The real photos of Martin Luther King, Jr. during the march on Selma show rabbis at either elbow, but for some reason, these have been replaced by Catholics — a nun and a priest — in the recent film.
Why is that?
Rarely does it come up at Black History Month events or even in conversation that Jews figured prominently in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. For some reason, the media is airbrushing the Jews out of the history of the U.S. Civil Rights movement and I’d be surprised if this isn’t also true of the fight for farm worker’s rights lead by Cesar Chavez, which was also heavily populated with Jews.
Does it matter?
Yes, I think it does; especially now.
With the Middle East on fire and contending with an ever-expanding band of mass-murdering Islamo-Fascist thugs and Europe awash with Islamo-Fascist-inspired anti-Semitism and U.S. college campuses buzzing with anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism, the intentional manipulation of historical fact is making matters worse.
Though the makers of films like Selma caution that they are not documentaries, they are likely the only encounter many viewers have ever had with the issues depicted, and who will absorb what they see as fact.
It requires only a rudimentary glance back at human history and a comparison with what’s on the nightly news today, to come to the inescapable conclusion that mankind is either on the precipice or already over the edge of another worldwide anti-Semitic episode that is potentially so profound it could make the last one look like the Salem Witch Trials by comparison.
Of course, there are two major differences in play today that were absent the last time mankind lost its way and began murdering Jews.
One – It is not the governments of most of these countries trying to kill the Jews, and two – there is Israel, and therefore someplace for the Jews to go.
The importance of Israel’s continued existence in this light, cannot be overstated, but that’s another discussion.
By way of illustration, in case you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been going on, the other day the Associated Press published a story about a bunch of European rabbis gathering in Prague “for training in self-defense and first aid in response to a wave of attacks against Jews and a rise of anti-Semitism on the continent.”
This is being done in response to “the deadly terror attack against a kosher grocery in Paris in January and the murder of a Jewish security guard outside a synagogue in Copenhagen earlier this month,” AP reports. But these are only the latest in an increasing number of deadly attacks against Jews in Europe, including the 2006 torture and murder of 23-year-old Ilan Halimi in France, the shooting deaths of a 30-year-old rabbi, his two young sons and a little girl, also in France, in 2012.
“When we see the level of anti-Semitism in Europe, when we see the level of hate in Europe, when we see the lack of leadership of European governments to fight against anti-Semitism and terror, we’re not surprised, unfortunately (by the attacks),” Rabbi Menachem Margolin was quoted saying.
It is at the point in Europe that Jews and Jewish institutions need 24-hour protection, he said. What happens if these guards keep getting attacked by those trying to get to the Jews (which has already happened at least once)? Will the majority of the populace eventually decide it’s just too dangerous to have the Jews around? Will the idea spread that the Jews’ very existence is the reason for the violence?
On U.S. college campuses, it is no longer comfortable and often, not even safe, to be Jewish or to support the right of the world’s only Jewish country to exist. A recent study ranks San Francisco State University the seventh most anti-Semitic college in the country, with Columbia ranked first.
Many of the students in these colleges and universities are buying a skewed bill of goods about the history of the Middle East and the facts on the ground there now, mostly from Pro-Palestinian students and teachers, which is causing too many of them to misunderstand the situation and misidentify who the good guys and bad buys are over there. They have somehow concluded that a billion Arab Muslims are being bullied by about 6 million Jews (including women, children and old people). They are convinced that “the Jews” are “committing a genocide” against Palestinian Arabs. But, since the population of Palestinian Arabs (1.3 million in 1960 and more than 5 million in 2014) has only grown in the past 50 years, either the Jews are really, really bad at genocide, or THAT’S NOT WHAT’S HAPPENING.
With this Goebbels-like, through-the-looking glass world view as the backdrop, keeping from these students the truth about the part Jews played in the American Civil Rights movement can only make matters worse.
And, one day in the not too distant future, these students will be let loose on the worlds of business, economics, politics, parenthood and everything else, poisoned with this loathsome anti-Semiticly slanted world view.
To make matters even worse, the weird, childish, pissing match between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu is likely to result in the Obama Administration announcing to the country and the world that the U.S. has decided to sever ties with its best and most consistent ally in the Middle East — the only democracy in that insane and dangerous neck of the woods.
Such a development could easily result in the atmosphere in the U.S. and worldwide vis-à-vis the Jews, deteriorating to the point that Jews’ patriotism could be called into question.
If American Jews are forced to somehow choose sides, between the U.S. and Israel, what would you do?
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