By: Daniel Otero
A brief history of the Jews (a troubled past):
Jews, according to their history came from the land of Ur (present day Nasiriya), Iraq. This happened just about five thousand years ago according to the Torah (the Jews’ holy book).
The story goes as follows, God (Yahweh) called upon Abraham to lead his chosen people to the “Promise Land”, what’s today Israel. Accordingly, it was promised to the Jews but also to the Arabs by God. For this reason, it has until present-day stemmed with constant fighting over the land; especially when speaking about the city of Jerusalem.
After all, Jerusalem is a melting pot of religions (Anderson, 2014). Israel is ever- presently surrounded by its enemies and it has had 15 different wars/conflicts since the country’s foundation in 1948.
Many Jews began arriving in Israel after the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust. Out of six million Jews, less than 600 thousand survived the Death Camps—Nazi Germany nearly wiped out the race and religion from history. From this experience, millions of Jews [out of fear] still do their ‘Aliyah’ and migrate to Israel to be protected. Fear and persecution has been a constant ‘shadow’ over the people of Jewish ancestry. And it is no wonder for many Jews born in Israel are called ‘Sabra’, a bitter and tough fruit. Jews can be tough and rude minded people, because they have been through so much. Jews usually tell themselves that they rather die fighting than go through another holocaust.
For this reason, every year thousands of Jews visit places like Masada. Masada is a 2,000 year old fort on a mountain. This was a battle against the Roman Empire that took place during the years 73 to 74 C.E. (Common Era), when the Jewish rebels fought the Roman Legions. These Jews knew they were about to lose and all 900 decided to commit suicide rather than to be taken as slaves. All those who know this story and visit Masada remember and understand that no Jew will allow this to happen ever again.
With the foundation of the Jewish State, the Mossad was also established. A secret spy agency to protect Jews and hunt all over the world Nazi war criminals; people like Simon Wiesenthal (the Nazi hunter and holocaust survivor) also joined in the battle. To find these criminals, bring them to justice and/or kill them.
Right or wrong, the Jews took action of their destiny and hunted down their enemies. They didn’t sit around complaining or feeling victimized. And as matter of fact, Jews still hunt down their enemies till this day! A sad truth the older generation had to go through in history and the present generation hopefully has learnt these lessons. The past is the past and it should never be repeated, but the future doesn’t have to be embittered by what transgressed in World War II.
Life has taught us that we could be better than our enemies and rise above the hate and possibly forgive! The Jews did something and now, it’s time to let go…
It has been something harder to do and what can be said, possibly nobody will dare mess with the Jews, not like back in the 1940s.
The older and greater generation is always saying, “Never forget!” A lesson negatively ingrained in the younger peoples’ mind. I will say, “Forgive but never forget!”
The Circle of Chinese History:
Now China, oh precious China… Without getting into the mire of politics, since that’s a no, no here and Chinese are overly sensitive about their past and never forgiving of their present! There is only one thing to say, a term in contradictions.
From the War and after the Japanese were defeated; many war criminals back in Japan were given amnesty after WWII.
After the War, China didn’t take any actions against the war criminals and certainly there has been a lot of complaining about them. Especially, from those of the younger generation that don’t even know their history, the enemy or furthermore, don’t understand the facts surrounding what happened.
In many ways, China suffered a great ordeal like the Jews, by being tormented by their enemies and losing millions of people.
Some Japanese war criminals got away ‘scot-free’ and again nobody took action against their perpetrators after the World Conflict. And it should not mean in a way of performing vendettas—but bringing criminals to court for prosecution. Furthermore, it has been a history handed down to the Chinese; which is embittered and full of hatred. In the meantime, Japanese are still ‘whitewashing’, unapologetic and distorting the facts of the abuse they perpetrated on others.
Since arriving in China there has been plenty of criticism towards those countries that have cost the Chinese a lot of pain. And many Chinese are too quick in forgetting their history, while pointing the finger in judgment without the objective facts from all sides or having the proper knowledge of such subjects.
When watching a World War II series in China; generally Chinese forget to mention those that helped them during the War. Usually by forgetting those men that helped greatly their country; men like John Rabe or General Joseph Stillwell. Especially by not mentioning those nations that were helpful in the War, like: Australians, English (Chindits) and American troops who trained alongside Chinese and fought against the Japanese to get them out of Burma (today, Myanmar) and China.
Sometime back I wrote an open letter to Mister Abe, because I do believe a minority of Japanese politicians and war veterans like to ‘thumb their noses’ and ignorantly-provoke their Chinese counterparts (Otero, ‘Dear and Honourable Mister Abe (Open Letter)’, Hangzhou Weekly, 10th of July, 2014).
And like my father used to say, “One gives something colour [importance] according whom it comes from!”
Today, as Chinese blindly criticize Americans for their policies and Japanese for the past history… Guess where the Chinese elite send most of their children to live and study? Yep, you guessed it right! America has a current population of mainland Chinese above 13 million; while there are only 110 thousand U.S. expats in China.
Another issue that’s always abound, it is how many Chinese live, study and work in Japan? The country they so hate? The numbers are as high as 700 thousand and other statistics show as high as a million. Talk about hypocrisy or “the teapot calling the kettle black!”
Chinese need to choose to ignore and become better than those they criticize. And if they are not going to do anything, either “put up or shut up!”