- Politics and Social Issues
Wisdom of Kahana: HATE
The world has a peculiar perspective of events and responsibilities when it comes to Jews. For example, the creation of the Diaspora, which is the recognized dispersal of the Jewish people from their ancient homeland of Judea, Samaria and Galilee, which the Romans condescendingly referred to as Palestine, was heralded as being nothing more than the result of a willing migration of the Jews for international trade purposes. The ‘historical’ fact being promulgated that we were transplanted to countries situated in Eastern and Western Europe and northern Africa had nothing to do with the forced evacuation, enslavement and exile executed by the Romans after two failed wars of liberation ending in 70 and 135 AD is absurd. Nor does the evidence that once the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as its official state religion following Constantine’s victory and unification in the 4th century, soon afterwards followed by the Church’s official sanctioning and perpetrating institutionalized rabid anti-Semitism appears to alter that same misguided opinion that Jews readily desired life in other parts of the world. Exiled existence was supposedly in preference to seeking a return to the Holy Land. Words such as ludicrous and ridiculous come to mind, yet that bizarre notion that it was our desire not to return is used as their justification to exclaim we no longer have entitlement to that which is rightfully ours. By the way, any return during those Dark Ages was a near impossible task considering that once Europe became Christianized it forbade Jews to own either land or weapons, taxed them heavily and regularly seized all monies within the Jewish communities, leaving them with neither the ability to purchase passage or defend oneself on a long excursion.
This Catch-22, this impossibility to turn neither right nor left has been at the heart of anti-Semitism since its inception at the time of the first Assyrian exile. Victims of circumstances well beyond their own control, we Jews are still blamed for this apparent lack of response for which we were neither capable of performing nor permitted to do even if it were possible. Neither wanted nor befriended, Christian monarchs would not permit their Jews (Jews were classified as property of the crown) to leave their lands for fear that there would be no one to lend the crown money since usury was forbidden to Christians. Not that repayment was ever guaranteed since history records that it was quite common practice to merely confiscate the funds and sometimes even terminate the lender. It is only now that the State of Israel actually exists, but this is a nation created more from international guilt than the world’s actual acceptance of the Right of Return. Furthermore, the issue of the Catch-22 is rapidly regaining prominence, since a large and vociferous number of the descendants of those same European perpetrators and disseminators of hate and murder are now insisting that the failure of the Jews to exercise their right of return in the two preceding millennia, a privilege never extended to us, has in some way forfeited Israel’s right to exist within safe and secure borders.
A Cancer in Europe
It must have been a terrible burden for so many Europeans in the past to detest Jews to so great an extent, classifying us as undesirables, yet at the same time unwilling to let us leave. That hatred manifested itself in many forms, such as the Lateran council’s decision in 1215 proclaiming Jews must wear a badge or marking on their clothing making them distinct and noticeable as they feared we were beginning to look more and more like the native European population that surrounded us. That same century, the introduction of separation laws forced the Jews to live in ghettos, only to serve as a means to either quickly expulse the Jews or slaughter them through repeated pogroms depending on the whims and wills of both government and people. Even the expulsions such as those in England of 1290 or from France in 1302 and 1332 never provided the means by which they could return to their land of origin, as their legs and carts should they have any, only managed to get them as far as the neighbouring country, assuming that country was willing to let them enter. Regardless, the expulsing country usually begged their Jews to return within a single generation, realizing they had lost far more economically than they had anticipated.
The Seeds of Hatred
The plague only provided another excuse to accuse the Jews of crimes against humanity, encouraging further slaughter, torture and more decrees of expulsion, acts which appear to have been readily adopted by countries such as Spain and Germany. Though many Jews believed Martin Luther with his Protestant reforms would in some way lessen the burden of their lives, that misguided illusion was quickly dispelled when Luther wrote in 1543, “We cannot tolerate them if we do not wish to share in their lies, curses, and blasphemy… Let me give you my honest advice. First, their synagogues…should be set on fire… Second, their homes should be likewise broken down and destroyed… Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer books and Talmud’s… Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under tread of death to teach anymore… All their cash and valuables ought to be taken from them and put aside for safe keeping… everything that they possess they stole and robbed from us through their usury.” With the Catholic Church persecuting from the right and Protestants doing so from the left, can it actually be believed that Jews willingly chose to continue under such an existence if they had the opportunity to return to the Holy Land? An offer never made by the likes of Luther and his cronies, as that would leave them with nothing to confiscate for ‘safe keeping’.
The Rise of Nazism
Probably the greatest travesty that beset the Jews was when liberal thinkers came to control the parliaments and bunds of the European governments for the briefest of periods in the 19th Century. They took it upon themselves to correct the discriminatory and racist policies of their predecessors without the forethought that their attainment of government prominence might only be temporary. Therefore, when these do-gooders of the 19th Century began bestowing the same rights and privileges as other citizens upon the Jews in their lands, they did so with all the right intentions but failed to see the bigger picture. What they were actually achieving was not an age of enlightenment but instead a means of further entrenching the near maniacal hatreds that were inborn to all those that already harboured a long standing anti-Semitism but more so driving many that had remained undecided and unaligned when it came to their views on Jews into the racist’s camp. Though many Jews saw this as a huge step for Western Society and especially for themselves, in reality it was just one more means by which we could be swayed from our true purpose of returning home and foolishly convince ourselves that the majority of the outside world could actually ‘like’ us. In turn, we started to believe that we could be like everyone else, many assimilating and marrying into the other cultures. Our sudden attainment of rights and freedoms was nothing more than a threat because if we were to become fully accepted then we would also become fully integrated into their society. We could challenge for jobs, teaching positions, and even let our views of religion be heard which would then threaten the very existence of their own belief system. Let’s not forget Richard Wagner, a so-called enlightened and educated German who wrote in his letter to Ludwig, King of Bavaria, “I must certainly regard the Jewish race as the born enemy of pure man and of all nobility in them and am convinced that we Germans in particular will be destroyed by them.” Enlightened, hardly, having received his initial philosophies from another educated ‘new’ man, Fredrich Nietzsche. Let us not forget Eugene Duhring, an economist, who in 1881stated that he thought Jews were “scarcely human” and that they should be enemies of all nations. German philosopher, Paul de Lagarde, fifteen years later took these sentiments to the next level describing Jews as “vermin” and proposed there needed to be a “surgical incision… to remove the source of the infection.” That was the reward to the Jewish emancipation. That was the true gift of liberation. More so, that was the lesson all Jews required in order to remember that no matter how many times liberal thinkers and good people in the rest of the world profess and condemn the guilt of their fellow countrymen, they will always be replaced by those that share the darkness in their hearts from the beginning of civilization. Let us not even presume that this was simply a German problem, lest we forget the British Royal House had one of its own great anti-Semites in Edward the Duke of Windsor.
The infection of racism has afflicted many Europeans today and they still believe that Jewish people can never be “true” and loyal citizens to Europe, yet those same people don’t want us living in ‘Palestine’ either. This double standard allowed the massacres of the late 19th century, measured in the thousands all the way to the extermination of the 20th century in the millions. So the question become, “If they don’t want Jews living in Europe, and they’re against Jews living in Israel, since they view it as a usurping, war-mongering nation, then where do they want Jews to live.” And therein lays the real answer to the Catch-22. Their true, unguarded, unreserved and totally revealed answer; they don’t want you to live at all! The question they have asked for two thousand years, from the time Rome defeated us twice in wars that took millions of lives, all the way to the horrors of an Auschwitz or a Bergen-Belsen, “Why don’t you just die? Why don’t you just disappear and leave us alone?” You see, the Right of Return was never supposed to succeed. Israel was never supposed to exist. From the British blockades, to the united Arab armies of 1947, 1967 and 1973, it was not supposed to survive. The fact that it has made it past its 60th anniversary as a nation is the most troublesome fact of all to these hate-filled, anti-Semitic, vile creatures simply because it suggests that as Jews we might be truly here to stay. That there might be something actually truthful to what’s written in the bible that we will exist as long as man walks this planet. But what worries them even more, is that the full restoration promised in Tanach, might actually take place.
Feeling the Hate
Do I hate? Yes, I confess, I am filled with hatred. However, mine is a rational and logical hatred. A hatred that when examined is extremely focused and directed. I hate the haters. They will not change and those Jews that continually believe that as long as we placate them, give them what they want, try to rationalize and explain why, who and what we are, that miraculously they will experience a revelation and their stone-cold hearts will suddenly be swelled by love and admiration are merely delusional. Anti-Semitism is a hatred born of malice, prejudice and historically induced ignorance. Anti-Semites are a cancer that feeds off the body of mankind, metastasizing as these racists spread their lies and evil intentions across the globe until they take root and their poison spreads. Let them endure the worst of my hatred. Let them know that their concealment behind a mask of benevolence for the sake of those they claim to defend against Jewish aggression has been exposed as nothing more than a charade to hide the malignancy within their souls. Moreover, may God never forgive them, these children of Cain that have learned nothing since the dawn of time and sadly never will.
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana