With his upbeat enthusiasm and heavy Hungarian accent, Tom sounds reminiscent of a stock comedy actor from a 1940's movie. His monologues vary from subjects as diverse as fan-talk about the Toronto Raptors, to his experiences growing up in the Market, to his celebrity encounters at local galas, to boostering the domestic economy.
The other day, Tom talked about making a generous donation to the upcoming annual charity Walk for Israel.
Tom said a long-time employee of his, an octogenarian, looked forward all year to the walk, which is an expression of support for the Jewish State. The walk, according to Tom, is one of the things that keeps the geriatric gentleman going.
The modern State of Israel, born in 1948 out of the ashes of the Holocaust and the cauldron of turmoil that is middle east geopolitics, was a symbol of renewal and hope. But Israel has faced relentless efforts by the surrounding Muslim countries to exterminate it since its birth. Enduring war, terrorism, and economic pressure from its neighbors as well as unfair criticism from western nations anxious to curry favor with the oil-rich Arabs, it is a miracle that Israel has managed to survive.
Yet this beacon of hope in a region of barbarism has survived as the only pluralistic, liberal democracy in the middle east. Though its survival comes at a great cost. Israel had an occupation of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza forced on them when a combined Arab effort to wipe out Israel in 1967 failed. Despite claims of anti-Israel activists, Israel is not occupying a Palestinian state. From Israel's independence in 1948 until 1967, the West Bank was controlled by Jordan, and Gaza was Egyptian territory. There has never been an independent Palestine. It was land controlled by the British after World War 1, the Turks before then, and prior to that, a series of conquerors kept it as vassal territory. The only time there has been an independent country in what came to be called Palestine was when it was Israel in the time before the Greek and Roman Empires came into being.
Israeli efforts to make peace with the Palestinian leadership has only been met with intransigence. US President Bill Clinton talked about how Yasser Arafat turned down an offer that would have created a Palestinian state on 98 percent of the territory the Palestinian Authority President asked for. When Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza as an experiment to see if the Palestinians would focus on nation-building and peace, the result was more Palestinian terrorism and incessant rocket fire from Gaza aimed at Israeli civilians.
Yet Israel survives. And the gentle old man who still works for Tom Mihalik, and many like him, along with schoolchildren and families, will turn out on Sunday May 29 to walk and raise money to support Israeli charities to maintain that survival.
However some people will be attending the Walk for Israel, not with optimism and philanthropy in their hearts, but with the malicious intent of harassing Jews and proclaiming their desire for the destruction of the Jewish State.
There are places and situations where discussion and criticism of Israeli policies are appropriate. But the Walk for Israel is a charitable, not a political event. It is not a place where expressions of hatred and calls for harm against anyone takes place, except by those who come to protest against it. That makes it distinctly different than the demented, Khomeinist al Quds Day rallies where terrorism is extolled and calls for the murder of Jews ring out.
What kind of malevolent people would chose a charity walk to vent their bile at children and the elderly?
They are vicious, stupid people, some of whom are Islamists, some are Marxists, and some are members of a vile group of depraved Munchausen Jews calling themselves Independent Jewish Voices.
They want a boycott of Israel and anything that expresses support for Israel's right to exist. It is a movement made up of sadists and masochists, some of whom are gays and lesbians whose depravity extends to expressing support for Islamic terrorists who would kill them for their sexual orientation, while trying to extinguish the only country in the middle east where gay rights are enshrined in law.
These are despicable, sick people whose activism is a form of narcissistic attention-seeking. There are only a handful of them, but if you examine the names of those who have committed to attend to persecute the Jews, they are fixtures on the comment sections of newspapers where they post anti-Israel comments so frequently and exclusively that it is readily apparent that the destruction of the Jewish State has become their raison d'etre.
If you look at them, it's not coincidental that they are all physically repulsive. Their activism is their social life. On their facebook group page, they acknowledge they will be ridiculed by the people they have come to offend and degrade. Given the anti-Israel fanatics' degenerate nature, they probably welcome that. Whatever tremble of excitement they get from being insulted is probably a substitute for the sex lives those miserable, rancid gargoyles are missing.
One is tempted to say to such people who come to harass the Walk for Israel to "get a life." But that would do no good, since they obviously have as little an idea of what life is about as they do of human decency.
UPDATE: The activist cretins posted pictures of themselves harassing the Walk for Israel on facebook.
There were a dozen in all. If you think I was exaggerating about how repugnant they are, look for yourself. They included a hideous, wizened, one-armed woman who scoured at passersby. Another was a sickly-looking loser with a sculpted beard that makes him look like a parody of a satanic cult leader, and who apparently thinks it's a fashion statement to wear socks with sandals on a sweltering day. Acting as if being repellent somehow makes them a cause celebre, they featured a dumpy, hirsute woman in shorts and a lattice-laced top whose mustache makes Tom Selleck's look like a thin wisp of lip fuzz. One of them is an ever-present barnacle at anti-Israel protests, an ugly stump of a female who is a picture of what you'd expect would come out of a garbage compressor if you put a hippopotamus wearing a bicycle helmet into one. And as usual, they brandished a couple of pathetic, exploited souls who bear the physical symptoms of people born with Trisomy 21.
The Monty Pythonesque Munchausen Jews of "The United Jewish People's Order" showed up too! All 3 of them!