Vidal Sassoon was known as the father of Modern Hairdressing. As we remember his life, what emerges is more than an amazing stylist. This Jewish kid from London was a fighter.
Before he was an icon...
Can someone who is as tough as nails also paint them? When he was a teen, Vidal and other young Hebrews formed Group 43 and together roamed the streets of London, beating the ignorance out of fascists and Holocaust deniers. He spent time in prison and was known to show up to work with blood on his knife from his forays into meting out justice.
Before Vidal was ‘liberating women from beehives and rollers’, he was fighting for the liberation of what he considered his homeland. This man who perfected hair dying also respected 'fair Zion', and as soon as he was legally permitted, he served on the front lines during the Arab-Israeli War in 1948. Dodging bullets, he learned to bob and weave which may have inspired him to then create “The Bob” or “The Weave”.
Yes, it seems long before he became famous with Mia Farrow’s infamous short haircut; Vidal Sassoon was a passionate Zionist. And he was not shy about it, “I honestly believe that without a strong Israel, Judaism is doomed”
He opened a center to study and fight Anti –Semitism which adds to his legacy of defending the honor of his heritage and not letting anything go down without a fight.
As Anti-Semitism is making its ugly return in Europe and has long been a reality in the Middle East, where Arabs are not short of animosity for their Jewish, Zionist neighbors (though Arabs of the region are themselves are considered 'Semetic' peoples), this center is vital to justice and peace making.
In his honor and regardless of where you stand on his Israeli patriotism, can we channel that Sassoon energy for justice to extend beyond the Jewish people? I want to fight for the strong identity of Palestinians as well, without the violence. I don’t think the preserving of Judaism requires the persecution of Christians and Muslims.
It seems Mr. Sassoon’s words are very apropos when looking at the present state of the Holy Land. Israel is responsible for the well being of those they occupy so their mantra should be, ”If they don’t look good, we don’t look good”
From your perspective up there Vidal, how do things look—good?
By Brett Weer
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Bawaba's editorial policy.
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