Germany is to exterminate the Jewish people using science- Hitler’s words lead to second war world and holocaust.

Mein Kampf wasn’t the only dangerous book that was banned, the book was banned due to transport murder and racism other books were banned due to other dangerous influences: Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita was banned because the book legitimised pedophilia, Oscar Wilde the picture of Dorian Gray was banned for legitimised homosexuality. There is one famous book that its content lead to the murder of John Lenon – The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger.

John Lenon was murdered at December 8 1980 by David Chapman at the entrance to his home at New York. At that time the killer was influenced by the book the Catcher in the Rye book that criticize the 1950’s bourgeois American society in their non authentic and material way of living. The writer critique against the American society incarnate by the lead character Holden Caulfield who was strongly criticising upper society of America, explaining how that society was hypocrite and fake, pretending to be quality and well mannered but realistically was rotten from the core.

The author was angry with that society, disappointment and hurt, all of his negative emotions reflected in his writing by the words of the main character, Chapman read these words and was strongly influenced by it, believing the writer is the only one who really understands him, the only one who tells the truth, Chapman seen himself as Holden Caulfield and Lenon as the symbol of social hypocrisy therefore the symbol must die. Holden had violent thoughts and a lot of anger, thoughts that persuaded Chapman to murder Lenon.

Conclusion

Literary, poetry, novels and books are the way people express their definition of reality, emotions and believes. Every writer tell his or her readers a secret from his or her world, sometimes this secret can change your perception of life, giving a new perspective to understand reality- this is the power of written words.

As Darida said the written words have life of its own out of the writers meaning, the text has independent life and story. This story can influence every person differently. Different influences can create different acts and these acts can give or take life. In his writing Hitler brought the death of 6 million Jewish people and caused a war world.

For conclusion as said in Szymborska’s poem, the same hand can write children story or manifest for murder. Our power as readers, publishers and writers is to choose to write or read the texts that contributing life not destroying it, publishing Mein Kampf at present days isn’t helping the fight against anti Semitism, instead its raising the hatred demon out of his forgotten grave.

Written by: Ynon Mager

Old-school Zionism still the best answer for anti-Semitism

Dealing with outspoken anti-Semitism can take many forms and unfortunately many Jews were forced to strategize their way out of hurtful and potentially dangerous situations. Some places in the world are known to be so anti-Semitic, that Jews are advised to not wear a Kippah (traditional head covering) while walking down the street, as a strategy to stay safe. These occurrences do not take place just in Syria, where very few to zero Jews are left, but in some of what are considered to be among the most liberal, free and educated counties in the world. Belgium, Sweden and France are good examples. Other strategies might include avoiding the “problematic” areas all together. But for 24 year old Yonatan Weinberg, hiding his identity or staying home was not an option: 11 years after being violently attacked in the streets of his hometown, Versailles, Yonatan has provided a loud and clear answer to his experiences with anti-Semitism and has become a fighter in the IDF infantry ‘Givati’ Brigade. That was his strategy.

Weinberg’s story was brought to light by Dani Brenner, a Journalist for ‘Israel Hayom’, on February 14th, 2016. Though still special and inspiring, a story of making Alyah from France and joining the IDF is hardly a rarity. Yet Weinberg’s story embodies a strategy for dealing with anti-Semitism that can never be forgotten, because it has proven itself right, good and overall pretty safe. What we can learn from a young motivated Zionist in 2016 is what 150 years of Zionism has been trying to teach us: The best way of fighting anti-Semitism is still- moving to Israel. Weinberg, committed to go the extra mile, enlisted to the IDF as a part of his strategy, showing the anti-Semitic attackers that jumped him when he was 13 years old that the Jewish people are far from being helpless. Hence: old-school Zionism. Packing up and moving to Zion.

Understanding and actualizing the privilege that is also the very reason the Zionist movement and consequently the Jewish state itself exist of moving to Israel may be a no-brainer for many Jews, but in reality, making Alyiah now is sometimes harder than it seems. Some Zionist organizations, such as the Jewish Agency, have realized this in the past few decades and therefore dwindled down calling out on Jews to come back to the Jewish homeland. But how does it serve as a strategy in combating anti-Semitism? Pretty well, actually. Among those whom understand Europe is at large no longer safe for Jews, many realize no place could ever be safer than Israel, even now and maybe especially now. While more attacks, such as the one against Yonatan Weinberg occur on a daily basis, the only place in the world where Jews can look anti-Semitism in the eye and fight back in the name of freedom, democracy and equality is the thriving, growing, vibrant state of Israel; not the wanna-be liberal state of France, where Jews need to hide or disguise their own identity, even after close to two-thousand years of history in the region.

Weinberg’s answer to anti-Semitism will echo throughout history as the best way to deal with anti-Semitism that ever was and ever will be: Joining the one place that has sworn to protect the Jewish people around the globe and becoming a part of its Army, fueled by the notion that if enough young Jews will do the same, no one will have the audacity to stab a 13 year old Jewish boy in the stomach just because he is Jewish. And though old school Zionism has relatively gone quiet, it remains the best and maybe the only realistic option Jews, especially in France, have to dealing with daily anti-Semitism. Thus, moving to Israel is not just a bold and interesting action that one young Jewish kid from France has taken. It’s way more than making a dream come true for generations of Zionists- it is also a strategic move that all Jews should consider as a response to modern day anti-Semitism that the world has so easily gotten used to. Better than hiding, better than turning the other cheek and even better than just staying put, insisting to belong. No one has said it better than PM Benjamin Netanyahu while speaking to the Jewish community of France in 2012:  “In my role as Prime Minister of Israel, I always say to Jews, wherever they may be, I say to them: Come to Israel and make Israel your home.” –not only for demographic, economic or idealistic reasons, but literally as an answer to anti-Semitism.

 

Written by: Daniel Levy

Auschwitz: Haunting Memories in the Here and Now

In 2093,


Where will you be 77 years from now?

Will Israel still be a state?

Where will we stand  as a community?

As Jews?

Will our children go to the army?

(Or there won’t be a need for an army anymore by then… )

77 years from now.

77 years ago, Auschwitz existed.

Auschwitz was a horrible place, where smoke rose up to the sky with the smell of death.  Where the dead bodies of a father, a mother and a little baby, lay lifeless, murdered simply because of the fact they were Jews. Some one million Jews were murdered there. For those martyrs, Israel was only a dream. A place they will never get to see. A distant dream.

But my grandfather believed.

Two years ago after repeated requests, Grandpa accepted our pleas and with his modest blue eyes told us the story of his Holocaust experience.

My grandfather, Aryeh, grew up in Poland to a Jewish family, one of six siblings. The town he lived in was sent first to the “Prokchem” labor camp, and then to the “Plashov” labor camp.

In Plashov, my grandfather sees his father die in front of his own eyes. The Nazis shoot him to death while his two small children stand near.

Grandpa looked like a Polish child, with blond hair and blue eyes, which helped him survive. Once while traveling by train he noticed two Polish children whispering. Terrified, he ran away and hid in the station’s restroom after he saw them calling the police to find and arrest him.

In Plashov, the commander “took care” of Grandpa. The commander ordered Grandpa to report to his office after shouting at him when he lost a screw while working. The commander beat Grandpa with a club, until he was bleeding. However, it wasn’t over. Every day he looked for my grandfather, who managed to evade him time after time until a Nazi prison officer, a Kapo officer, caught him. Grandpa told the officer he will not go with him and if the commander wants to kill him- he can come and try. The Kapo officer was suddenly overwhelmed with mercy towards the small child and defended him.

After the war, Grandpa was sent to a displaced persons camp in Poland. Some tried to convince him not to immigrate to Israel.

But my grandfather – didn’t run away.

My grandfather moved to Israel, he finally made Aliyah. He came to Israel alone at the age of 16. He founded a factory that is still in business today. He raised a family, and bore grandchildren and great grandchildren who all served in the Israel Defense Forces.

John Lenon’s song “Imagine” pictures the world as just a dream against the reality of ours – full of hate.

But the world is also full of love.

We decide how we want to live.

Run away or believe, fear or courage, hate or love.

Even though he survived the worst of all, my grandfather never denigrated someone because he or she was different. He chose to live his life through a perspective of respect and equality.

His good heart, which was loved and accepted by everyone, despite their differences eventually passed on.

But death is a part of the circle of life.

We are only given one life.

The important thing is the way we choose to live it.

Dreams full of motivation – do come true.

 

This article is in honor of my grandfather, Aryeh Zlotnik of blessed memory who passed away in October 2015.

Written by: Inbal Zlotnik