Buying And Selling Jews

Yoram Getzler

by Yoram Getzler A short time before my bar-mitzva my parents welcomed a new member to their close knit Labor Zionist community. A cousin of one of the “old timers”. He and his wife had somehow survived the Holocaust.

His relative helped him start up a small wholesale business, and in time he prospered. He moved out of our neighborhood along with most of the other Jews and settled in a prestigious neighborhood on the West Side of L.A., with a swimming pool and many bedrooms.

Among us youngsters it was whispered that Mr. ___ kept a million dollars worth of diamonds in a secret bedroom safe. A Million Dollars, well you know, just in case…the Jew haters had come once, and they may come again.

It always seemed to me somehow as if he, the survivor was at fault and somehow greedy to keep a million (1950’s) dollars on hand.

Many years before a Rabbi was arrested in Europe, and after being tortured,, having had both his arms chopped off, his remains were offered to his community in exchange for payment of a significant amount of gold.

You know, after all, the Jews are rich. They keep gold, silver and diamonds in their houses, sure signs of greed, avarice and ultimate stinginess.

Some of us remember the proposed exchange of live Jews for trucks that the Nazis offered.

Money, money, money was all they could think of, all they cared about, look how they hoard it, in their houses, under the floor boards, in the mattress, gold… silver… diamonds… cash.

Eech, how disgusting those Jews !

Even I felt nauseated by the thought that this Mr. ___ a fellow Jew kept so much wealth hidden in his house. Surely there is something dirty, disgusting and reprehensible about that.

Over the years we have learned about various deals that Israel, in the name of and for the sake of the Jewish people struck with various individuals and countries in order to save Jews. Sometimes for cash, a other times in exchange for diplomatic services rendered. Yet for me there was always a bad taste left over from those dealings.

Now, this week I learn of the deal that allowed Ethiopian Jews to enter Sudan and find relative safety and a place to pause and rest on their journey to the home land, Israel. Was it the humanistic impulse at work, No seems it was in exchange; for Israel not helping the South Sudanese in their struggle against the northern Sudanese, as they previously had.

Once again Jewish individuals as a currency of exchange.

“A deal struck by Sudanese President Gaafar Nimeiry and then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon; Sharon then made a deal with the north – even though Khartoum was becoming increasingly fundamentalist under Nimeiry – and promised to shun the south in exchange for a promise of safe passage to Israel for Jews from Ethiopia through Sudan.” (Haaretz Friday Jan 28 2011)

…and “they” call us greedy? We are the ones ready to sell anything for a profit?

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