Monday, February 26, 2024

Guest Post: “When we bring Hitler back…”

A guest post on Kiwiblog by Kara Isaac:

“Hey Jew Jew.” The words came from the 12-year-old boy standing in front of my son as they lined up at school waiting for their turn at a game. “When we bring Hitler back we're going to kill you twice.”

They were dropped with casual disdain and a smirk. The same kind of smirk he had used the week before when the teacher stepped out of the classroom and he took the opportunity to do a Nazi salute with an accompanying “Heil Hitler!”
My son came home angry and in tears. Trying to figure out why anyone would wish him dead just because they thought he was Jewish.

He's not, as it so happens. But it's not the first time this has happened. People assuming from a combination of names and dark brown hair and dark brown eyes that we are.

On one side my children have as their heritage a great grandmother who grew up under the jackboot of Hitler in WWII Germany and subsequently fled East Germany in the middle of the night with only what she could carry after her family was dobbed in to the Stasi. The land that had been in her family for generations appropriated by the Russians as punishment for her father's alleged sin of being anti-communist.

Then there's her husband, my son's great grandfather, who was a Resistance leader in WWII Norway. And another great grandfather who fought for New Zealand against Hitler's forces in Africa.

On the other side my children are descended from Assyrian refugees from Iraq in the 1960s. An Assyrian minority in an Arab majority. A Christian minority in a Muslim majority. Not a recipe for a long or free life in Iraq under the Ba'ath party and the rising star of Saddam Hussein.

The UNHCR sent my father-in-law's family to Sydney. The surname Isaac a gift from an Australian immigration official who took exception to the Assyrian tradition of naming males six generations of the male family line.

So my son, while not Jewish, has grown up knowing his heritage of people forced to flee their homelands of generations. A few among the millions of others who have gone before them and come after. The victims of war and displacement and geopolitics and post-war agreements and bureaucrats across oceans drawing lines on maps about landscapes and people groups they know nothing about, and care even less.

My first realization that anti-semitism still lurked ugly and under the surface was when he was born. An older extended relative reacted strongly when told his name. “My G-d,” he exclaimed in horror. “What if the kids in the playground think he's a little Jew?!”

And here we are in Wellington in 2023. Finding out.

Turns out that today in some playgrounds, some kids, if they think your kid is a “little Jew” hold the view that Hitler had the right idea. And he's not alone. He was just young enough and foolish enough to say the quiet part out loud and more bluntly than most.

Many of the people who insist that words they don't like are literal violence and that selling cigarettes is systemic genocide, also believe that when it comes to Jews and Israeli civilians that: violence is merely resistance, torture is liberation, burning families alive in their homes is an act of decolonization, and that a terrorist organization with literal genocide in its charter is just misunderstood.

#BelieveWomen and #MeToo don't apply to Israeli women with slit Achilles tendons so they can't run, or shattered pelvises, or bodies with their underwear shredded and legs broken, or women disemboweled internally via their vaginal canal. Hence the resounding silence from organisations like UN Women who, two months later, still can't bring themselves to name and condemn the sadistic rape of Israeli women and girls. Because acknowledging mass gang rape by Hamas terrorists is somehow more deeply inconvenient to the oppressor-oppressed narrative in a way that cutting a little girl's hand off and leaving her to bleed slowly to death waiting for help isn't.

All of these things if you tilt your head to the left, embrace some historical illiteracy and indulge in a touch of moral relativism are now justifiable when it comes to Israel and ordinary families getting ready for their morning Shabbat meal, or young people at a dance party for peace, in large part because of the so-called ‘right to return'.

A “right” that exists nowhere else for any other displaced people.

When my grandmother fled East Germany and our family land was stolen no one talked about our right to return. Not our family, not any government, and certainly not a UN agency currently dedicated to keeping millions of people through multiple generations in poverty as refugees.

The people marching in the streets over the last two months chanting “From the River to the Sea” and citing the 1948 Nakba, in which 750,000 Palestinian-Arabs were expelled or fled their homes in Israel as a result of the Arab-Israeli war (which started when forces from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria and Iraq declared war and invaded Israel the day after it was created), don't like facts. They don't like that there could have been Palestinian and Israeli states co-existing side by side for the last 75 years if one and its friends hadn't invaded the other the day it came into existence because their hatred of Jews was more important than having their own state. It is not uncommon that when you start a war that you then lose, you lose land (see: pretty much every other war in history).

Here in NZ our morally virtuous marchers seem to have nothing to say about the 12-14 million ethnic Germans who were expelled from their homes in Eastern and Central Europe between 1944 and 1950 when the Allies and their friends carved up Europe between them after WWII. What about them, Chloe? Marama? If we're going to pick on 1948 let's talk about all of the people who were displaced from their homelands that year and march in the streets for their right to return.

If the world is a bit too big, if ethnic Germans are a bit too white and a bit too difficult to categorise shall we just focus in on the Middle East and Africa?

Shall we talk about the massive ethnic cleansing and expulsion of Jews that went on in neighbouring and nearby countries at a similar time? How about Algeria that went from having approximately 140,000 Jews in the 1940s to approximately 200 today? Or Morocco that had approximately 265,000 Jews in the 1940s and has approximately 2,000 today? Or how about my father-in-law's country, Iraq. At the turn of the 20th century it was estimated that 40% of the population of Baghdad was Jewish. Today, it's 4. Not 4%. 4 people.

All up roughly 900,000 Jews are estimated to have been expelled, fled, or immigrated from Muslim-majority African and Middle Eastern countries leaving their homes and assets behind. Of these approximately 650,000 ended up in Israel.

So since you're out marching, Chloe and Ricardo, where are your placards and slogans for the right of return for them and their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren to the homelands they were expelled from or fled? For them to get their houses and their assets back?

Or do they not count because they're Jews?

And so you choose the side of an Islamist authoritarian terrorist government that subjugates women, executes their political opponents, stands by while their followers drop gay people off buildings, uses civilians as human shields, and steals billions of dollars in aid money meant for infrastructure and food and medicine from their people to fund rockets and terror, and to line their own pockets.

Oh and kills babies, children and Holocaust survivors. Because nothing says oppressed fighting back against the nasty colonisers quite like deliberately targeting, torturing, and massacring defenceless children.

Back in Wellington, perhaps it is hardly surprising that we now have children embracing bringing Hitler back in the schoolyard when even some of our politicians have no room for facts, humanity or nuance when it interferes with their pre-determined narrative.

This articles was first published HERE


Anonymous said...

Wow, just, Wow. Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

This is a very sharp wake up call. The personal perspective makes the tragedies very real.

Anonymous said...

the filth that is the Left have always hated the Jews. A well argued piece and its time the these so called MP's were held to account for the hate speech the spray without care from deep in their ignorant little hearts.