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Several Jews are being led by soldiers to a gas chamber. One of the Jews cries out, “Let’s charge them and make a run for it.” Another Jew shouts in response, “Stop! Do you want to make things worse?”
As Palestinian Terrorism ramps up from Gaza and the West Bank and the UN prepares to convene in September to entertain some chilling proposals, the debate among American and Israeli Jews regarding the future of Israel has taken on a character similar to the gas chamber vignette.
In little more than six decades since the Holocaust, for too many Jews, “Never again!” seems to have become “Stop! Do you want to make things worse?”
And how is it that those who oppose Israel are somehow able, in common cause, to minimize terrorism, wink at anti-semitism and accept as legitimate the current short-list of thugs, hatemongers and power brokers in the Middle East and yet an astounding number of Jews in America, Europe and Israel faced with those threats can’t seem to agree on anything?
Louis Marano, a PhD anthropologist, non-Jew and former UPI correspondent hired to follow and comment upon the Oslo Peace Accords between 1991 and 1993, gave a recent interview (podcast) to Israeli National Radio. The portion of the interview most applicable to this post is his blunt opinion of Yitzhak Rabin’s explanation in 1993 of why he shook hands with his arch-enemy (whether he knew it or not), Yassar Arrafat.
(Paraphrase) Rabin went into a long explanation of concentric circles surrounding Israel, the inner circle consisting of Israel’s immediate neighbors who, Rabin thought, knew or would soon discover that they had more to fear from the outer circle (Iran, et al) than Israel. Arrafat and the PLO then, were Israel’s best hope for peace.
With apologies to the Jewish people, Marano called Rabin’s thinking “a prime example of Jews outsmarting themselves.”
(Paraphrase) My uneducated Sicilian grandmother would have served Rabin well during the Accords. She taught me as a child, “An enemy is an enemy.”
Why, if the Jewish people have had powerful and dedicated enemies for thousands of years, are we so hopeful and self-deceived that we can accept the following from the lips of Hannah Rosenthal, Barak Obama’s Anti-Semitism Czar. (Yes, the US has yet another Czar, this one charged with what? Helping people to appreciate Jews? Can a Happiness Czar be far behind?)
“It is not 1939,” [Rosenthal] said. “We have the state of Israel. We have laws in countries that are holding people accountable.”
I hope you feel as relieved as I. Terrorism is against the law. Now, the heroes of Gaza who attacked Eilat (and killed eight) just days ago apparently had the full cooperation of the new Egyptian democracy to conduct their vehicles, anti-tank missiles and armed thugs into sovereign Egypt and through the Negev to the southern Israeli border, so what of our Czar’s expectations in this case?
Hannah, please fire off a memo to the Arabs, Re: Accountability and the Law, at once! Copy to Egypt.
Yes, it’s not 1939. It’s also not 722, 597, 586, or 135 BCE, or 70, 135, 1480, 1492, 1501, 1881 or 1903 AD. What, Czar Rosenthal, is your point? Despite the confidence of so many well-informed Jews in accountability, civility and the law, or rather because of it, we look at as potential partners in peace those who hate Israel and Jews to the core of their being .
An enemy is an enemy. Every pogrom in history was codified into law. Let’s pray that some thoughtful and intelligent governmental appointee, some future Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, does not try to comfort us in the not too distant future by smugly reminding us that, “This is not 2012.”
The end of this video includes a fascinating chanting session at the Western Wall.