One act that is absolutely reprehensible, unjustifiable, and downright sick is the ripping down of posters and fliers showing pictures of the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7. No matter what you feel about what’s going on in Gaza right now, there’s no justification for ripping down posters calling attention to Jewish (and non-Jewish) hostages in Hamas’s hands, for their capture was both a war crime and a moral outrage. What statement are the people who rip down these posters trying to make?
Nevertheless, it’s happening throughout the world. Here it is in London (see Jacoby’s column below for more examples). These women claim they’re “helping Palestine”. How? By hiding the brutal crimes of some Palestinians. Some help!
Here’s an interview with the Israeli artists who designed the posters (along with more video of their desecration). It’s sad that one artist has to cover his face out of fear. The woman artist is especially eloquent.
Below: a callous ripper git is rightfully confronted by several non-Jews who realize how heinous the act is. But I don’t agree with the angry guy who threatens the ripper with violence.
Friday morning in Forest Hills, Queens. Seems like some good old New Yorkers are pissed. pic.twitter.com/TY7gcV9nak
— NYScanner (@nyscanner) October 27, 2023
This wanton defacing of specific posters by Jew haters is the subject of an op-ed today in the Boston Globe by Jeff Jacoby, which I found for free on this website (or you can click on the screenshot below):
Jacoby starts with a clever analogy:
A cat from my neighborhood has gone missing. Her owner has distributed fliers around the area, asking residents to keep an eye out for her. “LOST CAT,” it says in big letters beneath a photo of Coco, a beautiful animal with fluffy white fur and blue eyes.
Whether the fliers will lead to Coco’s recovery I don’t know. But of one thing I am certain: No one walking through the neighborhood will be grabbing all the posters and stuffing them in the trash. Even people who dislike cats wouldn’t be that callous and mean.
But ever since fliers calling attention to something far more terrible than a missing cat — the plight of the more than 200 hostages abducted from Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7 — began going up on telephone poles, subway walls, utility boxes, and worksite fences in cities around the world, a startling number of people have been eager to tear them down. Individuals have been filmed destroying ordefacing the posters in Boston, London, Miami, New York, Melbourne, Philadelphia, Richmond, Ann Arbor, and Los Angeles.
A bit more:
There is no possible justification for such heartlessness. The whole purpose of the fliers is to heighten awareness of the Israeli (and other) civilians kidnapped by the Hamas terror squads — to put names and faces to the hostages, all with one goal: to bring them back home. How can a project so heartfelt and humane trigger such a poisonous response?
The posters were the brainchild of two Israeli artists, Nitzan Mintz and Dede Bandaid, who were visiting New York when Hamas carried out its bloodbath. Aching to help in some way, they drew on their art backgrounds to design the eye-catching fliers. Each is topped with the word “KIDNAPPED” in large white letters on an orange background; below that heading is the name, age, nationality, and photo of one of the hostages, who range in age from 3 months to 85 years.
And Jacoby’s explanation for the ripping, which comes down to ubiquitous antisemitism.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is intensely controversial and generates great emotion on both sides. But these assaults on the “Kidnapped” posters have nothing to do with the merits of the dispute. The sole purpose of the fliers is to emphasize the humanity of the innocent hostages seized by Hamas (many of whom, as it happens, were peace activists deeply committed to Arab-Israeli coexistence). What drives the people ripping down the posters or adding Hitler mustaches to the pictures is a pathological need to deny the humanity of those kidnapped Jews.
A core principle of antisemites in all times and places is that Jews are not fully human and are never innocent. A thousand years ago, Jews were slaughtered by Crusaders for being satanic Christ-killers who consumed the blood of children; a century ago Hitler preached that they were subhumans who polluted the racial purity of Aryan Europe. Today the Jewish state is accused of committing the demonic crimes of genocide and apartheid. The poison never changes, only the vial it comes in.
The “Kidnapped” fliers are intolerable to the haters because they so urgently challenge the antisemitic paradigm. They make it vividly clear that in the war between barbarism and civilization, between oppressor and oppressed, it is Jews who are under attack. That infuriates those whose worldview revolves around the certainty that Israel and its supporters are the victimizers. The outpouring of sympathy for Jews kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists — and the moral force of that sympathy — is anathema to them.
The ripped-up fliers are one more indication of the rising tide of antisemitism in America and the West. A “white hot rage” is building. I, for one, cannot shake the conviction that Jews are at graver risk than they have been in decades, and not only in southern Israel.
I have several Jewish friends who are really scared that American antisemitism, clearly on the rise, will segue into violence. They sometimes talk about moving elsewhere—even to Israel, which right now is a questionable decision (Hamas has fired 8,000 rockets into Israel since October 7). I, for one, can’t bring myself to believe we’ll have any pogroms in America. But when you hear the Jewish woman emoting in the last video shown in my previous post, you can’t help wondering if it’s open season on Jews in America—perhaps not for being killed but for being despised.
A wall of “kidnapped” posters from The Nation (photo by Amir Levy / Getty Images):