Fighting the good fight. Has it left the Jewish Community?

“Diaspora Jews. I have a sense we just don’t care anymore!”

by Alan Simons

Why is it, I wonder, Diaspora Jews are willing to show as a group how philanthropic and ardent they are towards raising funds and giving their time and support towards non-Jewish distresses, such as the Rwandan Tutsi, the people of South Sudan, the ethnic rights of minorities in Burma, Canada’s First Nations, and currently Syrian refugees? Yet, as individuals, why do we continue to be uncomfortable to willingly expose ourselves, to open our arms favourably, towards Christian, Muslim and other individuals? Why do many in the Diaspora treat non-Jews with utmost suspicion?

Yes, our long standard tradition of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedek (righteousness) and gemilut chassadim (acts of lovingkindness) are renown and respected by non-Jews. But more and more these days we repetitively remain on the sidelines in showing support to those who fight the good fight.

JIN RCMP dThis past Sunday I had the honour of being invited to the inaugural 2017 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)/IDI GTA Intercultural Ramadan Friendship Dinner. Organised by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute GTA., the event was held at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto.

To put the importance of this Canadian event into perspective, the RCMPs media advisory reported:

“This occasion demonstrated a gesture of mutual respect and partnership between community and law enforcement.

In attendance were the Chiefs of Police and dignitaries from Government offices. This occasion also included Canada’s 150 year celebration.

The IDI has been working closely with the RCMP and policing partners in the Greater Toronto Area to promote social cohesion, personal interaction, respect and mutual understanding among people through dialogue and partnership. The RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team – Public Engagement Unit has been very active in developing trusting relationships in the community to improve engagement and implement community programs.

‘What an incredible opportunity for us to interact with so many from the diverse communities we support,’ said Superintendent Lise Crouch, Assistant Criminal Operations Officer for National Security. ‘It is events such as this one that continues to remove barriers for our police officers. The police are members of so many communities and contribute both on and off duty. This friendship dinner highlights the strength in collaboration and respect.’ ”

JIN RCMP cOut of the countless hundreds attending from many faiths and cultures, I would hazard a guess there were no more than four Jews present, and certainly, no rabbi found the time to join the clergy from other faiths.

To my mind, I regard in the eyes of the Diaspora, this to be one further example of how the Jewish community has become more entrenched in its attitude of “us” and “them” and less willing as individuals to show where they stand on issues relating to interfaith/cultural (call it what you will) dialogue at the grass roots level.

What a missed opportunity to support those who are attempting to fight the good fight. As Elie Wiesel once said, “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Diaspora Jews, take heed! Mutual respect and partnership are an integral part of our very being. I have a sense we just don’t care anymore!

(Photo credit: RCMP)

Alan Simons can be reached at alan@alansimons.info

COMMENTS

“I could not agree more, Alan Simons. Well said. Same issues here in Winnipeg. Proud of our Muslim Jewish Interfaith dialogue group, but we are not representative of the attitude of the “institutional Jewish community.” It’s more than just caring, Alan, it is massive ignorance about each other. We might be willing to donate a little money to make ourselves feel better but most Jews know nothing about Islam or Christianity and frankly harbour some horribly incorrect notions, yet purport to “know the truth.” However, other cities are doing better – Calgary for instance because of the example of true leadership by strong clergy in the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. The recent recognition by King Abdullah of Jordan reflects their exemplary achievement.”

-Belle Jarniewski, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Manchester: “I have been met with silence” -Kay Wilson

What Others Are Saying

Our media have very little moral fiber left

Kay Wilson is a British-born Israeli. She is a jazz pianist, cartoonist, a licensed tour guide and a writer whose articles are published in The Tower, Arutz 7 and the Times of Israel.

Kay Wilson You Tube

Kay Wilson

Kay is also the survivor of a horrific machete attack that occurred in December 2010 while guiding her American friend and client, the late Kristine Luken. The two women were attacked and held at knife point and eventually tied up and then brutally stabbed. Kay watched helplessly as her friend was executed. Despite sustaining horrendous injuries herself, she managed to play dead and later escape. After nearly four years of physical rehabilitation and trauma therapy, Kay began working as an inspirational speaker, speaking for non-profits on issues of human rights for global victims of terrorism and campaigning against hate speech on university campuses.

The following content is what she had to say about her frustration with the British media that she posted this week on her Facebook page:

Following the Manchester attack, I wrote a post that until now has been shared nearly 28,000 times. Being just a mere mortal of the general public and not in any position of media, the amount of shares clearly shows it touched an important point.

I approached several British papers and asked them to publish it as an op-ed. No response so far. I also asked to appear on Piers Morgan show – no response so far. Only the Daily Mail and MailOnline has ever covered my story concerning the British tax payers funding of Palestinian terrorism.

And then I began to see a pattern.

In the past, I have also asked to be on the Maajid Nawaz show, James O’Brien On Lbc on LBC, Sky News and also on the BBC – all of which were met with silence.

Although I am an articulate speaker (which is seen in my TED talk below) that too has frankly surprisingly never been uploaded onto TED’s main site. Further, even though my articles have won awards, when I submitted one to the HuffPost, it was rejected as unsuitable – with no given reason.

I believe that I have a possibly globally unique story of survival with a deep ethos of the important things in life. For those who follow me know, I have always helped those of a different creed and colour, and have even risked my own life for a young Muslim Arab. There is not a bigoted or racist bone in my body.

I would like to know therefore, what I am doing wrong and how to amend this, in order that my voice and ideas of how to stop Islamic terror and make a better world, can be more widely heard.

Thank you for any feedback or help

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMUkNWv-0nU

(Credits: Facebook, You Tube, Kay Wilson, Times of Israel)

The Thirst for Revenge. The Media and our Politicians.

SPECIAL REPORT

“Our media have very little moral fiber left.”

There’s a well known quotation by the American writer Eric Hoffer. “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.”

by Alan Simons

Among the lives of people, individuals and cultures there are some who maintain that the best thing for man to strive for in this world is to take revenge on his enemies. The satisfaction of thirst for revenge cannot be clearer than it is today. And since November 2016, be it from the political left or the right, America must accept ownership of being in the forefront of adding a venomous fire to religious hatred and intolerance.

The great ninth century Jewish philosopher Saadia Gaon commented that the thirst for revenge affords the pleasure of seeing discomfiture of its enemy, assuages the vehemence of its wrath and puts an end to excessive brooding. Saadia said that the man who is consumed by the desire for revenge gets into a frame of mind of refusing to accept intercession or entertaining any feeling of compassion or pity or listening to any plea of clemency.

Over one thousand years later Saadia’s comments still reflect the attitude that we have learnt nothing. As we observe the hatred between America’s political elites, Sunni and Shia, between Muslim and Jewish sense of victimhood, between Kenyan Luo, Kalenjin and Kikuya, Turkey and its PKK militants, Africa’s Greater Sahel and Lake Chad Basin and the Muslim Rohingya minority in Myanmar, we find very little is based upon the two way acceptance that my world is also your world.

Many gloat over peoples misfortune, falsify historical evidence, instill a hatred in each other’s cultures and religions that no civilized government has a hope in hell or will in stopping. It is a hatred that has its own direction, its own time and space, egged on by the perverse nature of fanatics such as Daesh and the Jew-hating Hizb ut-Tahrir, as well as a score from the evangelical movements, utilizing the services of the ten second clip, satellite dishes, mobile phones, photos of children flourishing guns and Internet web sites.  It is a hatred spurned on by educated societies to the masses of the uneducated and their educated children.

Today, as we fantasize for the return of the Walter Cronkite’s of our world, we attempt to compare the difference between America’s fake news and the flag-waving, drum-rolling entertainment news programmes thrust upon us by the TV networks. For lighting the match of hate and intolerance is by no means a right of privilege of our politicians, who are in direct competition with much of our media.

It’s been said that because our media have very little moral fiber left, they have enhanced the egregious display of open prejudice pervading our society today. The days where media were supposed to spread enlightenment has vanished. We have crossed the red line. It’s an utter travesty. I’ve said enough!

Alan Simons is the publisher and owner of jewishinfoNews