February 02, 2009

The monthly antisemitic cartoon: Rabbi Hier


JSF is committed to fight against the spread of antisemitism in the media. Therefore, imagine our shock to see a man claiming to be a Jewish Rabbi portrayed as a bloodsucking evil ogre advocating collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians, including the children, for crimes they did not commit. Rabbi Hier allegedly wrote in the Daily News:


Every objective Mideast observer knows that if Hamas had not rocketed southern Israel and deliberately placed its rocket launchers in the proximity of schools, mosques, hospitals and commercial areas, there would neither be a need to repair the Gaza Strip nor would there be any need to restrict free access to the border crossings.

The fundamental question that needs to be asked is, "What responsibility do the 1.5 million citizens of Gaza bear in what is now happening there?" Every day, they could see with their own eyes the rockets on their way to Israel or watch Al Jazeera and other networks comment on them. Yet how did they react? With total jubilation and joy.

Gazans like to boast of their courage in rising up against the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and throwing them out of office in a democratic election free of intimidation. Where was the display of that same courage in standing up to Hamas, whose ideology and culture have brought ruin to their community?

There is little doubt that if Gaza is not rebuilt, many civilians will suffer. There will be a shortage of schools, medical facilities and adequate housing. That is truly a tragedy. But the real tragedy is the failure of the world to get it right, to tell the Palestinians, "Never again." World leaders must vow that they are not going to rebuild Gaza again, there will be no Round 3.

There are tens of millions of people in jails around the world for committing crimes, and nobody asks what will happen to their families. The criminals leave nothing but devastation behind - young children with no direction, with no future, families with no breadwinners. But these are the hard consequences that families of murderers, kidnappers, robbers and thieves must endure. Nobody comes to bail them out. Just as no government steps in to double the checks of its welfare recipients.

Terrorists and those who support them are not entitled to receive VIP booty for their inhumanity, misdeeds and silence. (Der Stürmer, Daily News Edition)

This is a blood libel against Palestinians. Hamas is not responsible for Israel's assault. Israel planned to destroy Gaza even before the cease-fire that Israel deliberately broke on Nov. 4 started. And even if Hamas were responsible, and it isn't, recommending starving children and preventing them for going to school as a punishment is reprehensible.

Only an antisemitic paper would create the impression that a Jewish Rabbi holds such execrable opinions. We call on the real Rabbi Hier to sue the paper that published him for defamation.




Addendum:

There are tens of millions of people in jails around the world for committing crimes, and nobody asks what will happen to their families. The criminals leave nothing but devastation behind - young children with no direction, with no future, families with no breadwinners. But these are the hard consequences that families of murderers, kidnappers, robbers and thieves must endure. Nobody comes to bail them out. Just as no government steps in to double the checks of its welfare recipients.

This, let's remember, is written in the U.S., a country that holds 2.3 million people in gulags euphemistically called prisons, and controls the live of additional three millions through the probation and parole system. The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world, and has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The inmate population is 70% people of color. Considering former inmates as well as affected families, at least 50 million U.S citizens and residents, predominantly people of color, suffer the devastating impact of a prison sentence. As Angela Davis wrote:
Imprisonment has become the response of first resort to far too many of the social problems that burden people who are ensconced in poverty. These problems often are veiled by being conveniently grouped together under the category "crime" and by the automatic attribution of criminal behavior to people of color. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages....But prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings. And the practice of disappearing vast numbers of people from poor, immigrant, and racially marginalized communities has literally become big business. (Davis, 1998 )

Rabbi Hier not only supports devastating Gaza, he also endorses the devastating effects prisons have on people of color in the U.S. Instead of criticizing the abject failure of his government to address the needs of poor Americans, he endorses that failure as proper governmental dismissal of the suffering of the families of "murderers, kidnappers, robbers and thieves." Hier not only ignores the underlying racism of the criminal "justice" system, he exploits it to promote racist beliefs and attitude against the people of Gaza.



PS. there are no "tens of millions" of people in prisons around the world. There are at most 10 million people in penal institutions around the world (8.75 million in 2003). one in every four of them serves a sentence in the U.S. That was just another sloppy sentence that reveals more about its author than about its subject matter.


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