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Blue Light Special

03/28/2024 11:52:09 AM

Mar28

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

To listen to Rabbi Scott's blog, click HERE.

I never much understood Holocaust denialism.  It seemed to me that the very people who enacted the Holocaust, and the very people, who believe today and since then, that the decimation, for example, of 90% of Poland’s Jews (at the start of war, there were 3 Million Jewish Poles, and in 1945, there were less than 300,000, and today there are barely 30,000) wasn’t enough, should at least be willing to “proudly” embrace the truth of what their hatred wrought.  But then I began learning about the evils of “gaslighting.” If you can persecute and attack a people, or even just a person, but then claim and insist that what they are suffering from is a figment of their imagination, oh what delusional power that can muster.  If you, as the tormenter, refuse to even give your victim the “privilege” of their pain and suffering, I pray that there is a special place in hell for you.  (And I don’t even believe in hell!)

For a good while, according to the polls, Americans have maintained a confident approval of Israel, and its actions post October 7.  Reports of famine, disease, gargantuan hardship lived and experienced since late October by innocent Palestinians in Gaza are horrific. It is a travesty what they are suffering, and I refuse to gaslight them and their misery.  There is no question that what innocent Gazan civilians are suffering is something no human being should ever have to confront.  The question in my mind is who is to blame.  

To claim that it is all Israel’s fault is the ultimate gaslighting, because the fuel of the gaslight is lies, and these are lies that far too many young Americans believe, and far too many young American Jews.  The notion that Israel is evil by virtue of its power, is equally as deceitful as the notion that Palestinians, by virtue of their powerlessness, are virtuous.  This doesn’t mean that there isn’t evil in Israel or virtue in Gaza.  But this axis of thought runs through so much of the debate, like the axis that runs through the center of the earth – indiscernible but powerfully controlling which way the world tilts.

We have got to uncover the lies for what they are – the purposeful misappropriation of factoids to tell the story you want to tell, to be told, or to keep from being exposed.  The internet is the ultimate tool of gaslighting because of the distance of the spark. The instigator can start a fire from miles and worlds away, and then stand back and watch the melee.  And what a melee it has become.  For young Americans to somehow justify the heroization of people who would burn you in the town square before they would shake your hand, is a level of asphyxiation difficult to imagine.  Unless you’ve lost your access to oxygen, and the blue light has disappeared.

Wed, April 17 2024 9 Nisan 5784