As I touched the beautiful stones of the Western Wall, it seemed to me that the Wall was telling a story. I stared at the Wall filled with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was ecstatic finally to walk the holy ground I so yearned to; on the other hand, I felt a sense of mourning and sorrow as I suddenly confronted the sad reality that Jerusalem is in ruins, the Glory of Zion is violated and her children even more so. The stones are drenched with tears of brokenhearted Jews throughout the past two millennium, they petitioned for good fortune, health, prosperity, and most of all they came to this Wall to take refuge as they were running away from religious persecution and mortal genocide. As I visualized the bruised and beaten men garbed in bloodstained rags throwing their skeletal figures on these very stones, my heart pondered the question, why? I was not questioning the ways of the Lord but rather the ways of man.
Anti-Semitism, in historical context was the objective that decided and the pen that designed the fate and story of the Jews as it shaped through the ages until this day. However, what is extremely confusing is the vast diversity among the haters. The first inquiry of a homicide investigator would be the motive of the murderer, but in our case, it can be nearly impossible to unite them all under any umbrella. Their identity is sometimes religious like Pope Gregory IX, the Crusaders, Queen Isabella of Spain and Martian Luther, in other cases outspoken atheists like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. There were aristocrats, like the countless feudal proprietors and Henry Ford, and commoners like barbarians in the army of Khmelnitsky among other mobs and gangs throughout the centuries. There were blood libels staged by laymen and discriminate allegations like the Dryfus and Beilis affairs fabricated by the government. It is a combination of the aforementioned that comprise the face of anti-Semitism, but what lay beyond that ugly image is still a mystery to me.
Our generation has its unique version of anti-Semitism. The rebirth of the State of Israel and mass migration of Jews that preceded it and continue until today added fuel to an already flaming Middle East. The young state was attacked by neighboring enemy states four times and is the target for terror and bloodshed every single day since its establishment. Israel responds in kind and the pictures of well-armed IDF soldiers standing over unarmed children serve as recruiting banners and fundraising flyers for terrorists and their proxies. The previously familiar anti-Semite is almost extinct, in his stead sprang the anti-Israel activist vowing that he has nothing against the Jew but against his apartheid state. Among all the previously stated anti-Semites we will examine the anti-Israeli, for his message is crucially relevant.
The recent holocaust made it impossible for the anti-Semite to hide his true feelings and disgraceful ideology, the world witnessed the repercussions of uncensored hate speech and no decent human being wants to have anything to do with it anymore. Consequently, for the first time, there are well-established and well-funded organizations revealing anti-Semites and diminishing their influence thus preventing the horrendous outcomes of repeating themselves. Eventually these organizations started tagging people, governments and organizations with the shunned “anti-Semite” label to the extent that it almost lost its meaning. It is a grave crime indeed and we will cross-examine these organizations as well.
The millions of little notes in the cracks of the Wall are few in contrast to the ocean of tears she absorbed and broken hearts that confided to her. So, as I rest my head on her surface I feel she recognizes me and understands my plight, for I am just a link in this chain. Hopefully the last one.