Global, Identity, Israel

A Salute to Hatred?

Read Rabbi Sid Schwartz’s enormously important piece in the Jewish Week in which he describes and comments on this chilling experience at a Salute to Israel Day concert in Central Park:

Then a band launched into a rousing rendition of Am Yisrael Chai…A group of young men in their 20’s with kippot and tziztzit were right in front of me dancing in a frenzy. But they alternated the verse that meant “the people of Israel lives” with “all the Arabs must die.” It rhymed with the Hebrew. Given the way all joined in, it was clear that this was not the first time it was sung.
I leaned over to a young man who was next to me, also wearing a kippah and tzitzit. I nodded at the dancers and asked: “Does this song bother you?” He looked at me with a suspicious look and replied: “This is Zionism.”

Rabbi Sid’s well-chosen final word on the matter: “Islam is not the only religion that is in danger of being hijacked.”

12 thoughts on “A Salute to Hatred?

  1. Rabbi Sid’s last words are indeed powerful. It is so hard to find a place in this “discussion” that is not “hateful” so to speak. While I don’t consider myself a “right wing extremist” by any sense of the word, I’ve been called so many times, because I’m a religious Jew, and I don’t believe; so to speak; in disengagement for the simple reason that it doesn’t work. We tore Jews from their homes in Gaza (the question of whether or not they should have been there to begin with is irrelevant here) and all that happened was that Hamas operatives now have a larger un-policed zone from which to launch rockets at Sderot and other Negev cities.
    I believe the idea of a peaceful two state solution is wonderful, I just don’t see it happening, because regardless of what borders are drawn, the idea that Israel must be wiped off the map will always exist with the extremists, who will act on that.
    However, I too I am human, and so too are the Palestinians human, and my heart bleeds for the injustices done to innocent men, women and children because of terrorist actions by their leaders. We as a Jewish people, and I as a proud Zionist, can not stoop to violence, hatred or racism. We can not shut out the voices of those on both sides who wish to make peace, but we also can not be the only ones at the table. The voices of Jewschool contributor Kung Fu Jew among others get my “right-wing” blood boiling, because there’s an expectation by some (leaders and citizens alike) that we should make all the concessions simply because we’re “too good to stoop to that level” and I can’t stomach that either.
    I don’t know if there will ever be a solution to the clashing of peoples in the Middle East, and I can only hope that B”H it will happen in my lifetime. In the meantime, we need to show our stripes by acting the adult, negotiating FAIRLY and by not promoting violence or hate, not by simply giving up all our security to look good in the political arena. THAT, to me, is what a Zionist is, and may I have wings only if I can use them to fly.

  2. Not meaning to be a knudge in any way… but,
    how does ‘kol aravim yamoot’ rhyme with ‘am yisrael chai’? Or am I missing something?
    This is not to take away from the fact that this behavior is appalling and Jewish hate is just as despicable as any other hate.

  3. I think that he means they were singing Am Israel Chai (in Hebrew) followed by All Arabs must die (in English). It does rhyme, and it is appalling.

  4. Next time you hear that ugly racism, mention the Israeli-Arabs who put their lives on the line as members of the IDF, or the Palestinians who provide intelligence for Israeli counter-terrorism effort, because they believe terror is bad for Arab and Israeli alike, again, at risk to their own lives.

  5. The Israeli Arabs who fight in the IDF and the Palestinians who betray their national cause do not do it because they believe “terror is bad”. They do it b/c we offer them money.

  6. just curious what sid thought he was getting himself into attending a concert organized by the jewish legion. that’s like going to a kkk rally and being surprised to find a burning cross.

  7. Just curious what all these leftists think they are getting themselves into by whining about a country run by proud, confident Jews. That’s like going to a Durban-like rally and being surprised they want to get rid of the nice pacifist leftist Jews too.

  8. Kishkeman,
    As consoling as it might be as a crutch for the armchair warriors of the Diaspora, it’s time to give the whole “proud, confident” paradigm a rest. All the lefty Jews I know are much more proud and confident than the whimpering shlemiels who bleat non-stop about “confidence” and cling to fantasies of fascism in an effort to compensate for God knows what.

  9. I am very clearly in what is now accepted as the “right of center camp,” when it comes to Israel. While I believe, practically and morally, in the necessity of an eventual 2-state solution, I generally support Israel in her recent dealings with the Palestinian people; I blame them much more than blame Israel (whom I don’t hold completely blameless) for the failure of the Peace Process. Most people reading this site are familiar with the arguments on both sides of this issue; my intent isn’t to raise them here.
    What I do want to say is that I feel that, because of my position on this issue, I wholeheartedly agree that it is an absolute obligation of mine to speak out against this kind of horrific, racist, un-Jewish vitriol. I have long been proud that, despite being staunch defenders of Israel, few in the mainstream right have ever called for the death of “all Arabs,” or have celebrated those deaths when they happen. It shames to think of Jews claiming that Zionism or Judaism call for death, or for reveling in it.
    I am lucky enough to have a pulpit, and I plan to refer to this article, this terrible incident, and what I believe is the proper Jewish attitude about it this Friday night. Many thanks to Shalom Rav for bringing this article to our attention.

  10. Rabbi Rosenberg,
    I think there are a lot of us who are labeled as “liberal” or “left-of-center” who essentially agree with you on all counts.
    I certainly always took it as a lesson from the Pesach seder ritual of the ten drops of wine that not only should we not take pleasure in the Egyptians’ sufferings as we celebrate our liberation, but by extension, we should never take pleasure in any enemies’ sufferings even as we celebrate our resistance, survival or victory.

  11. Although not as blatant, here’s a section of a fundraising letter that was sent around by the “Salute to Israel Parade” organization. Although the language isn’t specific, the letter suggests a connection between progressive Zionists and other critical supporters of Israel and Israel’s enemies. Here’s how it reads:
    “As time passes, we see an increasingly dangerous shift in the American Jewish community’s attitude towards Israel. Israel’s enemies are public and prolific in their condemnations of its defensive response to terrorism. The terrorists’ outrageous lies might create a distance between us and our Israeli brothers and sisters…”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.