Wednesday, September 8, 2010

be a bad jew

Today’s column was written by Rami Kaminski, MD, founder and director of the Institute for Integrative Psychiatry in New York City. I have never met him or communicated with him in any way.

His column is entitled “Why I Am a Bad Jew.”

With that, I present the heartfelt and important words of Dr. Kaminski.

“For centuries, we lived in Berdichev. In the brutal Ukrainian winter of
1941, SS soldiers arrived there and rounded up eighty-seven members of my family - babies, young adults, octogenarians - stripped them naked, marched them to a nearby ditch, and executed them. Their lifeless bodies fell silently into a mass grave.

Like most Jews in Europe, my family ‘cooperated’ with the Final
Solution. They did not resist or fight back. Six million Jews were
slaughtered in a period of four years. They received little sympathy
while they were still alive and hunted down like animals. There was no
public outcry because the Holocaust fit the world’s narrative for Jews
during the past 2000 years: a people destined to be persecuted and

During their two millennia in the Diaspora, Jews were not known to
resist. There are few recorded instances in which Jews turned against
their host nations or retaliated against their murderers. Instead, the
survivors - if there were any - were expelled or left for another place.
The murdered were regarded as ‘good’ Jews They accepted their fate
helplessly, without resistance.
This narrative of the Jews has played out on the historical stage with
boring monotony: Jews get killed because they are Jews. Nothing novel
about it. After the Holocaust, however, the world, disgusted by this
particularly ghoulish period of history, accorded some sympathy for the

Media commentary about the ongoing Gaza War reveals the world has now reverted to its pre-Holocaust perspective. Today, the only good Jew is a powerless Jew willing to become a dead one. The Zionist Revolution is to blame. It changed everything. Jews re-created their own country. The Arabs attacked the new Jewish state the day after independence and promised to complete Hitler’s genocide. In succeeding decades, the Arabs attacked again and again. Strangely, the Jews, many of them refugees from Arab nations, adopted a surprising, new tactic: they fought back.

With Zionism, the Jews stubbornly refused to follow the centuries-old
script. They refuse to be killed without resistance. As a result, the
world has become increasingly enraged at their impertinence.

The recent events in Gaza and Mumbai make this plain. In 2005, Israel
eliminated all Jewish presence in Gaza making it ‘Judenrein,’ and handed it over to the Palestinians. Left behind were synagogues and thriving green houses. The Arabs looted and destroyed them literally the day after Israel’s withdrawal was complete. Where these structures once stood, the Palestinians built military bases and installed rocket
launchers to shell Israeli civilians. To date, some 7,000 missiles have
fallen on Israeli cities and towns, killing and maiming dozens, and
sowing widespread terror. Medical studies reveal nearly all Jewish
children in the communities bordering Gaza suffer from serious,
trauma-induced illness.

The Gazan Palestinians then elected Hamas to lead them. Hamas proceeded to kill or imprison their political rivals, and its leaders, true to the Hamas charter, were unabashed in clearly stating their aims: they will not stop until they achieve their Final Solution, kill all the Jews,
take over the land of Israel, and establish a theocracy governed by
Islamic law.

As killing Jews for being Jews has been a national sport for centuries,
Islamic militants are justified in believing they are merely fulfilling
historical tradition in Argentina, India and Gaza. Surely the Jews in
Mumbai did not occupy Gaza. They were tortured and killed just for being Jews. And predictably, in the eyes of the world, they immediately became good Jews, just like my murdered family in Bertishev.

Good Jews would wait until Hamas has weapons enabling its members to
achieve their ultimate goal of absolute mass murder. Those enraged by
Israel’s defensive military action insist Hamas uses only ‘crude’
rockets, as if Qassams were BB guns, and military inferiority were
somehow equivalent with moral superiority. In fact, Hamas now has
Iranian-supplied Grad missiles which have landed on Be’er Sheva and the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

Westerners have had only sporadic exposure to the indiscriminant killing
in the name of ‘holy war’ which Israel has lived with for years.
Memories of 9-11, Madrid, and London have dimmed. This is not because
the Islamic militants made a careful choice of weapons. They simply have not yet acquired nuclear bombs. Once they do, the West will develop a less detached view about the Islamists’ professed intentions for the ‘infidels.’

The only enlightened people in the civilized world who actually get it
are the Israelis. They’ve not had time for detached philosophical
ponderings. They’ve been too busy confronting the reality of Islamic

Soon, Iran will have nuclear weapons. It will give them to Hezbollah and
Hamas. Today, Jews must take a position: either be ‘good’ Jews willing
to be slaughtered without resistance, or be “bad” Jews who defend
themselves at the cost of being pariahs of our enlightened world. Good
Jews would wait for another six million to be murdered, and pick up to
leave for another country to start the cycle again. The bad ones refuse
to go calmly into the ditch.

I confess: I’m a bad Jew.”

Rami Kaminski, MD, is Director and Founder of the Institute for
Integrative Psychiatry in New York, a not-for-profit organization aimed
at evaluating current psychiatric services and how they integrate with
medicine, such as the mutual effects between medical and psychiatric
conditions. Prior to that, Dr. Kaminkski was the Commissioner’s Liaison
to Families and Community and Medical Director of Operations at the New
York State Office of Mental Health. Dr. Kaminski also holds an academic
position as Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He
earned recognition in 1990 from Mt. Sinai Hospital as Physician of the
Year, and received the Exemplary Psychiatrist Awards from the National
Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Dr. Kaminski’s research explores
neuropsychiatric aspects of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer and
Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, as well as
psychopharmacology of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. He
was for many years Director of The Schizophrenia research Unit at Mount
Sinai Hospital in NYC. Dr. Kaminiski also served as the Medical Director
of the PMHP and consultant to the committee in charge of developing the
Special Needs Program.

As a poem says, I will absolutely not go calmly into that good night.

My family did not survive the Holocaust and bring me into this world so my Jewish generation could be complacent and allow us to be exterminated like rats again.

When people say they want to wipe you off the face of the Earth, do not take the gamble that they are bluffing.

Iran must never…ever…ever…be allowed to have the bomb. Anything and everything must be done to prevent this.

May every Jew heed Dr. Kaminski’s words.

To those who oppose the right of Jews to exist, this Rosh Hashanah I offer only two simple words.

Never again.


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