Autumn is here and with it the annual trip that makes Mahmoud Ahmadinejad positively giddy. The Iranian president gets to leave the country whose citizens he mowed down in the streets to seize power, and travel to New York to show the Jews they have no power. Lecturing each year from the rostrum of the United Nations is Ahmadinejad’s equivalent of popping Viagra, a yearly demonstration of his own virility amid utter Jewish impotence. For all Ahmadinejad’s protestations of a Zionist world conspiracy and how we Jews control everything, he is well aware of just how weak we Jews are, and he loves to rub it in our faces. Like clockwork, he is here in late September each year to call for the destruction of the Jewish state right smack in the heart of Jew York, a city that has more Jews in it than any other on earth. He accomplishes the unique feat of calling for a new holocaust while simultaneously denying the original ever took place. And do you know what the Jews do about it? Nothing.
OK, not quite. There is a protest or two featuring a few hundred brave souls with a megaphone, and I plan to join them. But Jewish economic power cannot stop the perfidious Warwick hotel from hosting Ahmadinejad and his retinue. The billionaire Jewish mayor of New York cannot stop him from landing in his city and touring its landmarks. And the 2.5 million Jews of New York cannot stop his motorcade from moving about the city like he owns the place. How helpless must a people be to watch someone calling for their extermination in a city where they are so entrenched and numerous.
I often wish that we Jews could produce a leader with the courage of Martin Luther King. When King’s people – our fellow Americans whose only crime was to be born with a darker shade of skin – were treated like garbage in the South, King shut the place down. He boycotted their buses, staged sit-ins at their cafes, sent freedom riders to coopt their transportation routes, took over their highways with long marches, and even sent fearless children into the fangs of dangerous canines, all while being pushed back by fire hoses operating at maximum strength. He ended up forfeiting his life so that his people could be treated with dignity and equality.
Contrast that with near inaction of 2.5 million Jews in the greater New York metropolitan area who this year, on the holy day of Yom Kippur itself, will bear witness to the spectacle of a man calling for the genocide of all our Jewish brothers in Israel. Amid his call for the annihilation of the Jewish state, we Jews don’t shut down the streets where he travels, don’t impede the buses that pass in front of his hotel, and don’t call for an economic boycott of the hotels with the chutzpa to host a mass murderer. No, we go about our business, content to allow an aspiring Hitler invade this town while he separately desecrates the memory of six million martyrs who have already paid with their lives for the earlier Hitler that the world similarly did not take seriously.
And still some people believe that the Jews control the banks, the media, and Hollywood. It turns out they control nothing at all.
Even as we witness an Israeli Prime Minister having to humiliate himself by pleading for a meeting with the American president, Obama has no fear snubbing Netanyahu, so confident is he of there being no price to pay from Jewish voters. I have even heard more than a few pro-Israel activists say that Bibi needlessly pokes his finger in Obama’s eye, which is a strange allegation to make against the leader of a nation who had one third its number gassed just 70 years ago. Surely one can forgive that leader for pushing hard to insist on American red lines in the Iranian nuclear program.
Lest we forget, it was not the Israeli Embassy that was taken over by Khomeini’s hoodlums in 1979 and it was not Israeli diplomats who were held hostage for 444 days. No, it was the United States of America, the country that Iran hates above all others, that experienced the wrath of Iran’s mullahs. And it is the United States which is the foremost target of an Iranian nuclear program that speeds to the production of a bomb that is squarely aimed at a nation that stands for the freedom and liberty that Iran so fanatically hates.