Op-Ed: Annual Ghetto Mentality Award for 2013
Paula R. SternPaula R. Stern is the Founder and Documentation Manager of WritePoint, a technical writing company.
Years ago, we took our young children on a trip up north. We stayed in a lovely apartment for three nights so we could travel around the Galilee and the Golan Heights and enjoy the coolness of Israel's north during the hottest month of August. The children were sitting on a couch watching a television show, I was in the kitchen throwing together part of a late dinner, and my husband was outside firing up the barbecue when I heard two explosions.
Later I would find out that it was not actually two rockets but one. We were close enough to the firing source to hear the outgoing missile take off and seconds later, hear it explode in the Israeli city of Kiryat Shemona. While thousands of other Israelis decided to cut their vacation short, we chose to stay in the north. We thought we would be teaching our children the wrong lesson if we let our enemies chase us away.
If the army ordered all the residents to move south, we would have gone but the army felt no reason to evacuate and we saw no reason to abandon our plans. When we did get back, someone told us we had been irresponsible, endangering our children. I wrote an article, way back then, about how the ghetto mentality still thrives in the minds of some Jews; how we still are conditioned to fear, to bend, to surrender.
From time to time, I come across someone who embodies the ghetto mentality; someone so ready to bend over and apologize for being what we are and have every right to be. Past recipients of the Annual Ghetto Mentality Award have been Shulamit Aloni, Yitzhak Rabin, and Ehud Olmert. For the most part, I don't award this "honor" to non-Israelis - mostly because I feel that those of us from Israel, at least, should know better. Too, most people don't award an annual award until December or so, lest a more shining example arise. And yet, though it is not even July, I feel safe in awarding this year's Ghetto Mentality Award for 2013.
And so - drum roll please...The Ghetto Mentality Award for 2013, for inspiring and original Ghetto Mentality Thinking goes to Rabbi Yosef Antebi, the beaten Amsterdam rabbi - member of the apparently disturbed, anti-Zionist Neturei Karta group.
I first wrote about him in Stupidly Blind and Blindly Stupid - but he has outdone himself with his latest thinking/action.
Freshly recuperating from his wounds, the rabbi has decided that he must come forward and set the record straight. No, he is not condemning his attacker - rather, he has decided to adopt the Christian concept of turning the other cheek and offering forgiveness...how nice. But more, he has decided that it is important that he must make certain that the Muslim who beat him, kicked him to the ground and spat on him - understands that he beat the wrong Jew.
You see, this rabbi is not, God forbid there should be any misunderstanding, a Zionist. He isn't upset that the Muslim beat a Jew; he's upset that the Muslim beat the WRONG Jew, for the wrong reason! (See: http://www.israelnationalnews.
So, dear Arab attacker, he wants to explain, please, next time you want to beat a Jew, please make sure he's not as anti-Israel as you. You should, Rabbi Antebi wants to explain, confirm he is a Zionist - and then beat him.
Is it any wonder that with almost half the year still left, I feel comfortable in awarding this year's Ghetto Mentality Award for 2013 to Rabbi Yosef Antebi for being the blindest, most riidiculous...I'm out of words.