Maybe it is Just a Case of Denial

I am angry with fellow Jews who are clueless; Jews who haven't given a single thought to the fact that so many of their own, in Israel and here in America, need their charity. They want to tend everybody's garden except their own.

Arlene Peck

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There was a time, in years gone by, when I was an easy target for every charity that needed a volunteer. If the Children of the World needed a cheerleader, then I would get my bucket, stand on the street corner and collect money for them. The same went for the Red Cross, neighborhood bake sales and battered women's shelters. I marched for everybody.

Eventually, I felt pretty much burned out, a condition only exacerbated when I was asked to serve as a committee-woman by B'nai Brith, the national Jewish organization, and on the board of the Atlanta Jewish Welfare Federation. I could not believe the care and effort expended in finding money for black children who were then able to attend summer camp, or for the layettes that the charity hospital in Atlanta purchased to send welfare children home with nice wardrobes.

And these very same Jewish Federations advertise that the children of Latino mothers won't lack for anything. They arrange and pay for English lessons for her many children, born across the border, and provide the new immigrants with food, housing, and hospital care. Further, these liberal Jewish groups at the same time allow Jewish Day Schools and Community Centers to close for lack of funding!

My own daughter, who has three babies in a Jewish Day school in Atlanta is paying a tab of $37,000 to keep them in there. I think that books are included, but they're really not old enough to read yet. Outrageous! How many other mothers are forced to work another forty hours a week just to be able to afford to see their children get a good education? Certainly not the non-Jewish parent who never has to give it a thought that a Jewish organization is giving her child a scholarship.

Over time, my anger with these midguided liberal leftists has grown. I am angry with fellow Jews who are clueless; Jews who haven't given a single thought to the fact that so many of their own, in Israel and here in America, need their charity. They want to tend everybody's garden except their own.

I, like so many others, only have limited free time. So, reality forced me to the conclusion that although it was nice to help the arts and all the cultural and city programs that asked for help, to do so would have burned me out completely and emptied my pocketbook within a very short period of time. Therefore, my approach changed; from then on, I decided whenever a black church felt the need to invite a Jewish day school to a weekend retreat, I?d send a check to the Jewish school to cover part of the expense of hosting them. So far, it's never happened. I cannot ever recall any Christian or Muslim organization raising anything to sponsor a Jewish child.

Recently, I went to Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica. So many of the names on the plaque honouring their sponsors were Jewish. Yet, how many of these very same people have donated to a hospital in Israel?

Actually, I sometimes wonder where all the money comes from to fill my mailbox on a daily basis with return address stickers, greeting cards, get well cards, seasonal and holiday cards, and, oh, let's not forget, those Easter or Xmas stickers (although neither is a big day around my house). Where do they find the funds to send out embossed cards of birds in flight, puppies at play or angels? Am I supposed to feel great remorse and write a larger check whenever I'm sent pictures of children with harelips, eyes bulging and stomachs distended from disease and starvation, or women with dead or dying babies at their breasts? I wonder how much of the donation check actually gets through, or does it go to pay bloated executive salaries? Sorry, I meant "administrative expenses".

How crass of me to even remember, when being solicited for a donation to UNICEF, that they hate Israel and anything Jewish. These organizations are anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist and anti-Israel. Actually, the same goes for the Red Cross. And all too often, many of the children that I am supposed to send money to in these third world countries are baby Muslims who will be educated to grow up and kill the Zionists wherever they find them.

Jews founded and led the NAACP and were at the forefront of the civil rights movement. And didn't we all support them? And what about the United Negro College Fund? Wasn't "a mind a terrible thing to waste"? We gave there, too. Is it asking too much for just a smidgen of support from members of these same groups, or their offspring, many of whom benefited from our contributions, but never give back?

Recently, I had occasion to meet that amazing woman, Dr. Wafa Sultana, whose comments about the Arabs during an interview on the Arab television station Al-Jazeera were like "the shot heard around the world." One of her more insightful comments, concerning her childhood, is etched on my brain permanently. She related how, as a child growing up in Syria, she was taught that whatever happens in the world, it is the fault of the Jews: "I drop a dish in my kitchen, the Jews are behind it." Arab children are still being taught this today. I guess if it snows in Gaza, then it's because of the Jews. ?Send money"? Why?

Why is it that the Palestinians expect the West to help them, when they have been unwilling to recover the billions of aid dollars that Yasser Arafat stole from them over the years? And why is it that the Palestinians expect the West to help them when their fellow Muslims in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and Dubai, among others, have not stepped forward to assist their poor co-Arabists and co-religionists?

The West continues to feed them funds without demanding even a basic accountability. When will the West realize that so-called humanitarian aid goes largely into the pockets of a select few, for the salaries of killers posing as policemen and for weapons that kill Jews? Actually, I think they do realize it. As apathy is the hallmark of the West, I, like any sensible Jew with a memory should, can only conclude that they just don't care.

Send them my money? I don't think so.