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A deeply disturbing attack on me
Last uploaded : Tuesday 8th Jan 2013 at 02:28
Contributed by : Carol Gould

 

Related story:

http://www.thecommentator.com/article/2576/exclusive_nobel_laureate_elie_wiesel_slams_uk_libdem_mp_for_shameless_slanders_over_holocaust_remarks .

What a strange experience I had this past winter going with goodwill and cash in tow to support a project for the Nicaraguan poor based in my neighbour’s home. She is a Jewish left-winger whose connection to her background appears peripheral unlike my 'in your face' chauvinism; she and her non-Jewish husband have been lifetime liberal activists. It was a pleasant afternoon characterised by intelligent conversation amongst cultured middle class English folk. I stayed for an hour and a half, eating and drinking seasonal fare.

On one of the tables were CDs featuring songs celebrating Che Guevara, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro; I had to giggle to myself at the idea of an American sitting in a London living room on a cold winter’s night actually handling something of that nature. I joked to the hostess, whom I shall call Rita, that a CD lauding Castro and Guevara might still be confiscated even by Obama-era Homeland Security were I to be found with one in my suitcase. There were beautiful Nicaraguan crafts and greeting cards for sale. Though the cards had been assembled back to front I bought several and could not resist an exquisite wooden pot.

All went well (you know exactly where this is going) until I put my coat on and Rita the hostess asked me,’ Carol, before you go, we must ask you --- why has Obama not voted for Palestine?’ For a moment I was perplexed as I frankly had no idea what ‘voting for Palestine’ meant (there is no such country) and asked her to explain. She repeated the question and noted that the USA had refused to support the United Nations resolution to approve non-member status for the Palestinian territories. I explained that Israel is an American ally and that until Hamas renounces its desire to see its neighbour wiped off the map the US government could not support a ‘state’ that threatens the American and western strategic position in the region. No sooner had I mentioned America’s friend Israel than the Nicaraguan woman, Isabel, tore into me with such venom I thought she would kill me. In fact, I do to this moment believe I am alive because she was stuck behind a little table and I was across the room from her in my thick winter coat.

She embarked on a litany of calumnies about Israel and Zionists that went beyond anything I had heard before. She said that suicide bombings were fiction and that the images of dead Israelis were ‘always photo shopped’ and that no Israeli had ever died in any attack since 1948. What I found astounding was the fact that the British guests and host and hostess sat calmly listening to this slander on the souls of tens of thousands of dead Israelis. I calmly explained that Israel’s image was grossly distorted because it is a haven of democracy, culture, technology, science and gay rights but she began screeching at me about Israel being a murderous and savage nation. At this point the husband of my hostess chimed in with ‘Carol, the American Jewish lobby finances Israel’ and Isabel continued ranting about the massacres of helpless Palestinians with American (ergo Jewish) military aid.

I said that the reason why Israeli children were bed-wetting (she interrupted, shouting this was Zionist PR rubbish) was because so many were spending their formative years in bomb shelters. She was apoplectic and the hostess was covering her face as if I was blaspheming. I treid to explain that since Ariel Sharon had evacuated Gaza of its last Jewish settler in 2005 Gaza had become a missile launching site for Hamas. Likewise, I said, as the British guests groaned, Palestinians die because Hamas situates launching sites by civilian centres and provides no civil defence facilities. Isabel went crazy. Again shrieking that this was a fiction generated by people like me who are propagandists for Zionist lies, she said it was Palestinian children who were suffering at the hands of brutal Israel, who, natch, always started these confrontations.

To my astonishment, however, a guest came into the room and put me in the shade. A non-Jewish Italian woman of great eloquence, she tore into Isabel with facts and figures about the ongoing tragedy of Israel’s continuing efforts to survive since 1948. She was, of course, screamed at and told that she was ‘spouting propaganda Carol Gould has brainwashed you with’ but the woman carried on with fearless words about the size and vulnerability of tiny Israel against hateful neighbours. What I found so interesting was the fact that every British guest supported the anti-Israel views. Time and again I picked up mutterings about the American Jews as if they were some loathsome group that would bring down the world.

As Isabel looked as if she would rise from her seat and attack me -- the hatred in her eyes did, I must admit, frighten me --
(I didn’t want to die just yet, having survived cancer twice) this valiant Italian woman finally said ‘Carol, let’s get out of here’ and gave me a lift home. We discussed that fact that anti-Zionism had now metamorphosed into the new anti-Semitism. She and her husband were noting this as have I; most worrying is the suffering Jewish students endure at British universities to the point that they are hiding their identity to stay safe on campus.

I am grateful to the Italian guest who saved me from what might have been something worse than vicious words; I must admit to having had to take an aspirin for fear of a heart attack when back in my home.

As mentioned in my previous piece Chanukah always brings to mind the late Rabbi Hugo Gryn, whose famous story about surviving in Lieberrose concentration camp revolved around a tiny spoonful of butter. In every Progressive synagogue his words are reflected in the traditional grace after meals: “We have eaten and been satisfied. Help us to be responsive to the needs of others and to listen to their cry for food. Open our eyes and our hearts, so that we may share Your gifts, and help to remove hunger and want from our world.”

As the world seems consumed with hatred for the tiny Jewish State, I want to pay tribute to the millions of Jews worldwide who give generously to non-Jewish causes especially at the annual High Holy Day appeal. I treasure my Nicaraguan pot and cards and just wish the Nicaraguan woman who could barely contain her hatred for me as an American had had it in her heart to show some kindness. Her cause will never succeed if she lives her life in hatred and anger.

Happy New Year to my readers.







     

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