Sunday, December 31, 2023

Fast forward to 2024

It's New Years Eve 2023. My last post was just after Joe Biden was elected president in November of 2020. I guess I've been happy enough with the way things were progressing that I haven't felt the need to write anything. I suppose were many things I could have written about.

I could have written something about Ukraine. My grandfather's family came to this country from Ukraine, so at one level you could say I'm of Ukrainian descent. Did my great grandfather consider himself Ukrainian? Possibly the same way Jews in this country consider ourselves American. But it didn't matter, because to the other people living there at the time they were just Jews. And so when the pogroms swept though they were forced to leave their home and whatever they couldn't carry and fee to America. So I have mixed feelings about Ukraine. Whatever distant family I might have had left in that country were surely killed by the nazis with whom the Ukrainians were collaborators. And now they have a Jewish leader who is the darling of the free world. Maybe he's a distant relative? I'd love to hear how his family survived. But I didn't write about any of this stuff although maybe a little bit on Facebook. What I did remark about Russia's war on Ukraine is how well things worked out for Joe Biden. He gets to wage a proxy war on Russia without having to commit any American lives. And what a boon for our war industry. You know all those billions in aid to Ukraine never leaves the country right? It goes straight to our Masters of War that build the jet planes and all the bombs, and tanks and guns. In fact what we've been doing is supplying Ukraine with our older weapons stockpile and using the money to build new stuff for our own military. My friends thought I was being cynical for expressing this sentiment, and of course I do sympathize with Ukraine, but the facts are the facts.

And then came Oct 7, 2023 and much in the world changed. For myself and other American Jews we realized no matter how much we thought of ourselves as just Americans, most everyone else thought of us as just Jews. It's been somewhat of a shocking wake up call. We recall how the Jews in 1930s Germany may have thought of themselves as ordinary Germans. Can we honestly feel safe in this country with Trump still walking free and preaching the same hate as Hitler did? Can we rely on our friends and neighbors to stand up for us? I still hope so.

And yet I see good friends posting stuff on social media that tells me they really do not understand the situation in Israel, or the history leading up to it. Yes of course most liberals are going to take the side of the people they perceive to be the oppressed underdogs. I'm certainly not going to hold this against them. And I'm not going to retreat into the "us against the world" mentality I see some of my other Jewish friends doing. We can see enemies all around us, or we can see that some of our friends just don't have the full story. So I'm going to use my next blog posts to try and fill in some of the missing pieces that I hope will help some of my friends have a better understanding of why things are they way they are in Israel. This will be nothing new, and most of it is in the media almost daily, but perhaps I'll be able to say it in a way that will reach the people that really need to hear it.

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