Where are the yellow ribbons?
November 1979. In the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, 52 Americans were taken hostage by Iranian students. They were held in captivity for 444 days. For more than a year, the American public became more and more passionate about bringing the hostages home, and to show their support for them and their families, they wore and posted yellow ribbons. The ribbons represented a hope by Americans everywhere for the safe return of people just like them.
It was such a big movement there was even the reprise of a song – “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree” – covered by both Dolly Parton and Frank Sinatra to fuel the moment. Where are they now? (Well, Frank’s dead but you get my point).
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Over 40 years later, we have no yellow ribbons for the nine American hostages in Gaza. Why is that? Are they not just like us? A few days ago, someone asked me if the antisemitism in America is just ignorance or if something more odious is going on. I said it’s a bit of both. There’s an overwhelming ignorance about the war in Gaza and why Israel has to disarm and eradicate Hamas, but the lack of empathy for these nine American hostages, specifically, stems from something a lot more odious. The Jewishness of these hostages, and the fact that they were taken when in Israel, has cancelled out their nationality. They are no longer American. They belong elsewhere - back to where they came from, you could say. What ancient antisemitic rhetoric that is. You see, the American hostages are not real Americans. Because they’re Jews.
In Dara Horn’s “People Love Dead Jews”, she talks about the myth of Ellis Island. Horn demonstrates that the nice and sort of clumsy story told to generations of American children - that their grandparents and great grandparents had their names changed by clerks at Ellis Island – is just another case of non-Jews and participating Jews creating stories to try and soften the realities of antisemitism in places we would like to believe it doesn’t exist. It is not true that the clerks misspelled the names, or haphazardly changed them on the Jews’ entry into the land of milk and honey and equal assimilated opportunity. Oh no.
The Jews who came to America didn’t want to admit that in some ways their new neighbors were as hostile as the ones in the places they fled from. Name-changing became a trade-off and a strategy for survival in an America that was often intolerant to the Jews. And the truth is that the Jews who found themselves starting from scratch faced unspeakable challenges and changed their names to find jobs, to prevent their children from being discriminated against, and to give themselves a shot at success.
And succeed the American Jews did. American Jews became leaders in every industry, their names are proudly displayed on donated buildings in America’s top institutions. American Jews have held positions in some of the most prestigious places in every state. And yet, the ignoring of our nine American hostages takes us back to Ellis Island where we were just Jews. Not Americans. Jews. Jews who face an intolerance towards us that is, dare I say it, also American. If antisemitism wasn’t American, then where are the yellow ribbons for the nine American hostages in the tunnels of hell in Gaza?
Speaking of American antisemitism, today on TikTok it was revealed that thousands of Gen Z-ers have been “discovering” Letter To America by none other than Osama bin Laden. And it is enlightening them apparently as to the real antisemitic truth about the Jews in America and what the true resistance of 9/11 represented…
Here are a selection of the idiots to tell you about it themselves:
It took these “folks” 20 minutes to achieve eXiSteNtIal cRisIs. Let’s talk to each other about this. Or maybe arrest all of them.
If logic stands, then the overnight adulation of Osama Bin Laden should be the overplay of the hand. Osama Bin Laden was responsible for America's biggest terror attack, and that attack didn't target Jews, but the West itself. This exposes the current lunacy of the mob. They will grab onto anything now to prove their moral purity to their peers, at the expense of demonstrating their insurmountable ignorance and lack of education on the topics they claim to be high and mighty on. This *should* be the limit. Will it be?
Sasha Baron Cohen, alongside Amy Schumer and Debra Messing called TikTok last night to discuss what the fuck is happening with antisemitism on the platform. One Mr Cohen said: “What is happening at TikTok is it is creating the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis.” He pressed the representatives on why they didn’t use their power to flip the switch on this trend, which TikTok can truly do at any given moment.
From the New York Times reporting:
TikTok is urgently trying to push back against escalating claims that it is promoting pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel content through its powerful feeds. Several Washington lawmakers have renewed their calls to ban the app, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, arguing that Beijing may be influencing the content promoted through the platform’s algorithms.
Antisemitic and Islamophobic hate speech has surged on many online services since the Israel-Hamas war began. Antisemitic content soared more than 919 percent on X and 28 percent on Facebook in the month since Oct. 7, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group. TikTok has gained particular attention because of its ties to China, and its powerful algorithm drives content to 150 million users in the United States.
Here were my earlier thoughts on the poison of TikTok. Is it any wonder the most popular prejudice towards a minority group of all time is scoring big profit for the social media app?
In other news, we’re still not having a ceasefire. Here’s why.
There are two wars occurring. The war on the ground in Gaza. And the war of PR around the world. Israel are winning against Hamas on the ground. The only way for Hamas to win now, as it is abandoned by the rest of the Arab world, is with PR.
Hamas alongside the help of the BBC, AP, MSNBC, CNN, Reuters, the UN and elected officials (also: TikTok) are able to proliferate disinformation that drives up emotional empathy for their cause (disguised as humanitarianism towards the Palestinians) and builds an army of hundreds of thousands of civilians to pressurize international governments to do what Hamas want.
By flooding the media with unverified and falsified emotional information of what’s happening on the ground, they are able to drum up support for a ceasefire (and Osama bin Laden… sorry still in shock). A ceasefire is the ONLY way that Hamas can also win the war on the ground in Gaza, by forcing the IDF out, keeping the hostages, and regrouping to break the ceasefire again, just as it did on October 7. So you must say no to ceasefire until Hamas surrender and the hostages are home.
There is no other moral choice. Goodnight.