"I do not stand for genocide," says the former tour surfer.
The American conservative hero Candace Owens threw herself under a bus a couple of days ago when she claimed Muslims were being corralled inside Jerusalem, oowee, slave-like etc.
On her own podcast, Candace Owens said Jerusalem’s “Muslim quarters (sic)” gave her chills, ‘cause her grand-daddy grew up when the US’s South was segregated.
“When I’m walking through Jerusalem, and you see, and they say ‘these are the Muslim quarters, this is where the Muslims are allowed to live,’ that doesn’t feel like a bastion of freedom to me,” Candace Owens said.
It took Candace Owens’ guest, Jewish comic Ami Kozak, to explain that there were four-quarters in the Old City, Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim, and that the Muslim part of town wasn’t a barracks for enslaved Mohammedans.
The podcast came after a tweet, viewed eleven million times, where Candace Owens wrote,
“No government anywhere has a right to commit a genocide, ever. There is no justification for a genocide.”
Now, I ain’t no military man, new Saint Laurent combat boots aside, happy birthday to me etc, but the Jews got nukes, almost three-mill citizens trained to fight (Israel allows the openly gay to serve, take that newly created Instagram account Queers In Palestine), 581 planes, including a couple hundred F-16s and thirty-six of the awesome F-35, seven warships, six subs etc.
If Israel really wanted genocide, well, difficult takes a day, genocide takes a week.
But here we are, surfers, looking at our little telephones, saying big boy words like “genocide” and parroting the Islamic war-cry “From the river to the sea” (Yeah, there are different interpretations but in the current context it is what it is) without knowing what they mean.
“I want to make you all fucking very aware of something. I will never fucking stand for oppression, hatred, discrimination,” says Ricky, shaking with righteous fury. “ I will never fucking back down from my beliefs. I don’t give a fuck who you are, I will never stand for hate.”
So far so good! I’m with Ricky!
“In saying that, I want you to know that this is about eradicating hate…I do not stand for genocide.”
Nine years ago, after a lesser Hamas incursion into Israel, rockets, a few Israeli kids slaughtered, I wrote a piece for the slightly to the left mainstream press in Australia.
With your permission (or not) I publish below.
In February, five months before the Gazan conflict, I asked the question, Are We Anti-Semitic? The response was as predictable as it was proof of the column’s premise.
“Boycott Israel until they mend their evil ways!”
“I have no time for a country that steals another country’s land and then then shoots people who throw stones at them. Reap what you sow!”
“Try getting a smile or a hello or ANY communication from the majority of jewish people around here and you’ll be snubbed!”
“The Israeli hard-right would give Hitler a run for his money if they were to compete for who was the most abhorrent human being!”
And a lone voice: “As a rabbi I have been escorted home by security, my 7-year-old child went to therapy being scared to leave the house as once he was walking and a group of youths [18 year olds] threatened to beat him up. I have needed to evacuate my house [4 children] at the advice of the AFP at 10:30pm at night as a man threatened to come and harm us. I ask why, I am 5 generations Australian, have relatives that died as ANZACs, donate of my time to the general public, sing the anthem with pride, why should I have people yelling at my family when I walk in the street?”
Around the same time as I wrote the column an Australian woman I knew started talking, entirely out of context, about the security detail around the various synagogues, schools and childcare centres.
“The Jews bring their hate into our communities,” she said.
And then, four weeks ago. Israel responded to Hamas rockets and tunnels into their country and the murder of three Israeli kids, by fighting back. We see terrible footage of children torn to shreds. Of houses and apparently neutral shelters destroyed. A body count supplied by Hamas ticks over into the thousands. American and European correspondents from Gaza city tell of endless Israeli atrocities.
Is it Dahiya, Lebanon, redux, the military strategy of ruining civilian infrastructure as a deterrent? Or are we buying the Hamas line, with reporters naively believing their terrorist handlers? I don’t know; and neither do you.
What I do know is I’d rather be living alongside members of the IDF than Hamas. Does anyone remember the Hamas v Fatah power struggle in Gaza back in 2007? When Human Rights Watch reported of public executions, the targeting and killing of civilians, throwing prisoners out of high-rise buildings, fighting from hospitals and shooting from jeeps marked with “TV”? Familiar refrain isn’t it.
Another exercise is to Google “Hamas children” and then “Israeli children” and you’ll get what I mean.
But the level of anti-Jewish, and not just anti-Israeli, fever runs high. Yesterday a school bus in my neighbourhood was attacked by drunken teenagers, obviously fuelled by the one-sided reporting, screeching Nazi slogans.
A child calls her mother. “Hey Mummy, please help us, there are strange men who have been let on to a school bus and they are screaming ‘Heil Hitler! Kill the Jews!’ they want to cut out our throats’”
Even as a agnostic Australian I was shocked by Glen Le Lievre cartoon in the SMH (since withdrawn) featuring a fat, hook-nosed Israeli sitting in an armchair marked with the star of David pushing a remote control to set off munitions. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a copy of that old fake The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the corner of the frame.
Meanwhile, in France, Jews flee for Israel (2200 this year compared to 600 last year) as riots envelope the country. Shops are looted. Slogans daubed. Franзois Pupponi, the mayor of Sarcelles, the site of rioting, said: “We have never seen such an outpouring of hatred and violence in Sarcelles. This morning people are stunned, and the Jewish community is afraid.”
I receive emails from Israeli friends and they say they are wounded by the anti-Semitism.
“You know,” wrote one. “So many people are in shock about the anti-Semitism. My wife really wanted to move to the States and I kept telling her, this is our home. And now she understands. It’s not safe for us anywhere. Only here. Nothing has changed since the Holocaust. The hate is alive and strong.”
But, he says, “I talked with some of my friends in Gaza yesterday and I feel so sorry for them. Many of them are against Hamas but terrified to death to raise their voice.”
We toe the Hamas line at our peril.