© August 8, 2014, All Rights Reserved.
“Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly.” Leviticus 19:15 New American Bible
I enjoyed watching KISS rocker Gene Simmons on Fox News’ Outnumbered yesterday speaking about a collegiate coed that sought to carry a firearm on campus to protect herself against a stalker. Mr. Simmons’ implication was to impart “street justice” and for her to grab the support of a few athletes and literally let baseball bats do the talking regarding the criminal aggressor. That is, perhaps, a shattered kneecap would do far more to cease the aggression than relying upon the assistance of overworked and underfunded police agencies. Amen.
I am, by all fair accounts, the product of turn-of-the-last-century street fighters and gang members of the Detroit area with a pedigree involving the Purple Gang (of Jailhouse Rock notoriety) and pre-Eminem Eight Mile Road conflicts. It would be, perhaps, legitimate that this foundation of urban violence would lead me into a life of depravity and violence and you would be correct in arguing this point were it not for two distinct ideals. First, my ancestors engaged in illicit practices for survival within a land decidedly hostile to newcomers, particularly those of a “foreign” faith and language. Secondly, this ancient religion of immigrants served as a foundation to protect the innocent and underdogs of society. For example, when my family beat up a police officer, it had little to do with flagrant violation of the law. Rather, it was a direct retaliation against a corrupt law enforcement official that brutally beat a hungry and cold resident who was simply stealing coal to keep his family warm during the dead of winter. Sometimes life requires survival to the point of abandoning civilized behavior in favor of extending civilization.
All of this leads me to the present conflict between “Palestinian” Arabs and the modern State of Israel. On paper, the Arabs would “appear” to have all the makings necessary for “street justice” of the Simmons and Godlewski family clan variety: poor families, lack of food, miserable living conditions, local violence, etc. However, again, there are distinctions to be observed. Whereas my ancestors arrived into a location that hated immigrants and foreign religions, the Arabs of the Levant have largely represented the xenophobic instigators. The Arabs surrounding Israel did not venture from thousands of miles away, proceed through the legalities of an Ellis Island, and then work in the dingy coalmines of a Pennsylvania or factories of a Detroit in order to fit it. For all practical purposes, they emulated the WASPs that sought to deny universal freedom to others not matching their self-ordained rules. In this regard, I can only sympathize with Israel, many of whose citizens emigrated from my family’s native Poland to escape persecution.