Enough is Enough

For antisemites, enough is never ever enough as the last 2000 years of history attests

By David. E. Kaplan

Puzzled, people frequently ask of the Holocaust:

 “How could Jews allow themselves to walk in their millions to their slaughter?”

So why not puzzled when Jews collectively band together, restore sovereignty in their ancestral homeland after 2000 years of insufferable exile and incessant persecution and finally – DEFEND themselves?

Then the global community reframes the narrative:

Hold it; how can you behave this way?”

In other words – “How dare Jews defend themselves?”

The world is okay with Jews as victim never as victor!

Always lawyered-up to the teeth to ensure compliance with the international rules of war, Israel’s army is also expected to run a constant audit of casualties to comply with an antisemitic prerequisite of “proportionality”.

If even Sartre was baffled when asked in conversation to explain antisemitism, suggesting it defies rational explanation, then one hardly needs to be a philosopher to deduce:

It is less a matter of WHAT JEWS DO and more a matter of WHO JEWS ARE!

Never to be Repeated. Rejected by the world and later to be murdered, Jewish refugees aboard the S.S. St. Louis arriving in Antwerp, Belgium after over a month at sea, during which they were denied entry to Cuba, USA and Canada. (Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Image)

If the world showed scant regard to the over 4000 rockets fired from Gaza at Israel’s civilian population, then a stark reminder of the world’s apathy towards the plight of Jews in times of crisis was brought home this week when reading of the passing of 94-year-old Herbert Karliner in Florida, USA.  He was one of the last survivors of the ill-fated SS St. Louis, which was forced to return to Europe in 1939 after being turned away from Cuba, the United States and Canada with more than 900 Jewish refugees trying to flee Nazi Germany. When the ship returned to Europe, about 250 of the passengers were murdered in the Holocaust, including Karliner’s parents and his two sisters.

We were so close to Miami Beach, I could see it,” Karliner once recalled.

So close!

Voyage of the Dammed. Herbert Karliner (right) with his father on  the ill-fated SS St. Louis, which was forced to return to Europe in 1939 after being turned away from the United States, Cuba and Canada with more than 900 Jewish refugees.

If the fleeing Jews in their desperate crying appeals from the ship’s railings fell on deaf ears of the governments of the USA and Canada – bastions of Western democracy – condemning them to certain death, who can Jews EVER depend on?

The transparently antisemitic attitude towards the plight of the Jew during WWII was chillingly articulated by a senior Canadian immigration official when asked how many Jews should be considered for entry into Canada.

His reply:

None is too many.”

Less publicly blunt but ad idem in sentiment was FDR, for under his wartime presidency, the American door to Jews remained closed. Apart from setting up a “committee” to strike the right pose, suggesting an open door policy – it was just a veneer.

He had hoped – “Let others open their doors’. 

Few did.

At the Évian  Conference convened in July  in 1938 to address the problem of Jewish refugees wishing to flee persecution by Nazi Germany, only ONE nation out of 32 countries represented, the Dominican Republic, agreed to accept 100,000 refugees. Reflecting the opinion of many of the delegations, the Australian representative, T. W. White, offered this explanation:

As we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one.”

“No” To Jewish Rescue. In July 1938, Thomas Walter White, representing Australia at the inter-governmental conference on Jewish refugees held at Évian, France, to discuss the growing numbers of Jewish emigrants seeking to leave Germany and occupied territories said: “As we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one by encouraging any scheme of large-scale foreign migration.”

In other words, European Jewry would be a toxic import into the racial purity of Australians.

What has changed today in global attitudes?

The venomous verbal assault on Israel during the latest Gaza war ranging from acting “worse than the Nazis”, “ethnic cleansing”  and “genocide” – all cunningly usurping Holocaust terminology to reframe Israelis as today’s Nazis – to the more nuanced of  acting “disproportionately”, reveal a revival of Jew hatred until recently thought in decline.


If once herded to their deaths like cattle to the slaughter, today the world expects Israel – the home to the largest Jewish population in the world – should let rockets rain upon their civilian populations and NOT respond.

This thinking is insane but this insanity has a name – antisemitism

The antisemitism that gave rise to the industrial ‘death factory’ of Auschwitz did not start with bricks but words, and the words today whether from the Left, the Right and everywhere in-between are what’s giving rise to the alarming rise of antisemitism across the world. It is why the Simon Wiesenthal Center opens its latest weekly newsletter with an alarming” “NEVER AGAIN has become AGAIN and AGAIN…..”  before listing antisemitic attacks around the world. Its hunting season and Jews are once again the prey…..

Auschwitz Album. Look, stare, cry and ask – how and why? Last Moments before the gas chambers.

If Jews through the millennia faced false accusations preceding persecutions and massacres, today it’s Israel facing these false accusations, even from totalitarian dictatorships like the world’s worst human rights abuser North Korea whose Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang released a statement that read:

It is no exaggeration to say that the whole Gaza Strip has turned into a huge human slaughterhouse and a place of massacring children.” Hyping up the hate against the Jewish state with outrageous falsehoods, the statement continues to allege that Israel’s actions are “a crime against humanity” that challenges the future of humankind and is engaged in “state-sponsored terrorism and [the] act of obliterating other nations.”

June 1, 2021
From headlines around the world: Anti-Semitic attacks spread like wildfire in the US… Officials Say Hate Crimes Against Jews Are Growing… Who’s out protecting us?: Spate of anti-Jewish attacks… A Dangerous and Drastic Surge: Rise in Antisemitic Attacks… Germany sees spike in antisemitic crime. Shades of the Shoah. Headline news compiled by the Simon Wiesenthal Center of widespread rampant antisemitism.

Shades of the Shoah. Headline news compiled by the Simon Wiesenthal Center of widespread rampant antisemitism.

Pathetically and predictably climbing onto the proverbial bandwagon, the South African government condemned Israel’s “unjust attacks on civilians in Gaza….” and said the atrocities should be investigated and referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as possible crimes against humanity. 

Israel defends itself against rockets fired at its civilian population from Gaza – a war crime  in international law –  and the world chastises Israel about “proportionality” and “the toxic optics coming out of Gaza”. The problem was that there was “no optics” coming out from  Israel because the global media hardly covered it.
All we see,” says my family and friends in the UK, USA and South Africa, “is what is happening in Gaza.”

Lives Shattered. The “optics” in Israel that rarely appear in the overseas media. An infant’s swing outside the home of the Wolf family in the central Israeli village of Mishmeret, which was destroyed in the early morning hours of March 25, 2019 by a rocket fired from Gaza. (Jack Guez/AFP)

What’s “toxic” is the  media manipulation of the coverage so much so that North Korea and South Africa can be ‘moral’ bedpartners in ganging up against Israel.  Their only partnering is their shared antisemitism!

If one thing is loud and clear from the rampant rise of global antisemitism and revealing reactions to the recent war between Israel and Hamas is that Israel has to do what it has to do to defend Jews – whether in Israel or abroad. Whatever their disparate perspectives on Israel, Jews today throughout the world can walk tall and feel far more secure than their predecessors in the knowledge there is a national homeland with a powerful army. Because of Israel – NEVER AGAIN will Jews be herded onto trains before walking towards their slaughter – NEVER!

The majority of the world’s Jewish population today lives in Israel and its people are not going anywhere come rockets or rebuke!

While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves.  LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO)

Cadena – Bringing Dignity Back to Young Women

Breaking taboos, Jewish non-profit on a mission to repair the world

By Rolene Marks

There is an old and wise African proverb that says:

Educate a woman and you educate a village.”

Access to a good education saves and improves the lives of girls and women the world over, ultimately leading to more equitable development, stronger families, better services and better health for children. Educating young girls has a wide-ranging impact as well as long term benefits. It is often said that the future is women – and who can forget such extraordinary young women like Malala Yousafzai who literally risked her life for the right to be educated and the countless others, who dream of what so many take for granted?

The simple act of going to school every day is one that many of us don’t give a second thought to; but what of the millions of young girls living in poverty around the world who miss out on a week of school every month because of their menstrual cycle? During this time, young girls who live in areas that are either rural or poverty stricken do not go to school because of a lack of access to safe, hygienic sanitary products, and/or who are unable to manage their periods with dignity, sometimes due to community stigmas. Many of these young girls are made to feel ashamed of their bodies and that they are dirty.

There is a connection between the confidence of women who are able to take care of their bodies and their ability to be able to take care of their education and their communities. At a time when we are having important conversations around issues of body positivity and breaking the stigma about menstruation which is a natural function, we need to draw attention to the many suffering from period poverty, that is – the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and waste management.

Young women deserve the basic human right to menstruate with dignity. Diminished capacity, even for just a week, creates barriers to opportunities. It does not just affect the ability of young girls to go to school but women to go to work.

Proud to Help. Young volunteers from the Jewish non-profit Cadena helping a  community in South Africa to replace unsafe and unsanitary pit latrines.

It also impacts on physical health. Lack of access to the right feminine hygiene products may lead to greater risk of infection. In some cases, women and girls do not have access to menstrual products at all. They may resort to rags, leaves, newspaper or other makeshift items to absorb or collect menstrual blood. They may also be prone to leaks, contributing to shame or embarrassment.

Humanitarian organization, Cadena has found a solution to these issues.  Cadena was formed in Mexico in 2004 with the intention of assisting with victims of natural disasters. Since then, Cadena which now has a global presence in many countries around the world, has expanded its focus to include education, the launching of rescue missions, community rebuilding programmes and many, many more important projects. Cadena also firmly believes in a philosophy of “hand to hand”, preferring direct contact with the people that they are helping. The organization became more and more concerned hearing about the situation for young women in poverty stricken areas of South Africa where a decision between buying a loaf of bread or sanitary protection for girls is a heartbreaking but common occurrence. At least 50% of young women in South Africa have seen their education disrupted during their menstrual cycle!

Project Preparation. Volunteers planning and preparing to  replace and upgrade latrines in rural community.

What could Cadena do to help alleviate the situation and ensure that the education of these young women and girls is not interrupted?

The first order of the day was to break the taboos. Cadena had to educate these young girls and women that there was nothing “dirty” or horrible about a process that is a very natural part of being a woman. Sadly today, taboos around this subject are not just in struggling communities but worldwide which is why an article like this can help a lot with breaking down stigmas and taboos.

Team Work. Cadena volunteers help communities with solutions to replace deadly pit latrines and help host workshops to help alleviate period poverty.

Cadena is determined that young girls and women get their dignity back and are committed to equipping them with the tools and material necessary!

Cadena is launching workshops in the townships where women will not only be taught about health and hygiene but will also be supplied with fabric and materials to help them make their own ecological, washable and reusable menstrual pads. This not only helps to empower the women attending the workshops but helps them to share the same skills with their families and communities. These workshops have been held with great success in South America.

Helping communities also creates opportunities for other volunteers to be involved. Students from Johannesburg’s Jewish day school have been eager to help. Cadena is primarily a volunteer organization. While they cannot take anyone under the age of 18 into the field, students were really keen to help as much as possible by packing materials, helping with content creation for distribution and helping to raise awareness. After all, who better to help than their peers of the same age! It also proved a great opportunity for them to learn about the situation for many in their own country who don’t enjoy the same comforts and privileges that they do.

Making a Difference. Braving heat and dust for three weeks in a row, CADENA volunteers in South Africa went from house to house in Plot 89 to deliver PitFix by Enzyme Genie that has made such a difference in a short amount of time.

Cadena has also been instrumental in making sure that rural communities have safe, hygienic latrines following a tragic accident where a 5-year-old little boy drowned. CADENA South Africa will be using PitFix, a locally produced product by the company Enzyme-Genie that removes wastes, breaks down organic solids resulting in a dramatic reduction in smell and the presence of flies in both traditional pit latrines and septic tanks.

This Should Not Happen! The mother of a five-year-old South African boy who died after falling into a pit latrine at school breaks down in court as she described finding his body.

Every person deserves to live a life of dignity and for the truly vulnerable, including women and girls, Cadena is playing a vital role in ensuring that that their personal health is protected and that they never have to miss out on receiving their education.

The future is clearly women!

For more information about how you can help by donating or becoming a volunteer, please visit: https://cadena.ngo/en/southafrica/

While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves.  LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO)