Scott Kahn
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The Orwellian Jewish problem

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Terrorists are angels. Jews are Nazis. And 1,400 murder victims brought their massacre on themselves
An anti-Israel mob attack at a Dagestan airport, October 29, 2023. (Social media screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
An anti-Israel mob attack at a Dagestan airport, October 29, 2023. (Social media screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

As I write this, a mob is storming an airport in Russia’s north Caucasus, baying for Jewish blood.

A flight from Tel Aviv to Makhachkala in the Russian Republic of Dagestan was diverted when locals overran the airport in order to attack the Jewish arrivals. Unfortunately, a similar scene greeted the arrivals at the second airport, too.

This is not a surprise. Hundreds of thousands attended pro-Palestinian protests yesterday, which have become indistinguishable from pro-Hamas protests, which have become indistinguishable from antisemitic marches, which have become active calls for the genocide of the Jewish people — all under the Orwellian guise of calling Israel’s war against terrorists a genocide of Palestinians, and finally declaring that Israel is the new Nazi Germany.

It’s enough to make a human being question his sanity. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. George Orwell might have added: Murderers are midwives. Terrorists are angels. And obviously, Jews are Nazis.

Most insidious, perhaps, is the implication that every Jewish person needs to confront: you are not victims, for you have brought this upon yourself.

That claim is so prevalent, even as it is utterly absurd. So allow me to address it very briefly.

I have long been in favor of a two-state solution. Demography demands it, lest Israel cease to be a Jewish state. Morality demands it, lest Israel cease to be a democracy. Do I wish that Israel could annex the disputed territories of the West Bank without consequence? Yes; they represent the heart of the Jewish dream of returning to our land. But that’s a dream that will only be resolved in the messianic era. In the meantime — in our very unredeemed world — we need to find a way to balance our understandable desire to populate Israel’s heartland, with the reality that millions of Palestinians live there, too. They believe that the land belongs to them, and they are not going away. Assuming that millions of people don’t matter is foolish, shortsighted, and dangerous — and yes, immoral. And most Israelis feel the same way.

But the situation is extraordinarily complicated, and that reality has made finding a solution nearly impossible. Israel has tried, yet the Palestinian leadership has rejected every offer of independence, often repaying these offers with suicide bombings, stabbings, and shootings. When Israel evacuated every last Jew from Gaza in 2005 — not one civilian or soldier remained — the result was not the beginnings of a Palestinian state, but a terror stronghold dedicated to a universal caliphate and the murder of every Jew on the planet. This experiment reached its climax on October 7th, when thousands of terrorists stormed the border and murdered 1,400 innocent people and dragged 243 others back to Gaza, all while recording the slaughter and torture on phones and GoPros, and — with an almost unimaginable degree of cruelty — using the phones of the dead to let their families see the atrocities that the terrorists had proudly committed.

If you were Israel’s leaders, responsible for the safety and security of over 9 million people, would you give away land to people who advocate finishing the job that they began on October 7th? Or would you realize that the situation in which Israel finds itself is almost impossibly complicated, with no good answers to any of the intractable questions? And most Israelis acknowledge this reality, as well.

It’s not difficult for any fair-minded person to recognize that while Israel has made mistakes, it often has no good options from which to choose. Asking Israel to make the “right” decision, without indicating what that decision is or how Israel can do it without committing national suicide, is the disingenuous offer of scoundrels, forcing Israel into making a Sophie’s choice and pretending that the most dangerous option is the only moral one.

I thank God that there are many fair-minded people who understand the dilemma in which Israel and the Jewish people find ourselves.

I also know that there are many who are not nearly as fair-minded. People who don’t see murder as murder and slaughter as slaughter and kidnapping as kidnapping and torture as torture. People who see valiant knights slaying the evil dragon — and don’t seem to mind that the dragon is infants, children, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers. Peace activists. Kids at a music festival. Young couples in love. Holocaust survivors rebuilding lives.

It doesn’t matter. They are Jews, and that alone makes them guilty. Their existence is their death warrant.

They deserve it. For they have brought this upon themselves.

And those who hate them are getting louder. And more bold. And more fearless. And more violent. Insisting that the victims of Hitler and Hamas are actually the Nazis. The twisted imagination of millions of antisemites will see it no other way.

As I write this, a mob is storming an airport in Russia’s north Caucasus, baying for Jewish blood. A scene unimaginable four weeks ago is taking place before our eyes. They have crossed the Rubicon.

This is the first time we have witnessed scenes like this in my lifetime.

I am certain it will not be the last.

About the Author
Rabbi Scott Kahn is the CEO of Jewish Coffee House ( and the host of the Orthodox Conundrum Podcast and co-host of Intimate Judaism. You can see more of his writing at
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