Norma Zager uses just the right metaphors that should get Americans to at least generate some thoughts on the Western World’s most obvious common enemy – the believers of the purest-minded theopolitical ideology inherent in Islam.
Norma self-analyzed herself as to the reason her favorite comic book hero was Superman. She chose a valid yet a little different reason than I for Superman to be her favorite. As Norma pointed out Supes was born on another planet (Krypton for you non-comic book readers). For me this represents the American melting pot. America is a land of immigrants that have assimilated into one Anglo-based culture recognizing England as the Mother-Country. Former cultures honored – one culture upheld. Superman’s assimilation is represented by the experience I remember from childhood in that Supes stands for Truth, Justice and the American Way – Red, White and Blue.
In reality Superman’s image has evolved (See Also HERE) according to the pressing needs of the times from creation to the present. I did comics from roughly 1963 right up to the end of eighth grade in roughly 1970. I grew up with Superman the consummate Patriot incapable lying, definitively knows the difference between good and evil, defender of the weak and an upholder of the Liberty and Freedom that this present day’s Conservatives understand. That is my Superman.
[I’m an Evangelical-Charismatic Christian that is extremely pro-Israel. So if you are in my same boat you will be interested in how the then teens Siegel and Shuster began their concept of Superman. Can you say two American-Jewish boys? They lived in an era when antisemitism was not only rampant but cool.]
If Not Now … When?
By Norma Zager
Sent: 11/7/2014 4:55 PM
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” Martin Luther King
Spending time last weekend at Stan Lee’s Comikaze among the superhero population, aside from the fun raised some important questions I have yet to answer.
First in my mind is why has my favorite superhero always been Superman with the plethora of choices from which to select. Although I had never before given it much thought, believing it was because he was one of the first to arrive on the scene and capture our imaginations, on reflection I understand that is not the truth.
Truth be told, my adoration for Superman stems from the fact he is from another planet. Could this have been some deep seeded and early cynicism within myself that we on earth were not capable of saving mankind from itself?
It is entirely possible, for my attitude has not changed.
Despite the numerous times in history when Jews and Christians have come together to combat evil, we are now more than ever before at odds. Evidence of the success of such an alliance exists at the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem (Jerusalem, Israel), for the many gentiles who saved Jews during World War II.
It is a fact that although many Christians have more openly and furtively supported Israel in the past ten years, there remains no alliance that is forged strong enough to combat the significant threat we face.
Sadly in a world that now allows murder and genocide to reign supreme, the voices raised to speak out against these atrocities are few.
When Christians were facing wholesale extinction recently in Iraq and in numerous other places throughout the continent, not even Christians stood and called for war against this evil.
The Pope, the world’s most prominent and well-funded religious leader, was silent until recently when he condemned the killings. But words are not actions.
Of course I am not saying speaking out is not a good first start, but it does little to stop the kidnappings, beheadings and heinous crimes being perpetrated hourly against Christians.
With the creation of the modern Jewish State of Israel in 1948, Jews became protected. They were no longer a people wandering and visiting among nations. The strength and resolve of Israel has been a blanket of safety for Jewish people, and all cultures and religions likewise maintain a net of safety and freedom while living in Israel.
However the world is now facing its greatest threat. A holy war is raging and few acknowledge its existence. This Neville Chamberlain mentality has led to terrorism poisoning the fabric of the world and like a cancer, killing the healthy cells.
So what is the chemotherapy necessary to overcome this deadly virus, and has it metastasized too far to be eradicated?
The response to evil by world leaders has been so mediocre it is barely audible through the noise of death and destruction raging and killing across the world. So tepid are the waters of discontent, it is difficult to discern them at all.
So what can be done?
Many things, but they must be done aggressively and immediately if the poison is to be eliminated from the human spirit.
First, Jews and Christians must put their differences aside and realize they face a common enemy. I liken it to earth being attacked by aliens. We have all now become members of one team, like it or not.
Whatever petty quarrels exist between Jews and Christians are far less important than stopping the murders of children.
However, this alliance cannot solidify unless Christians also acknowledge the bad blood amongst themselves. The Christian world is as divisive as the Sunni and Shia sects in Islam. There is no ability to join together and unite against a common enemy when they see other Christians as enemies.
Then the Muslims must also speak out in a louder voice.
Meetings between Israel and the Saudis filled me with a renewed sense of hope. At last I believed the leaders of Arabia have seen the light and the wisdom of putting hatred aside to battle a common evil. This excitement was short lived however when I realized Saudi schoolbooks and policies still preach hatred and condemnation of Jews.
This outward façade of working together, of joining in battle, is far too weak to sustain any strength of resolve.
Ancient hatreds are powerful and embedded deeply in the psyche of a nation and cannot mend overnight, especially when they are still perpetrated among the masses. Only by removing all emotion can we hope to succeed and save ourselves.
Teaching children to hate and kill Jews will not build a united army against a common enemy. Although the only hope for the world is to overcome hatred and separatism, no one has yet been able to cut it out of the body.
Even in the United States where all live freely to practice their religions, race baiters continue to preach hatred where none exists to line their own financial coffers and political agendas.
If it happens in the U.S. shall we be surprised it remains a large part of the Middle Eastern mentality?
I don’t wish to sound hopeless, so I must believe that walking the walk will follow talking the talk and ultimately become the norm.
If it is no longer true that my enemy’s enemy is my friend, we are lost.
We must join together, for whatever commonalities we can conjure, to battle this new evil before it overtakes the world and destroys humanity.
Jews and Christians more than any other religions share much in common. This is the time for them to solidify their efforts to battle for good in an evil world.
If not now, when? After we have all been eradicated and the last voice of reason croaks out a regret from his deathbed? “We should have done more together…we were fools to put petty differences ahead of humankind…” cough – cough - cough and silence.
This is the latest in the series “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” a collaboration between Zager and Bussel, a foreign correspondent reporting from Israel.
Ari Bussel and Norma Zager collaborate both in writing and on the air in a point-counter-point discussion of all things Israel-related. Together, they have dedicated the past decade to promoting Israel.
© Israel Monitor, November 2014
First Published November 6, 2014