Middle East students at the Holocaust Museum

A few years ago I was a volunteer  guide at the Holocaust Museum in Melbourne.  It is a very solemn museum  devoted to the memory of the Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Among the many visitors to the museum were school children of high-school age. They would come with their teachers to learn about the Holocaust and most of the time they were very well-behaved.

Some were visibly affected by what they saw.  It was an excursion that was part of their education and it was meant to teach them about the dangers of bigotry  and racial hatred so that the world would be a better place in the future.

We can all live in hope and we have to try to improve things, don’t we?

I remember one particular occasion,  however,  which depressed and horrified me.

It concerned a school visit from one of the Northern suburbs of Melbourne.  I was walking around the exhibit as was my role as a guide when I heard a couple of Lebanese boys making fun of the photos of Jews being tortured by the Nazis.  I know they were Lebanese because I overheard them talking and then they spoke in English.

This is what they said as they stood in front of a particularly horrible photo.

“We could learn a lot from the Nazis about how to deal with the Jews.”

Those two boys were about 15 at the time and that was five years ago.

I can’t help wondering where these boys ended up.

 

 

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The Spanish Parliament welcomes back the Jews. Big deal!

After several hundred years Spain has decided to entice into its country Sephardic Jews. These are the descendants of the Jews who were tortured  and expelled by good old Queen Isabella of Spain and her spouse Ferdinand in 1492.

It’s an intriguing phenomenon that countries such as England, France and Spain can’t wait to expel their Jewish inhabitants when the economy is okay, but when things go bad these countries decide they need Jewish contributions after all.

Am I cynical about Spain’s current welcome mat being rolled out for the Jews who were kicked out of its country in 1492?  You betcha.

It seems to me that the Spanish economy must be doing very badly indeed for the Jews to be invited back once again.

It’s a Mitsi ! What is the real message here?

Picture this:-

A man and his wife are shopping somewhere in a cheap, crowded market.  The woman picks up a garment that she wants to try on so she hands her bag to the man so that he will look after it.

Suddenly, out of the blue, he hears a racket.

Apparently, a group of his mates have shown up in a Mitsubishi and are calling him to join them.

Like the numbskull that he is,  the man drops his wife’s bag on the dirt ground and runs off to join his pals in the “Mitsi”.

Message?  The Mitsi (as the car manufacturer is trying to label it) is so tempting that he abandons his wife, loses the bag with all their possessions in it,  including cash and passports,  and goes off for a drive with a bunch of loonies.

So what is the real message here?

This car, which is not particularly enticing in any way,  is meant to appeal to irresponsible idiots with only half a brain.

I strongly suspect that Mitsubishi has latched onto a goldmine with this commercial since there would be no shortage of potential customers in our “brilliant” world.