Wednesday, June 16, 2004

How Do You Feel?

This post from Not a Fish makes me angry. How about you?

"I hope Charles Johnson, Michael Totten, and 'zombie' don’t mind my borrowing this photo. I printed it out yesterday and stuck it on the wall in my office this morning, where only I could see it. Today I sat with the man holding the sign, occasionally glancing at him while I worked, trying to understand.

‘SMASH THE JEWISH STATE’, he says. Smash the Jewish State. I’ve been rolling those words on my tongue and looking at the man’s image looking back at me.

He’s wearing a nice green golf shirt with a pocket. My dad likes a pocket in his shirts too, so he can have his sunglasses and other things handy. This person also has things in his pocket, just like my dad.

He’s also wearing a nice, good quality cap. It looks green, but it could be gray. I’d like to think it’s green and that he’s matched the colors. The cap looks like it has a little red five-pointed star pinned on it. Someone on Michael Totten’s comments said that he doesn’t look like a lefty, whatever that means, but doesn’t that star mean he’s a communist? I thought communists wanted to make the world a better place.

It looks like he’s made the sign himself, and attached it to the placard with clips. I wonder if he goes to a lot of demonstrations and changes the signs according to the subject on hand? That’s a very tidy, organized thing to do.

You know, physically, he reminds me of someone else. Someone I was just thinking about this year on Remembrance Day for the fallen of Israel’s wars. Guy called Yossi. He used to be in my class. I can’t remember how he was killed, but I remember not being surprised. He was the type of guy who was always ready to help, who carried the girls’ backpacks when they were tired on school trips. He was an innocent who really believed in things. And he was the type of guy who would think nothing of volunteering for the really dangerous stuff.

The appearance of the man in the photo is probably similar to how Yossi, my old classmate, would have looked had he been fortunate enough to reach fifty. He didn’t make it to twenty-six. But maybe our green-clad friend here could have learnt something from him about kindness, about industriousness, and about trying to make the world a better place. Oh, and about smiling at the camera. Yossi would have smiled at the camera, no doubt about it.

And he would never have been holding a sign saying anything like that.

Everything about the harmless-looking gentleman in the photo, in his green or gray cap, even his serious, committed expression, is in such sharp contrast with the viciously violent, hateful sentiment expressed on his little sign.

Smash the Jewish State. Smash the Jews in it. Smash my nine-year-old daughter. Smash her little collection of Bratz dolls, lovingly collected one by one. Smash our three-month-old kitten. Smash my great grandmother’s Shabbat candlesticks. Smash Ronit’s new baby with her dark skin and bright eyes, suckling milk from her mother’s breast in the shade of the tree. Smash Doctor Assuline, who helped bring her into this world. Smash Luda, who washed the room after mother and daughter had been wheeled away, and Hameed, who built the crib her parents bought for her when they bought her home from the hospital.

Smash the memory of my dead classmate, look-alike of one hate-filled American protester.

What did we do to this tidy, organized, serious man to make him hate us so much that he wants to smash us?

I suppose he will tell you he isn’t an anti-Semite.

posted by Imshin"

Yeah, not an anti-Semite. I can say, as a Christian, a WASP, yet, "Jesus Christ!"

What kind of person is this? I can't show the photo because I am on a cheapy cheapy blog site carrier, but I wish I could. The description of this gentleman is not very accurate (tidy, organized, serious), I'm sorry. I cannot describe how utterly American, middle class, WASP-ish, non-descript, feller-next-door, fix-yer-plumbing, teach-the-clarinet-to-your-daughter, here-is-how-you-throw-the-fastball, this guy is. What the HELL is he thinking, doing?

What is "Smash the Jewish State"? First of all, what is "SMASH?" Crush it with ground troops, tanks, rockets, bombs? OK, by whom? Well, forget that. There ain't nobody handy and able.

And then, what is the Jewish State? Well, Imshin says it better than I ever could. What is "State"? It's people, persons, human beings, just like mom, dad, sis, bro', cousins, nephews, friends, neighbors, the people you just saw on the street. Crush them? Are you sure? Are you really sure that you want that done?

I realize that I speak from the high ground. The United States of America does not, at this time, sweat the "crush them" rhetoric. It is we, lo contrario, who are more likely to do the crushing. I cannot imagine what it would be like to live under the kind of every single day pressure under which must live Imshin and all of her family, friends, neighbors, children, loved ones.

Imshin, I love you and yours and, Democrat or Republican, I don't believe that you will ever be abandoned by the most powerful state that has ever inhabited this earth. Hang in there!

Christ, that sounded hollow, but what else could I say?

No comments: