Jew-hatred Revival

I grew up in the post-WW2 period, which could be called the Golden Age of American Jewry. I don’t remember receiving any racial insults, although others experienced it elsewhere. Quotas for Jews at elite colleges had disappeared before the war. Corporate America had begun welcoming talented Jews into its upper ranks, Jewish girls’ futures were not limited to being housewives, teachers, or nurses. Synagogues and Jewish community centers were proliferating. Bagels, lox and Jewish delis became mainstream. Jewish authors were among America’s most popular writers – yes, it was good to be an American Jew. 

Then, just 19 years after Israel’s miraculous rebirth, Israel defeated six neighboring Arab Muslim countries in an unprecedented six days. This swelled the pride of Jews around the world. There was a spike in aliyah (immigration to Israel) by Jews caught up in the excitement of the Jewish state’s victory.

50-plus years later, what has happened? The pause in Jew-hatred has ended what had turned out to be only a temporary hiatus. Israel is put into the same category as Iran as a source of global problems, and organizations such as the United Nations (www.gatestoneinstitute.org), and the International Criminal Court (https://nypost.com/2019/) have a well documented agenda against Israel. 

Human Rights Watch (https://mosaicmagazine.com/) and Amnesty International (www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Amnesty-Int) now spend an inordinate amount of time chastising and vilifying Israel, often financed by giant foundations (https://www.algemeiner.com/rockefeller/), and rich “progressives,” such as George Soros (www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/03). Also, anti-Israel social media content aimed at young people is ubiquitous. All the time and money expended against Israel and Jews contributes mightily to the resurgence of Jew-hatred.

The rise in terrorism perpetrated by Muslims around the world is blamed on Israel, as are the problems of the Middle East. Even blood libels against Jews are common again, such as Jews having spread the current pandemic to make money. Media personalities – athletes, rappers, actors, and other “celebrities” – make/spread atrocious comments about Jews with little or no backlash. To top it off, younger, Jewish, so-called intellectuals, writers, entertainers, and others have taken to disparaging Israel and undermining their co-religionists for the sake of – what?

In case you know someone who agrees with some of the prejudiced comments which take up so much of the “news,”  I present some arguments to educate them:

From Jewish actor Seth Rogen: Israel is not a democracy. 

If that were true, then there are no democracies extant. Israel’s Knesset (parliament) is a raucous center of government, where multiple parties, featuring all of Israel’s minorities, talk, discuss, argue, even sometimes shout and shove their political adversaries. When elections occur, all Israeli citizens, Jewish, Christian, Muslim,  Druse, Baha’i, stream to the polls (where the ubiquitous Israeli identity card must be shown). The government is then formed by a leading party, not necessarily the one which won the most votes.

In its 72-year history, the State of Israel has never had one party win a majority of the seats in the Knesset. Necessarily, the ruling coalition contains multiple participants and viewpoints, many contradicting each other.

Millions of Palestinians cannot vote for the government which controls their lives. 

This statement shows Rogen’s ignorance. Palestinian Arabs, who are living in the Palestinian Authority (PA), have their own government. Israel doesn’t control their lives, but their corrupt leaders do. Yes, the PA has only had one vote during its 27-year existence, but that is its fault, not something which Israel controls. The reason for just having had one vote is that the (outright terrorist) Hamas party defeated the (camouflaged terrorist) Fatah party in Gaza. Fatah has been afraid to hold a second election in the PA because it fears that Hamas would usurp it there as well. As noted above, Israeli Arabs, like all other Israelis, participate in Israeli government elections.

This [so-called annexation] will be a non-democracy, this will be an apartheid-like situation. 

If Israel extends civilian law to the Israelis living beyond the Green Line/1949 Armistice Line in Judea and Samaria, aka as the West Bank, a minimal number of Palestinian Arabs might be included in that area in order to avoid displacing them. While an extension of sovereignty is still hypothetical, those Palestinian Arabs would probably be given a path to Israeli citizenship. 

Those in the West who liken Israel to an apartheid state have no basis to their accusation: all Israeli citizens have the same civil rights and all documented, non-citizens have the same rights except in voting. There are no attributes of apartheid in Israel like the ones that existed in South Africa, such as separate laws and facilities for blacks and whites.

I am sensitive to Jews thinking that I don’t think Israel should not exist… [Huh?]

Rogen certainly gave the impression that he sees no need for Israel in his initial comments. My wife and I thank God every day for the opportunity to live in our homeland. We genuinely think that Jewish life outside of Israel is endangered by assimilation for all but Orthodox Jewry. 

From NBA superstar Lebron James, who quoted song lyrics from rapper 21 Savage (one of many Black rappers who vilify Jews) on a post to his 45.8 million Instagram followers: the offensive phrase “getting that Jewish money.” 

Jews are more successful than the average in the US. Success, for the good or the bad, is often equated with wealth. Ignoring the fact that many black athletes and entertainers are incredibly rich, the fact that Jews are successful is given a negative, even sinister meaning. Other minorities in the US are more successful than average Americans: Indian, Chinese, Taiwanese, Indonesian, Korean, Pakistani, and Filipino immigrant populations all have higher incomes than the average American. Money isn’t inherently evil, but to Jew-haters, it’s a convenient indicator of Jewish perfidy. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups)

During the post-WW2 period the scourge of Jew-hatred (politely called antisemitism) all but disappeared from social discourse and the media. That’s over. Clearly, it’s no longer considered impolite to insult Jews in public, as evidenced by the multitude of scurrilous comments written and said with impunity about Jews. Cartoons worthy of the Nazi rag Der Stuermer (“The Attacker”) appear in newspapers and online, even the august New York Times. Contrast that to comments criticizing Muslims or Mohammed, which are increasingly frowned upon and are even illegal in some jurisdictions.(www.huffpost.com/)

Jews, if you value your 4,000 year old heritage, wake up to the shifting sands under your feet.

 

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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