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Richard Kronenfeld
Adult Ba'al Teshuvah Ph.D. Physicist

Signs of the Coming Redemption part 2

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A fable told to me by my mother obm: Once upon a time, a crow challenged a canary to a singing contest, with a pig agreeing to be the judge. The canary went first and sang her heart out. When the crow’s turn came, she cackled away while flirting with the pig. Naturally, the pig selected the crow as the winner, whereupon the canary burst into tears. Seeking to make amends, the crow said to her, “Why should you cry? You know you sing better than I do,” to which the canary replied, “That’s not why I’m crying. Look who’s the judge.”

 How is Israel connected to the societal trends discussed in part 1, and how is that connection related to the final redemption? To answer these questions, we first introduce two more aspects of the contemporary culture.

First is “critical race theory.” In essence, CRT starts from the Marxist division of humanity into oppressors and oppressed; however, it adds to the Marxist criterion of socioeconomic class two qualities of personal identity, namely race and gender. In this view, white men are the oppressors, and all others are the oppressed. Their view is that whites are irredeemable, so their solution is to invert the hierarchy and put white men at the bottom. [12]

Where the Jews come in is that we are classified as white, hence can never be victims or oppressed, while people of color are always oppressed and therefore can never be racists. (What does this make Louis Farrakhan?) Now we consider how CRT applies to Israel (even though the majority of Israeli Jews are people of color from the Middle East or North Africa).

A little history first: As recounted by Colonel Richard Kemp, a decorated former British Army officer, the Soviet Union supported partitioning the Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state, in hopes of enlisting the largely Socialist leadership of Israel as an ally against Britain., but when Israel began moving into the Western camp, and especially when it defeated Arab armies armed and trained by the Soviets in 1967 and again in 1973, the USSR became incensed and embarked upon a campaign to destroy Israel. [13]

The Russians’ first step was to convert the Israel-Arab conflict from a religious war, based on the Islamic doctrine requiring reconquering formerly Muslim lands, to a struggle for national liberation, which would garner more support in the West. What nation was to be liberated? The Palestinians. So the Palestine National Charter was written in Moscow in 1964. Re-characterizing the Mideast conflict as a fight for national liberation proved to be a huge success, culminating in the 1975 United Nations General Assembly resolution, adopted overwhelmingly, which equated Zionism with racism. (The resolution was repealed in 1991 under heavy American pressure, but the sentiment remains.) [14]

Carrying this strategy one step further, one man – Arab-American activist James Zogby — outsmarted the entire American Jewish establishment. In a recently discovered interview with Jordanian TV recorded about 1990, Zogby outlined his strategy to link the Palestinian cause to other Leftist causes via the doctrine of intersectionality, that all oppressed peoples have a common enemy and thus need to make common cause. This enabled him to enlist American liberals, starting with the media, as supporters of the Palestinians, and especially to appeal to liberal Jews vulnerable to universalistic appeals and somewhat detached from Israel to begin with. From that beginning, the Palestinian cause became a pro-democracy movement, while a sizable minority of American Jews were won over to progressive Jewish organizations that began lobbying America to pressure Israel to make dangerous concessions. [15]

Indeed, Zogby’s anti-Israel movement, promoted by generations of radical professors, has become so pervasive on college campuses that Jewish students are regularly being assaulted verbally – and in some cases physically – and are increasingly being excluded from campus life, such as holding student government offices, unless they profess to be anti-Zionist. Consequently, it has been reported that more than half of Jewish college students in America have hidden their identity at least on occasion. [16] And as college students graduate and join the larger society, they bring their anti-Semitism with them. Schools of education were among the first institutions to be taken over, so that K-12 education is increasingly becoming anti-Zionist and thereby anti-Semitic. For example, California has adopted a mandatory ethnic studies requirement for high school graduation that leaves wiggle room for school districts to adopt, for example, the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, which is anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, and excludes anti-Semitism from its list of terms of oppression and prejudice. [17] Meanwhile, Massachusetts has undertaken the same process, likely with similar results. (Which supports the idea of redirecting our charitable contributions toward reducing day school tuition so we can rescue our precious children from toxic public schools.)

Furthermore, the enforcement mechanism for woke ideology is another buzzword: diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Diversity applies only to identity groups, not thought; absolute conformity is the rule. Equity means equal outcomes – that is, every identity group must be represented in every area of life at least according to their percentage of the population. Anything less is racism, regardless of individual preference or achievement. Inclusion means bringing in identity groups that may not previously have been given preferential treatment, excluding Jews, as we are considered white oppressors. As previously mentioned, globally the same stigma attaches to Israel. Thus surveys show that DEI enforcers on campus, in particular, are more anti-Semitic than the average student or staffer. [18] In other words, those who profess to oppose all forms of racism have no difficulty supporting racism directed at Jews.

In this climate, the United Nations, starting from the 2001 anti-racism conference in Durban, South Africa that turned into an anti-Israel “hate-fest,” has now embarked on its own final solution to the Israel question. The UN “Human Rights Council,” which includes as members such human rights abusers as China, Russia, Cuba, Libya, Mauritania and Venezuela, has voted to establish a permanent “ongoing, independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate, in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up and since 13 April 2021 [the start of Ramadan]. The resolution further requested the commission of inquiry to ‘investigate all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity’.” The Council selected three anti-Israel activists, Ms. Navi Pillay (South Africa), Mr. Miloon Kothari (India), and Mr. Chris Sidoti (Australia), to serve as members of the commission. [19]

In support, Amnesty International has just issued a report declaring Israel to be an apartheid state, joining its fellow “human rights” organizations, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem (a Jewish leftist organization, no less). They apply a twisted redefinition of apartheid that is truly an insult to the Black South Africans who experienced the real thing. [20] Analyzing the Amnesty report, Ann Herzberg, legal advisor to NGO Monitor, concludes, “Like its predecessors and throughout Amnesty’s screed, they make it abundantly clear that their apartheid accusation has nothing to do with contested borders, settlements or policies. Instead, their recommendations provide an ultimate wish list of sanctions and boycotts against Israel, in addition to the harassment and arrest of Israeli officials. The ultimate goal, however, is the elimination of Israel’s legitimacy as the nation-state of the Jewish people. This objective is reflected in support for a so-called Palestinian ‘right of return,’ as well as the revocation of any laws or practices that protect Israel as a safe haven against Jewish persecution or preserve Jewish identity and national expression.” [21] In other words, the international Left seeks to deny safe haven to Diaspora Jews, which raises a question of whether a second Holocaust is planned to finish the job the Nazis started. As Dexter Van Zile writes at medium.com, “…the animus toward Jewish sovereignty is ultimately about Jewish existence. As Jean Amery wrote in 1969: ‘Anyone who questions Israel’s right to exist is either too stupid to understand that he is contributing to or is intentionally promoting an über-Auschwitz.’” [22]

By the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition that identifies anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism, all these organizations are anti-Semitic, so their conclusions should be disregarded. Period.

To summarize, we face the most sweeping wave of global anti-Semitism since the Holocaust. What do we do? We don’t panic. We remember Hashem’s promise that we will never be totally destroyed and that we will ultimately be redeemed. [23] And we recall the times when we were delivered from our enemies’ evil plans. [For a detailed account, a useful reference is Ken Spiro’s A Crash Course in Jewish History (Targum Press, February 1, 2010).]

We also remember the tradition that the Final Redemption will occur during the same period as prior redemptions, that is, in the season of Purim and Passover. And we need to recognize the present situation as another sign of the final redemption, namely the potential realization of Ezekiel’s prophecy regarding the war of Gog and Magog, when the entire world will march on Jerusalem and be annihilated. [24]

Quoting from Part 1 of this post, “A major principle in Jewish history asserts that what happens to the fathers happens to the descendants, which holds true today. The greatest existential threat to Israel comes from Iran, the modern-day successor state to Persia, which reminds us of Purim. We recall from Megillas Esther that when Haman hatched his plot to massacre all the Jews in the Persian Empire because Mordechai wouldn’t bow down to him, our response didn’t begin with pleading our case to King Achashverosh. First, Queen Esther and her maidens and all the Jews in the Kingdom fasted for three days in preparation for her risking her life by coming to the King uninvited. In other words, before taking political action, let’s first beseech Hashem to grant us guidance and salvation, as the forces arrayed against us are too powerful for us to overcome on our own.

“The following proposals are strictly those of a layman, and are advanced to stimulate discussion. Since people today aren’t as robust as 2500 years ago, rather than a three-day consecutive fast, may I suggest following the format of Behab, namely Monday-Thursday-Monday. Also, we could make it water-only rather than a total fast, with exemptions for those who cannot safely fast. Those who are exempt could instead give tzedakah, consistent with Orchos Chaim of the Rosh for the Sabbath #22: ‘One should fast one day each month on a day when the Torah is read; and if he cannot fast, he should give two coins to charity.’[25]

“There is ample precedent over the centuries for communal fasting in times of drought, external threats, etc. Would it hurt to acknowledge the ultimate Source of our deliverance?” [26]

 

 

 

Notes

 

  1. Jonathan Tobin, “The Jewish stake in the battle against Critical Race Theory,” Jewish World Review, June 28, 2021; Charlie McCarthy, “Top Teachers Union Votes to Support Critical Race Theory,” Newsmax.com, July 7, 2021, https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/nea-teachers-union-critical-race-theory/2021/07/07/id/1027776/
  2. Richard Kemp, “Exposing the Lie of Israel Apartheid,” Gatestone Institute, January 7, 2022, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18094/israel-apartheid#print; also EMET Webinar, “The Soviet Roots of Palestinian anti-Semitism,” January 26, 2022.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Charles Jacobs, “How James Zogby Seduced Liberal America,” Forward, July 6, 2016, https://forward.com/scribe/344423/how-james-zogby-seduced-liberal-america/#ixzz4Df8UDC1v.
  5. ADL, “The Anti-Israel Movement on U.S. Campuses, 2020-2021,” https://www.adl.org/resources/reports/the-anti-israel-movement-on-us-campuses-2020-2021. See also David Isaac, “Pro-Israel groups see more hostile campuses fueled by ‘woke’ ideology, anti-Zionist faculty,” JNS, January 24, 2022, https://www.jns.org/pro-israel-groups-see-more-hostile-campuses-fueled-by-woke-ideology-anti-zionist-faculty.
  6. Faygie Holt, “California school district adopts‘liberated’ ethnic-studies program marked by ‘extreme anti-Israel’ bias,” JNS, January 27, 2022, https://www.jns.org/california-school-district-adopts-liberated-ethnic-studies-curriculum-marked-by-anti-extreme-anti-israel-bias/
  7. “Campus DEI staffers promote anti-Israel bias as Middle East Studies Association supports BDS and Congress advances Islamophobia Monitor,” BDS Monitor, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, December 30, 2021; Jonathan Tobin, “Why does ‘diversity’ have to lead to anti-Semitism?” JNS, December 31, 2021, reprinted by Jewish World Review, https://www.jewishworldreview.com/1221/tobin123121.php.
  8. United Nations Human Rights Council, “The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel,” 22 July 2021, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIOPT-Israel/Pages/Index.aspx
  9. For a detailed analysis of how apartheid was specifically redefined to apply to Israel, see Barrister Joshua Kern and Ann Herzberg, “False Knowledge as Power: Deconstructing Definitions of Apartheid that Delegitimise the Jewish State,” NGO Monitor, December 9, 2021, https://www.ngo-monitor.org/reports/apartheid-report/
  10. Ann Herzberg, “Amnesty’s apartheid lies abet global anti-Semitism,” JNS, February 8, 2022, https://www.jns.org/opinion/amnestys-apartheid-lies-abet-global-anti-semitism.
  11. Dexter Van Zile, “The Pinch Point is upon us,” medium.com, February 4, 2022, https://dextervanzile-18513.medium.com/the-pinch-point-is-upon-us-8a0131f71394.
  12. Ezekiel 36:18-38.
  13. Ezekiel, Chapters 38-39.
  14. Art Scroll Orchos Chaim, p.54.
  15. Richard Kronenfeld, “Signs of the Coming Redemption Part 1,” Times of Israel Blog, February 8, 2022.
About the Author
I'm a native New Yorker (Brooklyn, to be precise) transplanted to the desert as a teen-ager. I hold a Ph.D in Physics from Stanford and have taught mathematics and physics at the high school, community college, and university level. I'm an adult ba'al teshuvah and label myself as centrist Orthodox and a Religious Zionist along the lines of OU, Yeshiva University, and Mizrachi.
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