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Red Rag Or Red Flag?
A friend of mine once told me that Israel was the red rag of the world. This poetic metaphor challenged me to think about the various implications of the differences between the red rag and the red flag, concerning Jews and Israel today.
A rag is a disposable piece of junk. We do not know what it served for or where it came from, so we cut it up, tear it in small pieces and use it to clean a mess. Then we throw it away.
From 1933, Nazi Germany used a rag to build a wall that isolated the Jews of Europe. It was the yellow Star of David that marked all the Jews. No one in Europe or the League of Nations raised a red flag when Jews were displaced, driven into ghettos and exiled to camps, on route to their final destination. There were walls around the Warsaw ghetto and electric fences around the concentration camps, stopping Six million Jews from escaping a horrible death.
The rag is soaked in Jewish blood, hence it turned red.
In 1945, the newly formed United Nations recognized the Jewish refugees. In 1946, the Jews of the Arab world were branded as foreigners, then accused of Zionism. Many were under house arrest, imprisoned, hanged in public squares, relocated and eventually sent into exile, homeless, penniless and stateless. In 1948, no Arab State recognized Israel as a legitimate State. Arabs claimed that the Zionist State caused the exile of the Jews. No one in Europe or the UN raised a red flag. Yet the EU, the UN and the Arab world are now waving a red flag because Israel wants to build a security fence. Here is the paradox, Jews can be walled in for death but they cannot erect a wall to save civilians' lives from attacks by suicide bombers.
Furthermore, the EU, the UN and the Arab World refuse to recognize suicide bombings as crimes against humanity. Meanwhile, the EU is planning to erect a wall of separation between its member states and their neighboring countries. It is no different from the Berlin Wall that was built to prevent undesirables from coming in to seek freedom and prosperity. There is no danger that illegal aliens from Eastern Europe would become suicide bombers and threaten EU civilians. They might, however, earn a decent living. No one is raising a red flag to protest against the EU policy. However, they are waving the anti-Israel, blood soaked Red Rag!
In Europe and the Middle East, demonstrators wave the red flag and scream "No Oil for Blood". They are the descendents of the fallen USSR, and the Bolshevik revolutionaries who raised the red flag. Communism promised equality for all except Jews. The Jewish status changed from a despised religion to an outcast nation of unwanted foreigners, who were not even allowed to immigrate to Israel. Russians made Zionism a criminal offence punishable by a prison term, internal exile or death. The idealistic red flag was passed on to the Middle Eastern Socialist governments and then theocracies. Hence Zionism became a crime. Gammal Abdel Nasser copied this humanist ideal in 1952 in Egypt, when he declared that Jews were foreigners and Zionists. This led to the decimation and almost complete annihilation of the Jewish presence in the Arab world. Between 1947 and 1967, over 900,000 Jews were driven out of Arab countries. Only a few thousands remained. The Arab world used the Jews as scapegoats, rallying their people around hatred of the foreigner Jew. Yet they adopted a foreign ideology that contradicted Islam's pledge to protect the Jews. Therefore, they used the term 'Zionist' instead of 'Jew'. No red flag went up when that linguistic trick was introduced. In 1974, the Arab oil boycott raised prices, affecting Europeans in their pockets. So a pact was made - Jews, then Zionists and finally Israel became the red rag, the sacrificial lamb of the new order.
The Jewish state is not called Israel but the Zionist Entity, and thus regarded as a criminal state that must be chastised, punished and its people must be imprisoned or sent into exile. Arab Propaganda claims that Zionism equals Nazism, that Palestinians are the victims of genocide and a holocaust. PA scholars rewrite history to show that the Jews are from Khazar and not from Israel. Israel is labeled as a racist, apartheid state that must be punished with international sanctions. An October 2003 opinion poll revealed that 59% of Europeans believe that Israel was the greatest threat to world peace. Israel is more dangerous than Afghanistan, Iran or even North Korea. No one raises a red flag for Israel and Jews!
Emmanuel L?vinas used a verse from the gospel of Matthew that said: 'Let the blood of Jesus fall on us and our descendents'. He added that the blood of innocent Jews had been spilt for 2000 years. It is now the choice of the dominant society: Are we going to use Jews as the blood soaked red rag that cleans up humanity, or are we going to raise a red flag for the cause of justice?
Celine Leduc, 23/September/2004