Wednesday, January 17, 2007

And Just Who Is "Barbaric", Mr. Lapid?

"Barbarians" is the title of an op-ed published in today's Ma'ariv newspaper, penned by Yosef (Tomy) Lapid. It hasn't appeared on the Internet (*).

It deals with the case of Yif'at Alkobi. She's the young woman caught on tape pestering her Arab neighbors across the way at Tel Rumeidah, calling a woman "Sharmuta", which can translate generously as "wanton slut" but usually means "whore".

Not very smart on her part. Some later footage supplied to the media by Betselem showed little kids tossing rocks on their neighbors.

Well, Lapid – a former Ma'ariv editor and previously a director of Israel Broadcasting Authority; a former panelist of the infamous "Popolitka" program; head of Israel's Chess Association and travelogue author; father of media star Yair Lapid and husband to author Shulamith Lapid (the daughter of David Gilead, a former Maariv editor too); and, incidentally to the subject at hand, former Justice Minister as well as head of the defunct Shinui party - doesn't like Yif'at.

This is what he wrote:

"...[she] appeared to be known to me from somewhere. Slowly, out of the depths of my childhood memory, the vision of my Hungarian neighbor in Novy-Sowd, who would stand at her doorstep and curse us everytime we went out to the street, just like Yif'at Alkobi"


"The memory of Auschwitz should not serve as a reason to ignore the fact that there are among us Jews who act today towards the Palestinians exactly as the GFerman, Hungarian, Polish and other antisemites acted towards the Jews. Not ovens nor pogroms but persecution and botherings and throwing stones and harming livelihood and scaring and spitting and demeaning - all the appearances that made out lives in the Exile bitter and fearful..."


Lapid has made me angry.

If he is right in his metaphor and comparison, he must out of logic agree that the Jew in Hungary acted just like the Arab in Hebron does to the Jew. Otherwise his parallelism is false.

It is false because no Jews sniped at that Hungarian lady's infant as had happened in the case of Yif'at.

No Jew in Czechoslovkia stabbed a priest to death as happened with Yif'at's neighbor, Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan.

No Jew in Poland threw Molotov cocktails at church processions.

No Jew in Germany blew himself up in a Berlin cafe.

Lapid, I might add, is the chairman of the directorate of Yad Vashem, a position that should be held by someone acceptable to all Jews, not a small-minded, anti-religious bigot whose only talent is dashing off superficial poison-pen letters that get published in the mainstream media, someone who manipulates his own unfortunate Holocaust experience to advance his biased outlook.

Lapid is our prime example of the Israeli holier-than-thou, self-righteous smug idiot.

Woe to us all.

=======================

(*)

I wrote too fast.

The Jerusalem Post decided to publish it in translation.

That woman, the one who it turns out is named Yifat Alkobi, the Jewish woman that confronted, cursed, spat on and threatened her Arab neighbor in Hebron, she who is imprisoned in her own home, seemed somehow familiar to me.

Gradually, from the cobwebs of my childhood memories, I dredged up the image of a Hungarian neighbor in Novi Sad, who used to stand at the entrance to her home and curse us every time we went into the street - just like Yifat Alkobi.

When we decide, and rightly so, to never under any circumstances compare the behavior of Jews to that of Nazis, we are forgetting that anti-Semitism only reached its height at Auschwitz. It had existed, was active, frightening, harmful and disgusting - exactly like Alkobi's image - in the years that preceded Auschwitz too. And behind shuttered windows hid terrified Jewish women, exactly like the Arab woman of the Abu-Isha family in Hebron.

It is unthinkable that the memory of Auschwitz should serve as a pretext to ignore the fact that living here among us are Jews that behave toward Palestinians exactly the way German, Hungarian, Polish and other anti-Semites behaved toward Jews.

I am not referring to crematoria or pogroms, but rather to the persecution, hounding, stone-throwing, undermining of livelihood, scare tactics, spitting and contempt.

It was all of these things that made our lives in the Diaspora so bitter and harrowing, even before they began the wholesale killing of Jews. I was afraid to go to school because little anti-Semites lay in wait on the way and beat us. In what way is a Palestinian child in Hebron any different?


And thanks to RA for the help, encouragement and cleanup operation.

2 comments:

RA said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RA said...

Lapid has referred to himself on more than one occasion as a "European gentleman," especially when seeking to set himself apart from the Levantines that make up more than half of Israel's Jewish population. While he is certainly no gentleman, Lapid truly deserves the title of "European" in that that he so eagerly adopts the views espoused by so many Europeans towards Israel's jews, and especially of the "settler" - sorry revanent - variety.
Lapid is nothing but a loudmouth anti-religious bigot, with an oversized ego, whose only talent is dashing off superficial poison-pen missives that get published in the mainstream media.
BTW, if after having the video cameras for over a year, capturing Alkobi's foulmouthed expletives is the best Arab/loony-fringe leftists could do- well, that speaks volumes for the restraint shown by the Jewish population of Hebron. I would strongly recommend that the Jews of Hebron be provided with video cameras too. I have no doubt that they will come up with a great deal more incriminating evidence of the Arabs' behavior than the Arabs and their useful idiots have come up with.