Thursday, November 13, 2003

Words Have Meaning

Definitions of words are definite. Words Have Meaning. There is no doubt about it. The problem is, however, that we can not always agree on exactly what the meaning is. We can, however, always understand our own names when called

In my house we have two pre-teen boys running around, and the meaning of words is a source of frequent discussion. Even names can become a subject of heated debate. My youngest, we call Gobo, while my name for my eldest is Bogie. Gobo would rather be referred to as Bogie, while Bogie would prefer Sir. My wife insists that she can never remember which is which, so she calls them by no name at all, and relies on body language to differentiate the boys. Each of my sons has a host of alternative sobriquets for his counterpart. Yet no matter what name we use, we always know to whom we are referring, and we always know when our number is being called. When someone at the opposite end of the house yells out "DADDY!" it can sound an awful lot like "EDDIE!" (another name for Bogie) yet I always know when it is me they want.

Now we are advised that a majority of Europeans believe that it is Israel that is the primary source of instability in the world. We are also advised that it is Zionism that is a festering sore on the body politic, that this is not to say that it is the Jews that stand in the way of world-wide harmony. But we can put all of that on an equal footing with the viability of the purchase of a lottery ticket as a solution to a shortfall in this month's rent: it is not believable. With remarkable clarity, it is now apparent that a preponderance of opinion holds the Jews responsible for many of the world's ills. That an immense number of people agree that "these little people are the root of evil" as the composer of "Zorba the Greek" claims. 36 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote stunningly that
My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate antisemitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and a revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled--as others have been--into thinking you can be 'anti-Zionist' and yet remain true to these heartfelt principles that you and I share.

Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--make no mistake about it."
Yet a major American national political party allows a vicious anti-semite to contend for its presidential nomination, as if it is OK to lobby one's constituency to murder, as long as the intended victim is a Jew. But at least Brother Al doesn't hide behind words like Zionism as the excuse for his hatred. Why do we allow Europe to do so? Zion means Jew. We all know that.