IN THE OTHER GUY’S SHOES

For my first blog post of 2012, I return to an incident just before Christmas. It brought home the new faces of racism and anti-Semitism that are making their voices heard in the U.S.A. at the moment.

A guy I know, took me to a club and introduced me to the owner. What I didn’t expect was being forced to convince this owner that I wasn’t Jewish before she would speak to me. This story has different angles. The owner had been to Lebanon years ago and is convinced Hezbollah is on the right course. Her business partner is Lebanese who has been Stateside almost 3 decades. He’s a devout Muslim, praying five times a day, who watches porn when the club closes. At least, as we say here, he has a dog in that fight so one might understand where his hatred originates.

The guy doing the introducing, couldn’t find Lebanon on a map if it was in neon but is an avid Ron Paul supporter. All he cares about is keeping his bong filled and spouting the latest conspiracy theory which seems to be a trait among Ron Paul supporters. Then again, Ron Paul thinks Israel carried out the 1st World Trade Center attack and the U.S. was behind 9-11. Ron Paul has a history of racism and some neo-Nazi groups have actually been tied to his fundraising.

Nazi Germany used anti-Semitism – in part – to rally the country for what they said was the common good. It was part of an overall plan (demented as it was) to restore the Fatherland. It took root or was tolerated in large part because people really were convinced it was in the national interest.  However, Ron Paul supporters believe there is no common good. It is all about the individual. It is a self-centered philosophy that cuts them off from any progressive thinking.

It doesn’t help that the current Israeli government calls every bit of criticism ‘anti-Semitic’ when it isn’t or tolerates the Haredi that strive to take away Israel’s liberties. People here view that and wonder why they should defend Israel or a Jew? It is hard to explain away.

Having to step into another guy’s shoes, in this case a Jew’s, is always a stark reminder of how life is seldom as simple as it seems. The fact that this new racism has taken hold among younger people though means it is going to be encountered for period to come.

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Categories: Everyday Life, israel, Politics, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “IN THE OTHER GUY’S SHOES

  1. It doesn’t look like we’ll be rid of racism and other ways to exclude certain groups from participation in various activities. The more things change, the more they stay the same. On a similar note, I read somewhere that a certain political party’s main agenda is to discredit President Obama any way they can, even to risk bringing down the financial system of the entire country. Now I believe whole heartedly in our free speech and all the other rights we have won at great cost in lives and money and each one of us is entitled to his or her opinion, but this is completely irresponsible. I also believe that my rights end at the end of someone else’s nose. Bring down the financial system—this is going too far, in my opinion.

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