Monday, January 3, 2011
How Are the Jews Doing?
Wondering how the world’s Jews are doing may seem a trivial question, but I have long thought of Jews as the proverbial canary in the coal mine. When events turn nasty in the world, it is the Jews who are most often its first victims.
If there is a rise in anti-Semitism worldwide it is, frankly, hard to detect from the constant, endless background noise from those who hate Jews full-time and would be utterly bereft of any purpose in life if there were no Jews.
Sadly, Christians in the Middle East are suffering attacks that have long been familiar to Jews throughout history and, these days, the Israelis. There is no room for live-and-let-live in that region of the world where the two Islamic sects, Sunni and Shia, do not hesitate to kill one another.
When one considers that the Iranian mullahs, desperately trying to construct their own nuclear weapons, have vowed to wipe Israel off the face of the map, inquiring as to the Jews’ welfare in general and Israelis in particular is not a trivial question. A nuclear attack could easily cascade into a general exchange of such weapons, a goal the mullahs actually want to trigger.
Thomas Cahill, an Irish author, said, "The Jew gave us the Outside and the Inside - our outlook and our inner life. We can hardly get up in the morning or cross the street without being Jewish. We dream Jewish dreams and hope Jewish hopes. Most of our best words, in fact - new, adventure, surprise, unique, individual, person, vocation, time, history, future, freedom, progress, spirit, faith, hope, justice - are the gifts of the Jews."
So, perhaps, in a way, we are all Jews.
In October 2010, my eye was caught by a speech by the press magnate, Rupert Murdoch, to the annual banquet of the Anti-Defamation League in New York. “We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews,” said Murdock.
This may be difficult for most Americans to comprehend because perhaps no where else in the world, other than Israel, have Jews not only prospered, but found a level of acceptance that is truly unique. In Israel, being a Jew is the ultimate definition of normality.
Murdoch, however, said that “conventional” anti-Semitism has largely failed, citing the wars against Israel since its founding in 1948. Now, said Murdock, Jews are the target of a “soft war that seeks to isolate Israel by delegitimizing it.”
This is going to be particularly evident when “Durban III”, a United Nations conference, takes place in September.
Originally called the “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance” the UN conference name was shortened to the “World Conference Against Racism.” Suffice to say, as with most things involving the UN, the conferences have been the exact opposite of their announced purpose.
The previous Durban conference in Geneva caused European delegates to walk out when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, a keynote speaker, launched into a tirade against Israel and Jews. The Conference is recognized worldwide as a cesspool of anti-Semitism. In both conferences the hatred was directed against America as well as Israel.
Durban III will be held in New York!
It will be instructive to see if the U.S. government will send delegates to this hate fest or will officially and outspokenly protest and reject its message.
As Murdoch noted in October, there is a “curious situation we have today: Israel becomes increasingly ostracized, while Iran—a nation that makes no secret of wishing Israel’s destruction—pursues nuclear weapons loudly, proudly, and without apparent fear of rebuke.”
Murdoch said that anti-Semitism has found “a disturbing new home…in polite society, especially in Europe” and expressed concern that America was “distancing herself from the Jewish state.” He added that “the most virulent strains of anti-Semitism “come from the left”, often dressed up “as legitimate disagreement with Israel.”
He warned that Obama administration policies, generally called an outreach to the Muslim world, “Far from making peace more possible…are making hostilities more certain.”
The Iranian mullahs and their Syrian puppet have been supplying an enormous stash of rockets to Hezbollah, the Iranian's Palestinian entity in Lebanon, just as they fund and direct Hamas in Gaza. 2011 may well be a repeat of the 2006 hostilities and Israel will surely not repeat the mistakes that prolonged the last conflict.
So 2011 is yet another year in which to ask how are the Jews doing around the world.
The U.S. and its allies have been militarily engaging virulent Islamists since 9/11, but Islamist attacks predate that event by many years. The Islamist threat has spread to Europe and England, and remains active against America.
The Holocaust is a symbol and a warning of what happens when Jews or any other group is targeted for extermination. Death to America is chanted daily by some. Afterward, “genocide” entered the lexicon as the practice infected parts of Asia and Africa.
The Jews remain the most useful barometer to determine the advance or retreat of evil in the world.
© Alan Caruba, 2011