Dr Chaim Bernard lives in Tel Aviv, Israel. He wrote this piece which deserves a stop and read it read. It was originally published as a letter to the editor in the European edition of the New York Times. Read it all. Stop. Speak what you feel. Let's stop this madness.
European Edition of The NY Times (don't miss a word)
Letter to the Editor (appearing in the European Edition of The New York Times)
Give me a yellow star!
"A dreary, cloth patch sewn in the shape of a Star of David that every Jew was forced to wear in Nazi Germany along with every country the Germans conquered; every country in Europe, some even allied with Germany; every culture looking to expose the hated Jew.
A yellow star worn by both my parents, while you, Europe, were standing by.
That's what I am to you: The guilty Jew. The filthy Jew. The stealing Jew. The disgusting Jew. The less-than-human Jew. The Jew that can only do wrong – bomb innocent Muslim children - for that is, of course, all we do, all we ever aspired to as a nation, a race.
The yellow star was forced on us. Rammed down our throats. It stood for dishonor and was associated with anti-Semitism, as you probably know. It was to be a badge of shame like Hawthorne’s Scarlet letter. But 6 million times worse.
Give me a yellow star.
I want to wear a yellow star above my left breast where six million of my brothers and sisters were forced to don one. I want to walk around with a yellow star on every solitary piece of clothing I own. On my Armani suit, my Nike sweatshirt, Ralph Lauren sweater, my Champion hoodie, my Diesel jeans, my South Beach biker jacket. I’ll even wear it at the beach on my bare chest if I have to.
I want to walk down the streets of Paris near the Marais and be seen by you European anti-Semites. Outside the Great Synagogue of Stockholm, the Torah Center in Bruxelles, the Anna Frank Memorial in Amsterdam, the Holocaust Museum in Berlin, outside the Sigmund Freud House in London.
I want all of you to see me with it and hear you say: "Hey, here comes the Jew; he’s not just like the rest of us . He’s just a dirty Jew. A mass murderer. He kills Muslim children and then uses their blood for matzah, just like the rest of the Jews. They carpet bomb innocent people. They are useless except for their knowledge, their Nobel prizes, and their success. They kill children, those Jews. Don’t you know? It’s the Jews who own Hollywood, the media, the banks. They’re the scum of the earth. They steal. Hitler was right. Let’s go spray-paint swastikas on his grandparents’ graves. Let’s go beat him up. Let’s kill him. Let’s murder a rabbi in Miami or Bruxelles."
I want that yellow star.
Europe, to me that yellow star is a symbol of almost everything I stand for. It’s a symbol of surviving evil. It’s heritage and knowledge. Tolerance and optimism. It’s strength and confidence in the face of the weakness and insecurity of those not being taught well enough what their mothers should have taught them.
That yellow star is education, resilience.
It’s right over wrong, and it is life.
It is testament to all who tragically died wearing it, so that their future surviving brothers and sisters know never to be afraid of who they are again. Never to be silent again, never to apologize for surviving. Thanks to them and indeed, for them, this yellow badge ceased being a badge of shame a long time ago. It's my badge of honor. I survived your indifference, your stupidity, your inhumanity, your hatred, and your ignorance. (edited)
It’s a star that blinds out any other emblem that preaches hatred. It drowns out the form, shape and color of swastikas, the black flags of ISIS and Al Qaeda, and the green of Hamas or the yellow of Hezbollah.
Before being herded off to the gas chambers around 70 years ago, Jews wearing their yellow star were hearing ‘Kill the Jews’, ‘Heil Hitler’, ‘The only good Jew is a dead Jew’, ‘Stealing Jew!’ – and all that, before being ostracized from their communities, stripped of their belongings, property, identities, humanity and eventually, their lives. They were hearing Words. It happened in many other countries too. Like my father’s country. A country he was expelled from for being a Jew. For being a dirty Jew.
It - Always - Begins - With - Words.
The same kind of words we’re hearing now here on your social media. On your streets. At demonstrations. In conversations. Words that have nothing to do with Israel; Palestine; Politics; The Middle East or anything. You might not be all too happy with ISIS and Hamas, but if you aren’t trying seriously to expose them for who and what they are, then you’re not part of the solution, but part of the problem. You know nothing about your own history, nothing about the Islamic conquest of Europe from the year 626 until this very day – the holy Jihad, followed by the Islamic Caliphate.
The world’s abuzz right now with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic words. Anti-Semitic words that Jews like myself are used to. I’m talking to you, Dieudonné; Mel Gibson; Roger Waters. And the rest of you ignorant Jew-haters. And I’m talking to you, radical Islamic leaders, standing behind your pulpits preaching lies and hate and division in the name of Allah.
And to you – 'innocent' bystanders in Europe: I’m talking to you -- supposedly liberal minded people – friends of mine, even – who spend way too much time talking about Israel fighting for its existence in a defensive war, “disproportionately” ( as if the bombing of Dresden, the killing of Bin Laden, the invasion of Berlin by the Russian Army never happened) but very little talking about the hundreds of thousands being murdered in Syria. In Iraq. About people being murdered for being followers of any other religion save Islam. Very little talking about ISIS taking over the Middle East; displaying severed human heads on spikes; shooting people in ditches by the thousands; beheading journalists on YouTube. Very little time talking about Syrians being gassed or a semi-literate peasant turned Turkish Prime minister spewing the kind of virulent anti-Semitism which ends with only one thing.
And don’t forget 9/11, London’s 7/7, Spain’s Madrid train bombings or the Boston Marathon bombing, while you’re at it.
Take a good hard look at my yellow star. Look at where it came from. Look what was done after we, the Jews, were forced to wear it and then ask yourselves, are we doing the same to others? Us Jews? Us Israelis? Are we Jews hellbent on exterminating people? Is that really what we want? Or are others doing that which you think we’re doing! – others you refuse to be vocal about nor condemn with a simple post or click of your 'like' button.
Here is what the German cleric, Pastor Martin Niemöller wrote: “First they burned their books and their synagogues, and I didn't speak out. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me”. He wrote these lines in 1933 - too late – and he referred to the Nazis.
But these words ring equally true in view of over 10% of the population in France now being Muslim, over 8% in Germany, over 6% in England; the neo-Nazis in virtually every European country, or the Nazi, Udo Voigt holding a seat in the Civil Rights Commission of the European Parliament.
I, for one, Europe, am not going anywhere...
Never again.Though some might wish it -- NEVER AGAIN!
For anyone else reading this from afar, who might agree with what I’m saying, Jews and non-Jews alike: don’t feel sorry for me, my family, my friends. Don’t feel sorry for us. We're fine and we’re not afraid, and we’re here to stay.
Don’t be afraid for us, Europe, because I’m not intending to be a victim. None of us are. And I hope you aren’t either, despite the warning signs.
My yellow star is staring extremism in the face.
Am I cool with the yellow star? You’re damn right I am, totally!"