If we are not for ourselves, we will be no more

We have been hated by so many for so long. There was a moment in time-a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things- when we were the favoured. We had almost been wiped off the face of the earth, not by a natural disaster: earthquake, tsunami, volcano; or a sickness like the Black Plague. No. We were almost wiped out by human beings. Regular people. Ordinary people. Christian people.

True, it “officially” started under the Nazis but the Nazis reached into the hearts and minds of good Catholic and Lutheran Germany. And then the Christians from the rest of Europe followed suit. Some assisted in rounding us up, others turned a blind eye, a few righteous people tried to help.

Prior to the attempt to exterminate all of us in Europe, too many countries didn’t want us. We wouldn’t fit in. We would be a drag on the country in which we would sojourn. The Jews had not been welcome in Canada and Australia and USA –the countries on the other side of the ponds- even as the horror made itself known.

There were opportunities for the Allies to save some of us by dropping a bomb over Auschwitz-but that would have meant wasting one.

But the world was made aware of the horror they had allowed and could not turn away; there was no place for them to hide their shame; no place on earth or hell to hide no matter how hard they tried. It was in their face.

Suddenly we were “loved.” What could they do? The evidence of their atrocities was playing in their local theatre Newsreels before the funnies and the comedy main feature. They ate their popcorn, safe in their seats and watched. Hopefully with mouths open from shock and then personal shame.

Or they saw photos in their newspapers. Listening on radio would not have moved them. What words could one use to describe these atrocities that had been committed by one’s fellow human beings?

And then their collective guilt led them to finally honour the San Remo agreement “the Magna Carta of the Zionists;” the agreement that declared the land that had been the land of the Jews for thousands of years, was again open to the Jews who dragged themselves out of the firestorm of Europe to live with the Jews already in Zion. For a moment in time, a brief nano-second in the history of the universe, they liked us. Not enough to make it easy for our remnant to go home easily-the British weren’t going to help our parents or grandparents.

We had to work hard for our right to live and breathe but for that moment we were like a rescued pet. We were their pet underDOG. As long as we were grateful for the bone that would be thrown to us here and there all was well with the world. But, we didn’t stay that grateful dog, thankful for their “affection.” We became a nation in every sense of the word. Faced with extermination from our new enemies we developed a country that is the envy of the world, able to stand up for ourselves.

And we stopped being the beloved pet underdog. It didn’t take long for the world to return to its normal axis. The crocodile tears have been spent.

So here we are in the 21st century under attack, again. Not just Israel but Jews all over the world. There is no country where we are not maligned. There is no country where a Jew is truly safe. The media has had a big hand in that too. As much as they ignored our plight before the Shoah, they now report on every event that could possibly play negatively against our Jewish state. And Israel rarely comes out smelling like roses. Israel is the aggressor-the new Nazis ,the apartheid nation. The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erakat, recently compared Israel to ISIS. Name a crime against humanity and some media outlet will apply it to the only democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. North Africa? Most of Africa. A democracy that exists-against all odds; one might say, miraculously.

Seven billion people on this planet. How many do you think care about us? About our right to live? To live in peace? In our own country? In the diaspora? How many?

Time to end the constant attempts to appease the leaders and the far too many citizens of Christian and Muslim countries. Against all odds, the Jewish State lives. And Israel will continue to be the beacon of light in a rather dark world. If not now-when?



About the Author
Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital trained chaplain who lives in Ontario, Canada, just outside Toronto; She has a background in science and the humanities and writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog: The Middle Ground:The Agora of the 21st Century. She is a regular contributor to Convivium: Faith in our Community. "