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Jews at war. [Aug. 2nd, 2006|02:28 am]


The current unrest in the Middle East is being used to justify violent crimes against Jews overseas. Often times these Jews do not have anything to do with Israel's military operations in Lebanon or Gaza. Yesterday a group of ten Middle Eastern men was seen running away from a house adjoining a synagogue in Sydney's western suburb of Parramatta. In the house at the time were a rabbi, his preganant wife, and their six children. Several cement blocks were thrown through the windows. Fortunately no one was injured. This was immediately portrayed in the media as a reflection of anger on the part of the Muslim community at Israel and its actions in Lebanon and Gaza, however religious leaders were quick to respond, asserting instead that the youths' violence was not reflective of Muslim sentiments in Australia and that Muslims here recognise that the war in the Middle East should not be brough to Australia. Likewise, two days ago, Mel Gibson was arrested and charged with drunk driving. He was also reported to have said to the arresting officers that Jews were responsible for everything happening in the Middle East and even went as far as to ask one of them whether he was Jewish. Notwithstanding his recent film "The Passion of the Christ" which blames the Jews for the killing of Christ, and his father who is a Holocaust denier, his anti-Semitic remarks were written off as a drunken tirade, as if it was worldwide Jewry, rather than Israel, staging an incursion into Lebanon. Just last week, a man shot six women in the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, killing one. He was heard declaring himself to be a Muslim American, angry at Israel... as if a Jewish organisation in Washington State has anything to do with the Israeli airstrikes on Qana. The man has been charged with murder, however because he has a history of mental illness, this is not being treated as a hate crime. While it is not surprising to find that many deny that anti-Semitism is the cause for these acts, it is alarming that this opinion is also prevalent within the international Jewish community. Why is it so easy for Jews and non-Jews alike to view anti-Semitism as symptomatic of rowdiness, alcoholism, or mental illness? A spike in anti-Semitism at a time when Israel is in the media spotlight indicates that there is a strong international sentiment that Israel's fight is a Jewish fight, that when one condemns the Israelis, one may also be forgiven for condemning the Jews, wherever they may be.