Let’s stand for the right (left) side of history

If I had been alive in Eastern Europe during World War II and the Holocaust I would be dead today, simply because I’m Jewish. I didn’t have relatives who were killed during that tragic time in history, but a shadow of paranoia still remains.

Yet I don’t understand Holocaust survivors who worry that another Holocaust is on its way. All Jews should have guns to defend themselves, I’ve heard. (I do live in Arizona where everyone has guns but Jews too?)

Five thousand years of anti-Semitism will not subside anytime soon is another lament I’ve heard. Other Holocaust survivors insist that times have changed, it’s the 21st century and we must learn to combat anti-Semitism and other injustices without violence.

Take Egypt’s recent youth uprising that ran a decades-entrenched dictator out of town. Ok, so Mubarak took off to his luxurious seaside villa and didn’t leave the country; maybe that was the deal he made. He said he wanted to die on Egyptian soil.

Now other primarily Muslim countries led by super-wealthy dictators are experiencing protests, such as Bahrain, Algeria and Libya This is an exciting time.

The first ouster of an Arab dictator, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on Jan. 14 in Tunisia, didn’t happen because of violence, suicide bombers or the like. When Mohamed Bouazazi set fire to himself he shamed the Tunisian government. The uprising has been called “The Dignity Revolution.”

What we witnessed in Egypt was another “Dignity Revolution.” Fear abounds about what will happen next, how the military will transfer power to the people (Right On!). Supporters of Israel worry that Arab nations will overthrow their governments and band together to destroy the Jewish state.

But this is a nationalist movement. The Egyptian people want justice and equality, opportunities to succeed that support a decent lifestyle. Let’s not make the same mistake we made in Vietnam, focusing on some scary ideological bent — then the label was “Communist” today it’s Islamist — but consider basic human desires. Here’s to more dignity revolutions!

This entry was posted in For Love of History, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Let’s stand for the right (left) side of history

  1. marianne bernsen says:

    Let’s hope you are right, Sheila. However, Israel is, again, caught in
    the middle. She would not be out of touch in her thinking that these
    movements have enormous ripple effects, and that a good part of
    the thinking of these countries is very anti-Israel. Being on her guard
    seems only a good offense.

    • sheilawill says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Marianne. Israel is always on her guard, no doubt about that, and I know there’s a reason for it. On the other hand, I find it exciting that Arab countries want to get out from under dictatorships. That seems like a greater need than Jew-hating. Throughout history Jews have often served as scapegoats. Another positive outcome of revolt against dictators may be that people have discovered that they’ve been hoodwinked into not striving for their own equality!

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