Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Dangerous Place for Jews

By Alan Caruba

The world has always been a dangerous place in which to be a Jew.

The climax of modern era anti-Semitism came during my lifetime in the last century with the Nazi Holocaust, the wholesale effort to kill every Jew, man, woman and child in Europe, with the “Final Solution.” It promises to repeat itself if Iran is permitted to obtain nuclear weapons.

Despite having been the creation of the United Nations, largely in response to the Holocaust, the last sixty years of Israel’s existence have been marked by wars and constant terrorism that continues to this day. The UN has become the global locus of anti-Semitism and it will be on display at its next Durbin conference on racism. The last one was an orgy of anti-Semitism and similar ugliness.

In August, UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group, expressed alarm over the declaration adopted by the African regional meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, which will shape the UN world conference to be held in April 2009. Among its elements was an attack on guarantees of free speech, the positioning of Islam above all other religions, and an attack on Israel and only Israel.

The growing Muslim populations in Great Britain and throughout Europe have led to a rise of anti-Semitism, but it was always latent among the non-Muslim native populations.

The embrace of Israel by America’s evangelical faith communities and the general good will toward American Jews remains intact. The problem for Jews, however, is that bad economic times never fail to raise charges that Jews are the cause.

For American Jews, this isn’t just historic paranoia. Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard University professor of law and prolific author, has just had his latest book published; “The Case Against Israel’s Enemies: Exposing Jimmy Carter and Others Who Stand in the Way of Peace.” It is a disquieting sign when a former U.S. President is an active anti-Semite, though Carter is not held in high repute, nor should be.

Dershowitz also takes note of two famed commentators, Patrick Buchanan and Robert Novak. Both have demonstrated their antipathy to the Jewish State, but the greater threat that he cites is clearly a resurgent Islam and, most particularly, Iran’s ranting president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose threats against Israel are an offense to all humanity.

As America comes to grip with a serious financial crisis, its Jewish community will be watching carefully for an indication of the libel that it is somehow responsible for the problems that ensue. Two generations have come of age since the dark days of World War II.

Perhaps no where else on Earth have Jews found a true paradise than in America. It has a long history of being congenial to Jews, though that history has been a long period of overt anti-Semitism that existed up to the revelations of the horrors of Holocaust.

No one can predict the future, but Jews have survived in many cases by being able to anticipate a reversal of fortune and the lucky ones fled to whatever sanctuary they could find.

For Israel, a nation of 5.3 million Jews and 1.3 million Muslim and Arab Christians, the threat at this point is deemed “existential”, but it grows more real with every passing day. Its fate hangs in the balance. For Jews around the world, memories of the Holocaust are never far from their thoughts.

On October 9, Yom Kippur, Jews around the world will pray for repentance and forgiveness of sins, but these are a people more sinned against than sinning.

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