Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My Weekend

Over this last weekend my family and I were subjected to an anti-semitic attack. In the middle of the night for a few nights the phone rang and a voice would say typical anti-semitic words intermingled with obscenities. The phone calls would come every five minutes or so until I had to take the phone off the hook. And then he would leave messages on my voice mail.

This isn’t the first time I have been subjected to this type of behaviour – it comes with the territory of being Jewish. But each time it happens it is a shock to the system.

At first there is disbelief. Then there is fear and remembering how these kinds of incidents turned into the Holocaust – that no act of anti-semitism is too small to be ignored. And then there is anger.

Anger that these stupid beliefs are still out there – that as hard as we have tried to blur the colour, cultural and religious lines there are still people who bring their anger and despair to focus on a group of people just because of their religious affiliation.

To compound this anger and frustration is the notion that anti-semitism is a disease. This is what someone told me when we were discussing these incidents. “Perhaps the person was drunk, like Mel Gibson – or sick”

Anti-semitism isn’t a disease – it is a choice.

Which makes the act of anti-semitism even more vile. Other people may believe that Mel Gibson didn’t really mean what he said about Jews when he was drunk – but my experience with drunks is that the truth comes out more easily than lies. If the beliefs weren’t there to begin with they wouldn’t be on the drunk’s tongue. And that goes for the drugged or mentally ill – why would anti-semitic notions come to the fore if they weren’t already part of their belief system?

I have pity for those who feel that lashing out using profanity and anti-semitism. But I have no tolerance for them.

As with any other anti-semitic act these were recorded, reported and dealt with. Let’s hope they are behind us.


Blogger Alec said...

This is horrible, Cyril. Thanks for sharing this as I think it's important to know and to share that antisemitism, and racism in general, continue to run rampant in our society.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is terrible, it is difficult to see that these type of actions occur.

I hope you and your family are doing well.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Everytime I catch myself saying "I can't believe this kind of thing still exists" I'm given a horrible reminder that racism, sexism, ageism and religious discrimination still flourish. I think you're so right that this isn't a sickness, but hate is something that certainly is communicable.

We can only hope that with time, experience and education, we can erode this kind of mindless, ignorant and hateful action. And if the offensive behaviour can be reduced, maybe the underlying beliefs will follow.


Rick Schwier

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are all shocked by this action. We must all begin with our youngest citizens to teach empathy and understanding. I am sure as a part of your teaching you attempt to assure that your students are respectful of others. We are thinking about you and yours!

1:34 PM  

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