GIVE ME A YELLOW STAR!
Letter to the Editor (appearing in the European Edition of The New York Times)
Give me a yellow star!
By Chaim Bernard, Tel Aviv, Israel
A dreary, cloth patch sewn in the shape of a Star of David that every Jew was forced to wear in Nazi Germany along with every country the Germans conquered; every country in Europe, some even allied with Germany; every culture looking to expose the hated Jew.
A yellow star worn by both my parents, while you, Europe, were standing by.
That’s what I am to you: The guilty Jew. The filthy Jew. The stealing Jew. The disgusting Jew. The less-than-human Jew. The Jew that can only do wrong – bomb innocent Muslim children – for that is, of course, all we do, all we ever aspired to as a nation, a race.
The yellow star was forced on us. Rammed down our throats. It stood for dishonour and was associated with anti-Semitism, as you probably know. It was to be a badge of shame like Hawthorne’s scarlet letter. But 6 million times worse.
Give me a yellow star.
I want to wear a yellow star above my left breast where six million of my brothers and sisters were forced to don one. I want to walk around with a yellow star on every solitary piece of clothing I own. On my Armani suit, my Nike sweatshirt, Ralph Lauren sweater, my Champion hoodie, my Diesel jeans, my South Beach biker jacket. I’ll even wear it at the beach on my bare chest if I have to.
I want to walk down the streets of Paris near the Marais and be seen by you European anti-Semites. Outside the Great Synagogue of Stockholm, the Torah Center in Bruxelles, the Anna Frank Memorial in Amsterdam, the Holocaust Museum in Berlin, the Sigmund Freud House in London.
I want all of you to see me with it and hear you say: "Hey, here comes the Jew; he’s not just like the rest of us. He’s just a dirty Jew. A mass murderer. He kills Muslim children and then uses their blood for matzah, just like the rest of the Jews. They carpet bomb innocent people. They are useless except for their knowledge, their Nobel prizes, and their success. They kill children, those Jews. Don’t you know?
It’s the Jews who own Hollywood, the media, the banks. They’re the scum of the earth. They steal. Hitler was right. Let’s go spray-paint swastikas on his grandparents’ graves. Let’s go beat him up. Let’s kill him. Let’s murder a rabbi in Miami or Bruxelles."
I want that yellow star.
Europe, to me that yellow star is a symbol of almost everything I stand for. It’s a symbol of surviving evil. It’s heritage and knowledge.
Tolerance and optimism. It’s strength and confidence in the face of the weakness and insecurity of those not being taught well enough what their mothers should have taught them.
That yellow star is education, resilience.
It’s right over wrong, and it is life.
It is testament to all who tragically died wearing it, so that their future surviving brothers and sisters know never to be afraid of who they are again. Never to be silent again, never to apologize for surviving. Thanks to them and indeed, for them, this yellow badge ceased being a badge of shame long ago. It’s my badge of honour. I survived your indifference, your stupidity, your inhumanity, your hatred, and your ignorance.
For me, it’s a yellow F–k-You-Europe-star.
It’s a star that blinds out any other emblem that preaches hatred. It drowns out the form, shape and color of swastikas, the black flags of ISIS and Al Qaeda, and the green of Hamas or the yellow of Hezbollah.
Before being herded off to the gas chambers around 70 years ago, Jews wearing their yellow star were hearing ‘Kill the Jews’, ‘Heil Hitler’, ‘The only good Jew is a dead Jew’, ‘Stealing Jew!’ – and all that, before being ostracized from their communities, stripped of their belongings, property, identities, humanity and eventually, their lives. They were hearing Words. It happened in many other countries too.
Like my father’s country. A country from which he was expelled for being a Jew. For being a dirty Jew.
It – Always – Begins – With – Words.
The same kind of words we’re hearing now on your social media. On your streets. At demonstrations. In conversations. Words that have nothing to do with Israel; Palestine; Politics; The Middle East, or anything. You might not be all too happy with ISIS and Hamas, but if you aren’t trying seriously to expose them for who and what they are, then you’re not part of the solution, but part of the problem. You know nothing about your own history, nothing about the Islamic conquest of Europe from the year 626 until this very day – the holy Jihad, followed by the Islamic Caliphate.
The world is abuzz right now with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic words. Anti-Semitic words that Jews like myself are used to. I’m talking to you, Dieudonné; Mel Gibson; Roger Waters. And the rest of you ignorant Jew-haters. And I’m talking to you, radical Islamic leaders, standing behind your pulpits preaching lies and hate and division in the name of Allah.
And to you – ‘innocent’ bystanders in Europe: I’m talking to you — supposedly liberal minded people – friends of mine, even – who spend way too much time talking about Israel fighting for its existence in a defensive war, “disproportionately” (as if the bombing of Dresden, the killing of Bin Laden, the invasion of Berlin by the Russian Army never happened) but very little talking about the hundreds of thousands being murdered in Syria, in Iraq. About people being murdered for being followers of any other religion save Islam. Very little talking about ISIS taking over the Middle East; displaying severed human heads on spikes; shooting people in ditches by the thousands; beheading journalists on YouTube. Very little time talking about Syrians being gassed or that semi-literate-peasant-turned-Turkish-prime-minister spewing the kind of virulent anti-Semitism which ends with only one thing.
And don’t forget 9/11, London’s 7/7, Spain’s Madrid train bombings or the Boston Marathon bombing, while you’re at it.
Take a good hard look at my yellow star. Look at where it came from. Look what was done after we, the Jews, were forced to wear it, and then ask yourselves, are we doing the same to others? Us Jews? Us Israelis? Are we Jews hell-bent on exterminating people? Is that really what we want? Or are others doing that which you think we’re doing! – others you refuse to be vocal about or condemn with a simple post or a click of your ‘like’ button.
Here is what the German cleric, Pastor Martin Niemöller wrote: “First they burned their books and their synagogues, and I didn’t speak out.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.” He wrote these lines in 1933 – too late – and he referred to the Nazis.
But these words ring equally true in view of over 10% of the population in France now being Muslim, over 8% in Germany, over 6% in England; the neo-Nazis in virtually every European country, or the Nazi, Udo Voigt holding a seat in the Civil Rights Commission of the European Parliament.
Europe: I, for one, am not going anywhere…
Never again. Though some might wish it — NEVER AGAIN!
For anyone else reading this from afar, who might agree with what I’m saying, Jews and non-Jews alike: don’t feel sorry for me, my family, my friends. Don’t feel sorry for us. We’re fine and we’re not afraid, and we’re here to stay.
Don’t be afraid for us, Europe, because I do not intend to be a victim. None of us do. And I hope you aren’t either, despite the warning signs.
My yellow star is staring extremism in the face.
Am I cool with the yellow star? You’re damn right I am, totally!
Dr. Chaim Bernard, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Once more I am going to forward an editorial from the Calgary Herald dated March 6, 2015, written by Naomi Lakritz, one of the best editorial writers at the Herald. She is one of my favourites, and a quick read of her editorial will explain why. Take a look: Israel haters
TODAYS WEB SITES
I am an old guy of indeterminate age who has vivid memories of Jerry Lee Lewis. Check out the piano playing of Jacob Tolliver. Tolliver
BIRDS WITH BIRD BRAINS? THINK AGAIN! Check out this crow for smarts. crow smarts
This is a video of a drive through window at a MacDonald’s restaurant where a woman goes absolutely ballistic when she cannot buy chicken nuggets first thing in the morning.
You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello and too old
to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this.
For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on…
If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, ‘Who’s on First?’ might have turned out something like this:
COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks I’m setting up an office in my den and I’m thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name’s Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO : I don’t own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name’s Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don’t know. What will I see when I look at the windows?
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let’s just say I’m sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue ‘W’.
COSTELLO: I’m going to click your blue ‘W’ if you don’t start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? Do you have anything I can track my money with?
COSTELLO: That’s right. What do you have?
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What’s bundled with my computer?
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. At no extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn’t it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!
(A few days later)
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on ‘START.’
Have a Great Day, and be kind to one another!