The other night I watched a little movie on Netflix entitled simply “Itzhak”, which unsurprisingly was a little mini-biography about virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman.
Some background is necessary before I go any further. I attended a classical concert in Chicago many years ago, and the “house band” was the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, then and now one of the finest orchestras in the world, conducted by Georg Solti, one of the finest conductors ever to wield a baton. The opening piece (if I remember correctly) was something by Beethoven, and the CSO played it wonderfully.
Then Itzhak Perlman came to the stage, painfully hobbling along on his crutches, his polio-ravaged legs waving helplessly as he made his way to the First Violinist’s chair. He sat down, rearranged his legs with his hands, then waited while the CSO began playing Brahms’s Violin Concerto in D major, which is characterized by a lengthy introduction before the lead violinist plays a note. Then it came time for Perlman to play… and the CSO took off like a fighter jet. In other words, one man’s playing grabbed the already-magnificent orchestra and literally propelled them into a performance of unbelievable virtuosity. The standing ovation from the audience lasted nearly as long as the performance itself, and several of the orchestra’s violinists dabbed at their eyes with tissues, so moved were they by the experience.
Itzak Perlman was and is a force of nature.
So when I saw this movie on Netflix, I hit Play with gleeful anticipation, and was not disappointed.
Itzhak Perlman is no ordinary man. Quite apart from his virtuosity with the violin, he is a man of infinite compassion — his charitable works and teaching violin alone would set him apart from most people — he’s been married to his priceless wife Toby forever, is a devoted father to his large family, and loves his pet dogs almost as much, I think, as his children. He is also wonderfully funny — his description of looking up something Jewish on the Internet as “Jewgle” made me guffaw for several minutes. I have always loved Perlman’s playing — who could not? — but this was something different: the longer the movie went on, the more I fell in love with this incredible, singular man.
But, of course, he’s Jewish.
And this would make him a target for all the assholes in the world: the Muslims, the alt-Right, the academe and intellectuals (especially in Europe) and people like the loathsome Labour politician Jeremy Corbin who are infected with their foul brands of anti-Semitism.
Make no mistake: to these people — think of Hitler and his Nazis as just the extreme embodiment — this man Perlman, this extraordinary, wonderful man who has been one of the greatest gifts to civilization ever, would be just another Jew to harass in the street, another Jewboy to kick and spit on, and just another Untermensch to load onto a train to be sent to Auschwitz.
Almost two years ago to the day, I wrote these words:
Pound for pound, the Jews have contributed as much or more to Western civilization than any other group — it’s even called the “Judeo-Christian tradition”, FFS — and to discount this contribution deliberately, to me, shows a shallow intellect at best. (At worst, Hitler, but I’m not going to go there.) Of course, I know that many Jews are socialists, communists, progressives, one-worlders, and all those things that are not only themselves distasteful, but are contradictory to Western thought. Ending slavery in the Western hemisphere (an action performed solely by Western nations, lest we forget) is not the same as allowing Western culture to be perverted or submerged by inferior cultures — and let’s be perfectly honest, when compared to Western culture, all other cultures are in general absolutely inferior to ours. To say otherwise is to be ignorant of history, or to be able to consciously deny the fact of the matter despite all evidence to the contrary. Judaic culture, by the way, is not inferior to, say, Western culture and civilization because in no small part, theirs is almost indistinguishable from that of Western Europe because of their commonality. That Israeli liberals seem perfectly prepared to help bring about the destruction of Eretz Israel was always a mystery to me until it was explained to me (by one of my good friends, an Orthodox Jew) that these liberals hate the state of Israel because it is culturally closer to Western European democracy than it is to Eastern European socialism. And the liberal Israelis have camp-followers all over the world: in Europe, Britain, the United States and anywhere that Jews can be found in any numbers. Does that mean “conspiracy”? Sure, if you’re a moron, because there are many, many Jews who are conservative, too — but somehow, the Conspiracy seems to have passed them by? Not credible.
So: am I pro-Israel? You betcha. I’m even more supportive of Israel when I look at the nations of assholes who want Israel destroyed.
Do I think that a lot of Jews are liberal assholes? You betcha, again. (Don’t even ask me about Jews and their support for gun control, unless we also mention JPFO, who also seem to have missed the memo.)
Am I prepared to become an anti-Semite because of The Great Jewish Conspiracy? Think again, Adolf.
Would I stand aside if some anti-Semitic pricks started playing their little neo-Nazi reindeer games with Jews in the streets? Not only would I not stand aside, but I’d be standing between the two groups, telling the anti-Semites that they’d have to get past me first.
Ich habe Dachau gesehen.
And as long as I have breath in my body, “Never again!” will not be just an empty phrase, even if that seems to be the case with some Jews(!), who think that their tribe’s survival of the Holocaust was somehow irrelevant in today’s world.
Today, coincidentally, is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and this post is dedicated to all my Tribe Readers especially, but also to all my Jewish friends and acquaintances all over the world.
After watching the movie about Itzhak Perlman, a rage descended on me that has not dissipated in the days since, and I’m not sure it ever will.
So here’s what I’m going to do. Winging its way to me on the wings of the USPS is a yarmulke (kippah) — something not purchased, but given to me by a Jewish friend because, as I explained to him, it would mean more to me coming from a friend than if I’d just purchased it somewhere.
It’s going into my jacket pocket, to be carried everywhere I go. And from now on, every time I walk around in an area which might be regarded as anti-Semitic — majority Muslim, majority Black, majority alt-Right, whatever — I’m going to wear the yarmulke, not because I’m Jewish, but because I’m sick to death of this bullshit.
And to anyone who may take issue with me over this: fuck with me at your peril.