I just came back from a virtual trip to the wacky wonderland-like world of Israel-bashers, anti-Zionist slashers and anti-Jewish smashers. Thanks to Mr. Zuckerberg I can sit in my bedroom and "meet" Israel-haters and anti-Semites from all over the world. Luckily – these meetings take place only virtually. That's why I can live to tell you the story.
In these FB pages people can post the most outrageous lies and entirely ludicrous libels. The sad thing: it seems that many of these posters aren't even aware of their detachment from reality. Sometimes I answer weird accusations with a few solid facts. Often-times I ask questions. I almost never get a straight answer. Well, once a guy wrote back to me asking if I "smell the gas" coming back from "those" times" - but even that, technically, isn't a straight answer.
One of the common non-responsive retorts I receive, amongst an abundance of slurs and curses, is a curious accusation that I am a paid "hasbara" troll. Now, I do think I know what a troll is. Indeed, I live in a house under a bridge, which as I recall can be considered troll-like. But a "hasbara" troll, with hasbara denoting something akin to the devil? Whatever: entering these sites and pages is like going through the Looking Glass and meeting the Red Queen facebook to facebook.
What really catches my attention is: "paid 'hasbara' troll". PAID??? One person even asked me: "Have you picked up your check today?" Immediately I shot back: "No! Quick! Tell me where do go to get the money!" Then, when I really needed an answer, I got no response.
Because that's the problem I have with all this anti-Semitism, masquerading as anti-Zionism, that floats around in the virtual atmosphere, like so much noxious, soft-coal smoke and automobile exhaust fumes. You see – these reality-challenged people are truly convinced that the Jews, the Zionist - that means me! - control not only the media,
Hollywood the US government and the New York Yankees – but we also control the banks and economies of the world! (That's right, folks! At this moment there a side-locked, bearded accountant named Hershel Goldenberg working away in the bowels of the Bank of China who is actually running the whole shebang!) And I always think to myself: "Hey! Guys! With all that money that we control in the world – can't I get a few thousand shekels to fix my roof? Where do I go to get my share???
Somewhere, over the rainbow,
Way up high,
All the Jews they got so much money,
Why, oh why can't I?
We so pride ourselves on being so super-post-modern-up-to-the-times-and-beyond that we absorb this twisted message, using it for our own purposes, especially political ones. It's a sad thing that this libel doesn't stop at the borders of our land and thinking. Instead it often tends to permeate sections of society and fertilize pre-conceived prejudice. "Of course", you say to yourself, "I per se don't get all that money, but…"
The Chareidim (ultra-Orthodox) get a lot of money;
Or everyone knows that the settlers get tons of shekels;
Some think the theaters get all those checks;
Others say: "Nah, it's the tycoons!
No! All the rich…
No! It's the poor that get too much assistance…
No the middle class…
Well, I live in a Jewish community that some insist are calling a settlement, and if I'm getting all that cash – no one gave me my share! Growing up in
Chicago, if I've learned anything from the exemplary political workings there, I've learned to say: "Where's mine?"
So – if the Jews have all the money, or the Zionists in particular (in the eyes of those that don't want to admit to being anti-Semites) or especially the Israelis (ibid.), or the settlers (for left-wing Israelis who want to keep up with the fashion of accusing the Jews of hoarding and hogging it all to themselves, but have to feel more righteous than others), I have one thing to say:
My simple plea is: "Where's the gelt??"