Over the past several weeks, I have read various memes and comments published throughout social media (including but not limited to Twitter, Facebook, etc.). One such communication included a Meme picturing Tel Aviv with the following language; "Israel - does it look like they still need $11,000,000.00 every single day from American Taxes while there is no money to fix the polluted water in Flint, Michigan? Fuck Israel!" (Sorry guys, I refuse to provide a link to such nonsense, but believe me, if you look hard enough, you too will find it on FB). Wanna guess whose supporters sent this gem out to its like-minded folks? Yep, Bernie's supporters! Feel the Bern yet? Except it shows how ignorant Sanders supporters really are.
The United States is projected to allocate over $34 Billion in foreign aid in 2017. Israel is slated to receive $1.3 Billion. So where does the remainder of our $32.7 Billion go? Certainly not to Israel! SO why is Israel singled out as the sole reason domestic matters are neglected? Solely because Israel is a country of Jews, and we certainly cannot support Jews - they control the World, right? If Jews controlled the World, why would the World always single her out for every transgression they can imagine? Because of Anti-Semitism, that's why! And the Far Left's response? "There you go again, the Chosen People demanding to be victims again!" What a crock. (From Quora: Top 25 Recipients of Total Economic and Military Assistance, 2012;
Afghanistan - $12.885 Billion
* Israel - $ 3.100 Billion
Iraq - 1.940 Billion
Egypt - 1.404 Billion
Pakistan - 1.214 Billion
Jordan - 1.135 Billion
Ethiopia - .870 Billion
Kenya - . 749 Billion
Columbia - .644 Billion.
*75% of US aid to Israel is spent on buying equipment from the US. This is sort of like your car dealer providing auto loan. Also arming Israel, would pressure its opponents to buy more from the US). But there's more. What about the Far Right?. According to some Sander's supporters, there is a video that shows "There are Always Two Sides to Every Story" which claims that millions of Palestinians were forced out of the West Bank and Gaza when Israel was "created" in 1948. The only problem with the video is that is is all a lie. The West Bank and Gaza were captured by Israel in 1967 from Jordan and Egypt - NOT from Palestinians. Those living in the West Bank and Gaza were Jordanians and Egyptians respectively. Oops! SO much for telling the actual truth from fantasy. But This does not change the view of the Far Left Wing Nuts. Hell, they also believe Tel Aviv was "stolen" from the Palestinians when in reality prior to its creation, Tel Aviv was a malaria infested swampland. No Arabs lives there, none! Jews dried up the swamps and built the city that exists today. They stole it from no one.
But what about the Far Right? Many of Trump's supporters have embraced the notion passed along in social media that proves Jews control the World because they are guided by the Rothschild Family. Which they allege is the wealthiest family in the World, and therefore, controls all of the banks in the World along with their respective governments (including the US). Yes, the Rothschild's are a wealthy group, but why do folks actually believe they alone control the World - or at least the US? IF they owned the banks, ALL Jews would be in control. IF they owned the media, there would be NO negative stories about Israel and Jews. IF they controlled the World, the United Nations would be controlled by Israel instead of the Arab States. How difficult is it for simpletons to recognize they are continuously being duped by the same time-worn canard that Jews are the reason for the World's ills - especially when Jewish artists, inventors, scientists, physicians, authors, you name it, have contributed so much to the World? It reminds me of my college days when I was asked "what bank does your father own" or being asked "Can I see your horns and tail?" And now we see repeated attempts by Far Left and Far Right student groups to isolate Israel as the culprit for everything that is wrong in the World - even to the extent of silencing anyone that disagrees with their nonsensical BDS movement. When Academics demand to boycott the academic freedom of scientists, lecturers and promoters of peace, solely on the basis of their Israeli citizenship, the level of hypocrisy cannot even be measured.
Yet the vitriolic Anti-Semitism is no longer limited to wing nuts. Such hatred has also begun to permeate the entertainment and athletic fields. Recently professional boxer Tyson Fury came out with this gem; "Everyone just do what you can, listen to the government, follow everybody like sheep, be brainwashed by all the Zionist, Jewish people who own all the banks, all the papers, all the TV stations. Be brainwashed by them all.” I guess the old slanders and libels against the Jews really never get old do they? Same old, same old. Instead of looking for real reasons and remedies for problems, just blame the Jews and everyone will feel better knowing the Jews will one day be eliminated in a real "final solution." (See: https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/calls-begin-ban-tyson-fury-033100675.html).
With presidential candidates actually harboring and nurturing such hate groups and academia ignoring their own hypocrisy, where are we headed? With many in the Arab World slaughtering each other with the approval of Iran, why is it they can always rally around one premise - we all would be better off without Israel and the Jews? I guess it gets to me more when some of the memes are actually shared by some of my former students - who seem to forget that making complex matters simplistic reflects the shallowness of their own intelligence.
As President John F. Kennedy wrote; "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic." Now if only folks would wake up and understand the dangers of such myths! Have a great week!