A light among the dark


Since time immemorial the baying mob are rarely defied and the morally indecent wreak atrocities upon the weak and innocent. Those who have the courage to raise their heads above the parapet and challenge the excrement of humanity are rarely acknowledged, usually forgotten. One such historical hero was Émile Zola who stood alone in defending Captain Alfred Dreyfus at the turn of the twentieth century. Dreyfus a Jew, accused by the French military elite of being a spy just because he was a Jew. Of course, he was innocent and Zola proved this but meanwhile the whole of Europe was caught up in an eager wave of antisemitism created by the mythology surrounding Dreyfus. All this of course before the days of social media and technology where a lie can go viral in seconds. It may have taken weeks and months but the plague of Jew hatred swept Europe because of the false narrative spread by rogues. The anti Dreyfus mob were successful, Dreyfus was jailed and sent to Devils Island and European Jew haters were orgasmic.

Emile Zola challenged the verdict given to Dreyfus in his article ‘J’Accuse’ and Dreyfus which was reversed and he was subsequently released.  Zola lived a solitary life thereafter shunned by the elite and the mob enjoyed their few years of hate. The story is known by few but the BBC editorial staff very recently referred to Dreyfus as the ‘notorious French spy’ – such is the ignorance and bias of the BBC’s editing team responsible for this repeat of mythology.

Those individuals or organizations brave enough to challenge the modern wave of Jew hatred whilst inhabiting a geographical area which is hostile to the Jewish state are like Zola, almost an extinct breed. However, they do exist and I have the honor and privilege of being connected to one such organization.

Blitz, a newspaper with print and online edition has been publishing from Bangladesh since 2003, which challenges the rabidly hostile narrative against the Jewish state of Israel that saturates media output in the Muslim world. The Editor and Published of this newspaper, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury spent seven years in prison for his undeterred efforts in countering religious hatred, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial and for advocating relations between Bangladesh and Israel – is in my opinion the bravest journalist and newspaper editor globally. He has been to the Jewish State of Israel what Zola was to Dreyfus. He and his courageous staff continue to promote dialogue between Islamic leaders, countries and their numerous readers with the Jewish state and by doing so they regularly attract hatred and threats and been very unfortunately ignored by Israel and Jewish organizations throughout the world – which only can be deemed as ungratefulness.

All pro-Israel ideologists, activists, politicians, the morally decent and friends of Israel worldwide should be heartened by these brave souls. But like Zola what thanks do they or have they ever received by continuing to be vilified by their coreligionists and the anti-Israel mob. When have they received any kind of support – political or financial or recognition from either the government of Israel, pro-Israeli or Zionist organizations?  Never.  And this is a source of shame for all who love and support Israel and her people.

Blitz and the staff of this newspaper are indeed the bravest of the brave and should be applauded and rewarded by those who not only support Israel but by all those seeking dialogue and challenging hatred.

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