Now this might appear somewhat heretical, even absolutely incredible for an Israeli writer to proclaim. but I am really tired of all the panels, organizations, discussions, advocacy groups, university lecturers, international studies and tear wrenching testimonies aboyr rhw the spread and evils of Anti-Semitism.
We know it exists, it has existed since ancient times, before the advent of Christianity and Islam, before rampant and racist nationalism, before communism and probably before the first idol worshiping pagan had a thought about hating his neighbor who prayed to only one god.
Great minds have called Anti-Semitism the “oldest, most ancient hatred.” Scholarly works compounding theory after theory, recounting every insult, injury, murder, pogrom and extermination, have filled libraries all over the world. World class intellectuals have held thousands of symposiums and university chairs of learning, simply to discuss this form of bigotry and prejudice that has led to rivers of bloodshed and oceans of tears.
The phrase that I really abhor, the question that makes my skin crawl, is the introductory thesis upon which all of the above seem to repeat without end-“What are the ROOT causes of anti-Semitism?”
A rabbi of some renown wrote something in his book several decades ago, that has always made more sense to me than any tome or encyclopedia purported to present the classical reasons, or “root causes” for why the world has this incredible desire to eliminate the Jewish people.
He wrote, “When Moses saw the Egyptian beating the Hebrew slave, he didn’t form a committee to study the root causes of Egyptian anti-Semitism, he killed the bastard.” No, we cannot kill all the Jew haters, obviously there are more of them than there are of us-especially in Israel’s neighborhood. But we have done much, in this tiny Jewish country, to make life difficult for those whose fondest desire is to kill us all, by accomplishing something that the world refused to allow us to do during 2000 years of the Exile-we have built and sustained a magnificent military, the Israel Defense Forces.
We have created a thriving and successful nation, built by the sweat, toil and sacrifice of millions of Jews, from over 70 different countries. Israel is a living, breathing testament to the vitality of a people long thought in the throes of death. Every enemy that has lifted its sword against us, has disappeared off the face of the Earth. The mighty ancient empires of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Persia (Iran is NOT ancient Persia, it is an aberration of that nation of antiquity), Greece and Rome, are dust.
Our people have outlived the blood libels of the middle Ages, the auto-da-fes of the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms of Czarist Russia, the cultural genocide of the Soviet Union and the gas chambers and extermination squads of the Nazi beast.
I guess the typical anti-Semites’ image of the sway backed, hook nosed, money grubbing Jew still survives in their mediocre and ignorant grey matter (the same color of most vermin). The Jew who could not own land, or farm, who was refused the right to practice a trade of his choice, who was denied the privilege of citizenship in lands where he had lived for centuries has been studied and re-studied ad nauseum. The image of the Jew as a soldier was lost in antiquity. The military accomplishments of the Jewish people seemed to disappear with the defeat of Shimon Bar Kochba and his rebellion that ended in the slaughter of a million Jews in the homeland in 135 CE. The fact that the Roman emperor, Hadrian, almost put his empire into bankruptcy and had to recall from as far as Britain, legions of troops to combat this small Jewish army, lends testimony to Hebrew ferocity in battle. He was so afraid that another revolt by these recalcitrant Jews could rise again (because this was already the Third Jewish War against the might of Rome) that he plowed Jerusalem under, sowed the ground with salt, and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina, and even renamed the country, Palestine (the land of the Phillistines-even though they were long dead). BUT, he did mint coins to celebrate his victory with the words, “Iudea Capta”-“JUDEA is defeated.”
So, besides killing those who wish to commit politicide on Israel and liquidate its Jews, how do we fight this pernicious evil? By forming more committees? By building more holocaust museums? Perhaps by erecting a university whose sole purpose is to study this bloody bigotry?
No. We defeat Ant-Semitism every time the Star of David flag is unfurled in front of a school house. We give testimony to our survival when a child recites the Hebrew alphabet. We eradicate the vestiges of this evil philosophy when an Israeli parent sings a Hebrew lullaby to put her child to sleep. We conquer our detractors by living in the land that we have sworn an oath to defend and never surrender. We put paid to those who demand our supplication by embracing our youth who take an oath on the parade ground and wear the uniform of a military that has restored Jewish pride and Hebrew honor.
Every kibbutz and moshav where Israeli farmers tend their groves, where they herd their cattle and watch over their sheep and bring forth the fruit of the vine in such glorious abundance, is evidence of the lies told that Jews were incapable of farming.
Every paved road, every street, building, harbor or factory makes a liar out of those, who for centuries claimed that our people were lazy, indigent and incapable of manual labor.
Every morning, when the sun rises over the hills of Israeli Judea, and whose warm rays bathe an independent, sovereign and free, magnificently beautiful, yet tiny Jewish country, we defeat the anti-Semite, we “kill the bastard.’
We do not need to study “root causes” of anti-Semitism, we need only to dig our roots deeper into the land of Israel-THAT is the victory over hatred.
Therefore, in my humble opinion, one can take all the studies of root causes and lay them aside, for they are irrelevant and useless. Jew hatred exists, it will always be with us.
The great Yiddish author, the late Shalom Rabinowitz (Sholem Aleichen) wrote that if there were only one Jew left alive on the face of the Earth, someone would hate him. It’s a pity that Mr. Rabinowitz did not live to witness the rebirth of Jewish independence.
The Jewish people lives. The State of Israel lives. That is all that matters. EVER.