Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Jewish question*

When I was in school history was my favorite subject. Nowadays, I still get the same excitement as when I was a kid when I learn something new about some culture or a new piece of history. Understanding both history and culture is the key to understanding who we were and what we will become. Learning history teaches us why some cultures do things different than other cultures. By knowing about a culture’s or a nation’s history we can connect the dots and learn more about it.

I can’t claim that I know all the reasons behind Europeans’ full and United States’ full and blind support to Israelis against Palestinians. There are of course not one but rather too many reasons, ranges from paying back for what the Aryans’ did to the Jews during the WWII to a religious believe that unlike Islam Judaism is a holy and a real religion.

I am not sure of the percentage of Americans who believe, with no doubt, that “Arabs hate Jews.” In my 10 years in the US it becomes normal to hear stand-up comedians, late night show hosts and of course Fox News anchors referring to Arabs as Jews hater.

After watching many documentaries and European movies about the World War II, thanks to Netflix, I came to conclusion that Europeans carry a huge burden on their shoulders. That is the burden of guilt. Although the German Nazis are the ones who came with “The final solution: the extermination of the Jews” evil plan other European countries helped execute this plan, may be out of fear or may be because they themselves hated the Jews. The later is very debatable and risky to discuss because nowadays you can freely denounce and hate God but you are not allowed to dislike the Jews. No sane human being want to be called an anti-Semite, especially if you want to live and work in the US or Europe. Read my post about the documentary Defamation and the anti-Semitism business.

Two days ago, I learned about a piece of history that was new to me. It is frantic that the more history speaks out the more we learn about our dark past. I wonder what more history hides. The movie I watched is Sarah’s Key (2010). Here are two interesting scenes from the movie:

[Place: Editors’ meeting in a French magazine discussing about a new article Julia wants to write about]

Julia: On the 16th and 17th of the July 1942, they arrested 13,000 Jews, mostly women and children. They took 8,000 of them and put them in Velodrome d’Hiver in inhuman conditions. And then they sent them to the camps…

Mike: Where is it [Velodrome d’Hiver]?

Julia: Torn down 50 years ago.

Mike: Any photos?

Editor-in-Chief: None, that’s the point. Over 10,000 people squeezed together for days, no beds, no toilets, barely any water. And not one image exists.

Julia: Well, there’s one, there’s a wide shot looking down over some buses outside. That’s it.

Mike: That’s just weird. Normally they were really good at that; they documented everything, the Nazis. That’s what they were known for.

Julia: Mike! This was not the Germans, it was the French.

[Same people watching a documentary on TV]

Chirac on TV: These dark days sully our nations’ history forever. 74 trains, left for Auschwitz, 76,000 Jews were deported from France and never came back. Yes, the criminal madness of the Occupier was, as we all know, abetted by French citizens, abetted by the French state.

I have no doubt that the Holocaust did happen and that 6 million Jews were exterminated. Reading about history I know how much a man can be cruel. The suffering the Jews endured made them determined to never let the Holocaust happen again at whatever cost. They successfully acted on transferring their dream and determination to reality. Not even the most powerful country in the world, i.e., the USA, can raise its head in front of Israel. It is the only country in the world that has a nuclear weapons program and not questioned about it. If for any reason because no country dares.

I have to give credit to Israelis for having research and inventing technology that is hundred of years beyond the Arab countries reach. They figured out that if you have a dream you have to work hard to achieve it and much, much harder to maintain it. And they are doing that exactly, for whatever cost.

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* The term “Jewish Question” was first used in Great Britain from around 1750 [source].

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Do what I say not what I do

I am shocked by the lack of outrage or controversy, from women, of the new three doors Hyundai Veloster 2012 commercial. In the ad a young guy steps out of his car with two sexy beautiful females, a blonde and a brunette. The TV ad implicitly refers to something sexual when the narrator says: “Why three doors? You know why. The Veloster, engineered for whatever!”

The narration leaves, mainly, male viewers to their fantasy to figure out what “for whatever” means and the relationship between the man and the two women in the ad.

Sometimes I feel how you describe an action in words is what counts not the action itself. For example, many people consider individuals who wake up at sunrise to meditate and to connect with their inner-selves to be cool and open-minded compared to close-minded religious people who wake up early in the morning to pray and connect with a God they can’t see.

So, I wonder why women didn’t feel this TV commercial to be offensive and degrading to their dignity.