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Prepare for the Hate Parade

October 23, 2008

 

I laughed along with millions of Americans as I watched Tina Fey’s satire of Sarah Palin in the Saturday Night Live Palin-Biden debate skit on October 4th. But minutes later, I became uneasy as the satire turned to Jews: Barney Frank, billionaire investor George Soros, and Herb and Marion Sandler, the real life couple who built Golden West Financial into a subprime lending powerhouse before selling it to Wachovia Bank. After the character playing Herb Sandler claimed how well they were doing after making $24 billion, the caption below read, “People who should be shot.”

            In the vitriolic environment of the election season and the stock and credit market crisis, it didn’t take long for the satirical finger-pointing to begin. Hamas leaders have made the claim that the “Jewish lobby” is responsible for the global financial crisis. Online hate is sprouting with messages on mainstream finance chat boards about Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs such as “(Jews have) infiltrated Government and Wall Street and have ruined our country” and “They (Jews) love money nothing else, no faith or religion can be so heartless to their victims.”

            If Adolph Hitler were alive today, he might have reveled in the power and incredible speed of the Internet. Just think of his cunning and ability to distill hate-plagued propaganda and then imagine his words instantly spread through every home and computer via the World Wide Web.  

            Today, we don’t have Hitler but there are thousands of people spewing poisonous messages into the most popular of websites. If you haven’t seen You Tube videos, “A Zionist Nightmare” and “Auntie Semite USA”, you can thank the Anti-Defamation League (www.adl.org) and the Jewish Internet Defense Force (www.thejidf.org). The Jewish Internet Defense Force describes itself as a group of Jewish activists who fight anti-Semitism and terrorism trends throughout the Internet. When the JIDF asked Facebook to remove its “Israel is not a country” page, the response from Facebook was that the anti-Israel group was “legitimate political discourse.” Facebook members were exposed to what the JIDF called “one of the most vile, most anti-Semitic, most pro-Jihad and most disgusting, and most importantly, most active hate groups on the Internet.”

            The JIDF was able to technically take control of the website and removed it from Facebook. But they haven’t yet been able to remove “Auschwitz Night Fever” from the Internet, one of the most loathsome videos I have ever seen (found on YouTube and Ning). The video merges the Bee Gees singing, John Travolta dancing, and atrocities from Schindler’s List, glorifying the random murder of Jews.

            Prepare for the hate parade. Prepare for the anger that is arising post George W. Bush, spilling out as the power of the United States withers with its economy. The rise and fall of the housing, credit, and stock markets, have poisoned the world economy. Putin and other world “leaders” are castigating the United States for its financial negligence as Americans spew anger at Wall Street bankers who walk away with millions while their firms collapse. There is also plenty of blame for the last two heads of the Federal Reserve, Greenspan and Bernanke, both Jewish. It’s not surprising that the furor over the Fed, government, and Wall Street is starting to target Jews

            Thankfully, we have watch-dog organizations like the Anti-Defamation League which is committed to fight anti-Semitism hatred. In its “Agenda for the New Administration,” ADL focuses on the threat of Islamic extremism as well as the “use of the Internet as a vehicle to spread hate.” It is monitoring the new trend of hate Web sites formatted for Web-enabled cell phones and translating Hamas Web sites from Arabic into English, revealing “how Hamas glorifies violence and how it attempts to indoctrinate children.” The ADL is also challenging Professor Kevin MacDonald from California State University, widely admired by anti-Semites, who has said, “A political crisis over Jewish influence is exactly what the United States needs.”

            On Wednesday, November 5th, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman, is coming to the West Bloomfield JCC’s 2008 Jewish Book Fair to discuss his latest book, The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control and counter the bigotry of Professor MacDonald and others who believe that “Israel has the world’s one remaining military superpower completely at its bidding.” We need to join ADL and Foxman as they battle the onslaught of Jewish hatred.

            It is frightening enough to contemplate the stock market and credit collapse twisting from a recession into possibly a depression. But it’s even harder to imagine the return of worldwide extremist hatred toward Jews. We must be prepared for anything and one way is to visit the ADL Action Center at www.adl.org/actioncenter. Online, you can sign petitions and letters to world leaders with a few clicks of your mouse. You can register views on critical topics and make a donation in support of a specific ADL issue.

            We need to act now. Whether we hear Abraham Foxman at the JCC, donate to the JIDF, ADL, or take part in the Action Center, we can do something. The worst thing is to sit in silence and do nothing while the world markets falter and anti-Semitism ensues. Rather than clinging to despair and waiting for others to act, we can be vigilant and focus on what each of us can do to repair the world.

              

 

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