Bruce Farrell Rosen
Author of books and articles, retired portfolio manager

The quest for peace in Israel and Gaza amidst antisemitism from all sides

The State of Israel was created on May 14, 1948 in the ashes of the Nazi Holocaust, a genocide whose philosophical underpinnings begin in Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf, published in 1925.  Hitler’s plan to eradicate all Jewish  people from Europe, and prospectively to extinguish it from the planet for all time as a ‘race of people’ builds in its clarity throughout the pages of this autobiography of pure hatred and evil.

Hitler’s contemplation of the ‘Jewish problem’ received not an inconsiderable influence from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a book that had initially been serialized in a Russian newspaper in 1903.  Although the exact origin of the Protocols is unknown, its intent was to portray Jews as conspirators against the state.  In its chapters the book describes the secret plans of Jews to rule the world by manipulating the economy, controlling the media, and fostering religious conflict.

Following the Russian revolution of 1917,  emigres brought the Protocols to the West.  And it did not take long for editions to be circulated across Europe, the United States, South America.  An Arabic translation first appeared in the 1920’s.

It is purported that Nazi Party ideologues introduced Hitler to the Protocols during the early 1920.s, as he was developing his world view.  Hitler referred to the Protocols in some of his early speeches, and it became a significant source reference for the Nazi spread of propaganda. Following the Nazi’s seizure of power in 1933, this book of lying, fictitious, malevolent conspiracy theories regarding the mighty power of Jews to realize a master plan to control the world made it’s way into some schools to indoctrinate students.

The fraud of the book came to light in 1935, when a Swiss court fined two Nazi leaders for circulating a German language edition of the Protocols in Berne, Switzerland.  The judge at the trial declared  the Protocols “libelous”, “obvious forgeries” and “ridiculous nonsense”.

There could not be a more apt description of the Protocols and it’s promotion and promulgation of anti-Semitic tropes, caricatures of Jewish people that lead to bigotry and dehumanization than this from the Holocaust survivor and winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace, Elie Wiesel, ” If ever a piece of writing could produce mass hatred, it is this one…This book is about lies and slander.” And according to the Department of State’s 2004 “Report on Global Anti-Semitism”, ” The clear purpose of the Protocols is to incite hatred of Jews and that of Israel.

The Protocols of Zion, clearly were a source of influence upon the thinking of Hitler in Mein Kampf, when he moves from describing the necessity of ‘laws of discrimination ‘ against Jews to describing them as a ‘race tuberculosis’ of the people and then on to the ‘final solution’, ” the ultimate removal of Jews altogether.”

Yes, indeed, Israel was created as a second homeland to the Jews from the ashes of the Holocaust.  Their first presence in Palestine as a civilization dates at least back to founding of the Temple in Jerusalem in 957 BCE.  This was the first Temple of worship and Hebrew sacrifice that was built under the reign of David’s son, Solomon.  This was a period of spiritual development and identity of the Jewish people in Palestine that lasted nearly four hundred years,  until the Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, when he conquered Jerusalem.  And, thus, the Diaspora began, Jews essentially never really having a homeland, a sanctuary as a people that could protect them from hate until the Declaration of Independence of 1948.

Elie Wiesel recognized that the formation of Israel would be a guarantee against a second Holocaust, and he dreamed of the homeland being a place of peace — he truly believed that dialogue between Palestinians and Jews would lead to a peaceful co-existence.  And that a Palestinian state along side Israel should and would happen. However, he was forced to come to terms with the cold, horrible reality that his homeland and that Jewish people would be threatened into perpetuity.  That could not be more evident in this recognition of the harsh reality that the concentrations camps of Nazi Germany are not necessarily an historical aberration:

He states that “In 1945 I was convinced  that there would no longer be anti-Semitism, that it passed away with its victims in Treblinka and Auschwitz.  But I was wrong. Only the victims perished and anti-Semitism is alive and well…”

The realization of the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland has its origins in the Balfour Declaration issued by the British government in 1917, during the first World War.  It was the announcement of support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population.

The established of the State of Israel occurred in accordance with UN Resolution 181, which called for the division of the land into a Jewish State and an Arab State.  Yes, the agreement was for there to be a Second State, and the agreement would provide that people that might be displaced by the formation of Israel would have a homeland as well.  All good intentions for such a second state for the Arab people were sabotaged by forces that are the source of blame, rage, victimization on all sides of the Israeli-Arab divide.  What cannot be disputed is that virtually upon the formation of the Israeli nation, the country was attacked by a plurality of Arab nations who rejected the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine.  It was a disaster in the making, as Israel–outnumbered in soldiers and arms–was attacked from all directions.  And while this was happening the fledgling state was in the process of absorbing shiploads of Holocaust survivors and those from around the world that wanted to be a Jew in a Jewish homeland.

This second state has not occurred and we are still waiting.  In 1967, the Six Day War occurred–Israel being attacked by Egypt, Syria and Jordan.  In addition Palestinian guerrilla attacks on Israel from bases in Syria heightened the hostilities between the two countries.  In six days, Israel defeated the armies that attacked them, gaining territory four times its size.

During this war, the problems of the Palestinian people were exacerbated, and it can be argued that the Palestinian people–and their quest for their own homeland and national identity, with  East Jerusalem as their capital–had been sacrificed by the desire  of the Arab nations to destroy Israel.  In this war Israel captured the Sinai peninsula, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Some of this land has been returned over the years–particularly the Sinai to Egypt as part of a peace treaty–but the results of this war resonate to this moment in time, as Hamas supported by Iran and Russia, Hezbollah supported by Iran, and other Iranian extremist groups continue to attack Israel under the pretext of providing a state for the Palestinians.

In actuality the attacks in my opinion have far less to do with such a homeland and have much more to do with an Iranian  geopolitical struggle for power and influence, to offset the Abraham Accords that would provide trade and other cultural and economic agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates ( UAE), Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.  And it is believed just before the October 7 massacre, rape, torture, kidnapping of some 1,200 Israel civilians at the hands of Hamas, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia were on the verge of joining these accords that showed such promise toward establishing the kinds of cultural, and economic ties that would lead to a so long desired  outcome by all sides to this conflict, the establishment of a Palestinian State!

No, October 7 was not about the establishment of a Palestinian State by Hamas. Rather this  cold blooded murder of Jewish citizens–some even at a peaceful rock concert  in the beautiful desert at sunrise, holding hands, making art, feeling the joy of human connection–was an act of jealousy by Iran, jealous that their brand of extremism was not wanted in this land.  And it was a fund raising opportunity for Hamas–certainly millions more would be flowing for the ‘bravery’ required in attacking civilians in their homes, while asleep, beheading and then celebrating.

Yes, they retreated to their hundreds of miles of caves, built with $100s of millions of dollars of Iran’s money– money that could have been used in Gaza to build an infrastructure of hospitals, schools, universities, cultural and engineering achievements–knowing that Israel would justifiably attack these tunnels built under schools, mosques, homes and hospitals.  And so we have the tragedy of Gaza.

The horrible tragedy of Gaza!  Thousands upon thousands of people are dying there.  It has to stop!  The starvation, disease, the scenes of innocent women, men and children dying is a tragedy on a scale that is hard to comprehend.  And the expansion of settlements further into the West Bank has to stop ! It is the essence of man’s inhumanity to man. There is no innocence here.  But is it a ‘just war ‘against Hamas ? I dare say that it is.  Hamas takes the ‘high road’, are seen by college protestors in the West as representing the legitimate aspirations for a Palestinian state, they’re seen as ‘freedom fighters’ and send encouragement to  the college students to keep representing their cause.  But their cause has been to use the Palestinian people as human shields, as they fight not for a state, but for money and their jihad!

There are peace loving politicians that state that Israel has a right to defend itself, that Hamas has to be defeated, but then talk about the horrors of the loss of civilian life in Gaza. Yes, it is horrible, it is beyond horrible.  However, please don’t talk about the horrors and at the same time talk of Israel’s right to defend itself, which means defeating Hamas!  They have literally used people as shields, essentially hostages in the fight for global appreciation and adoration.  Israel has to fight to survive, and how do they do this when they fight an entity that does not want them to survive.  Golda Meir said it so well when she asked the question, “how do you make peace with people that want to kill you ?”

Let us be clear about Israel’s involvement in Gaza.   There has been no occupation since 2005, when Israel withdrew from the territory unilaterally.  They removed more than 9,000 of its own citizens, many of them becoming outraged  against their own soldiers for doing so–many did not want to leave.  They literally dug up Jewish graves.  They left Gaza wanting peace, but instead it became a staging ground for the most heinous, blood thirsty attack against Jewish people since the Holocaust.

Yes, Golda, you are so right.  How does one make peace with a people that want to kill you. Here are the words of Ismail Haniyeh,  the political leader of Hamas following the October 7 massacre:

“Today, the enemy has had a political, military, intelligence, security and moral defeat inflicted upon it, and we shall crown it, with the grace of God, with a crushing defeat that will expel it from our lands,…Operation Al-Aqsa Flood was launched from Gaza, but it will extend to the West Bank, to Al Quds, and to our people with the territories occupied in 1948, as well as to the Resistance and the Palestinian people abroad…”  This is not about a Palestinian State, he is not fighting for the people of Gaza or the West Bank, he is on a murder mission against Jews and Israel.  1948 is the date of the internationally accepted establishment of the State of Israel. October 7 is in essence a rejection of the very existence of Israel, Palestinian State or no Palestinian State.

In article 18 under  “The Movement”,  Hamas’ ultimate intentions in the war against Israel are clearly identified:

“The following are declared null and void: the Balfour Declaration, the British Mandate Document, the UN Palestine Partition Resolution, and whatever resolutions and measures that derive from them or are similar to them.  The establishment of Israel is entirely illegal and contravenes the inalienable rights of of the Palestinian people and goes against their will…”

The war in Israel, the battle to clear Gaza of Hamas is a cauldron made up of such incendiary  elements that it is hard to see how the world can bring this horror to an end.  If Hamas is not really fighting for a Palestinian State but rather is playing the ” long game” that results in the annihilation of Israel in the name of a Muslim Holy war , then Hamas cannot in any way have a political role in the formation of a Palestinian State.  Israel cannot co-exist along side a government that wants to destroy it if not now, then at some point in World history.  One has to appreciate Israel’s recalcitrance toward a Palestinian state when we read article 6 of the Hamas Covenant: ” It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine…”

And also in this cauldron is the desire of Iran to prevent its isolation in the Arab world.  A peace agreement between Israel and the Arab world would leave Iran with minimal influence.  It has probably become clear to the rest of the Arab world–the would be partners in the Abraham Accord– that peace in the middle east is not possible with a militant, aggressive, virulent, antisemitic, jihadist Iran fomenting instability and using its wealth to keep alive Hamas, Hezbollah and the other affiliate groups.  Peace in the middle east, peace with Israel and the formation of a Palestinian state will require a regional cooperation that recognizes the dangers of Iran, their threat to the stability of the region and their own regimes. Yes, Iran’s jihad has the potential to become contagious if a peace agreement with a Palestinian state does not arrive some time soon in modern history.  And we have the dangers of a nuclear armed Iran that could provide such weaponry to allies in its desire to control the region.  Russia, intent on occupying as much of Ukraine as it can, is an ally of Iran in this quest for influence in the middle east: they have wanted “in” ever since their bet on the survival of the PLO failed and was replaced by an extremist Hamas.

The regional cooperation that isolates Iran cannot happen as long as Israel continues its scorching of the land to eradicate Hamas.  It is a ‘catch 22″ in a way. Hamas cannot be part of any political solution, but they have to be part of the solution in the sense that the killing has to stop.  Israel has  to have faith that a Pan Arab peace agreement, aided and abetted by the United States and other western nations, will sufficiently isolate Iran to bring about the calm needed for a permanent settlement.  But will Netanyahu allow this to happen ?  Given the fragile coalition supported by hard line Israeli hawks that want to eradicate Hamas from Gaza in every conceivable way–and given the corruption charges waiting for Netanyahu if he is no longer Prime Minister– it is hard to see the Prime Minister consenting to a peace agreement that leaves part of Hamas in Gaza.  And it is also the case that he very likely agrees with many of the hard liners that Hamas has to be removed before any peace can occur.  Perhaps the Israeli  Court should just drop all charges against Netanyahu and allow him to leave office without fear of repercussions.

Israel and the Jewish people of the world are in a very scary place.  Certainly Iran has to know that Israel will survive at whatever cost to Iran.  So, they no doubt will continue terrorizing Israel through proxy.

Antisemitism in the world may be at a level not seen since World War 2 and perhaps equal to that time.  It is astonishing that hatred to Israel and Jews increased in the days after October 7, even before the full scale invasion by Israel of Gaza. I simply could not comprehend the video that I watched a few days after the the 7th of a professor at Cornell University stating that he was “exhilarated” by Hamas’ attack on civilians. College students from Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, Yale have made statements to the effect that ” the attack was “justified”; that it was “extraordinary”; that it was “awesome” and “exhilarating”.

Perhaps these students should ask what the stated goal of Hamas actually is and if they approve of it, if it means destroying Israel ? How should Israel protect itself, if Hamas has stated they plan to continue these attacks in perpetuity against its land and people ? Does Israel have a right to exist ?

Yes, the college protests are necessary as people see  the destruction of the lives of thousands upon thousands of people.  No doubt many Jewish students, Israeli students, would want to protest right along side their fellow non Jewish students.  If I were a college student today, I would likely protest.  It is understandable, and I feel only kindness, empathy and compassion for many of the students as they make sacrifices for their deeply felt pain at what is happening.  But, sadly, there is an anti-Semitic element in these protests that are based on a lack of understanding of history, of the suffering on both sides.  Hamas under no circumstances are ” freedom fighters” worthy of love and admiration.  They are cold blooded murders, in many respects murderers for hire.

Banners such as “Israel, Israel you can’t hide–we want Jewish genocide”, brings pain to a people that have suffered so much, the collective memory of the holocaust deep in the Jewish bloodstream, in its DNA as a people.  And there have been flyers with pictures of para gliders, glorifying the para gliders that landed at the music concert and murdered these kids.  It is outrageous!  It is unbelievable that this is part of the protest!  In the late ’60s we protested America’s involvement in a war we could not accept.  We did not attack the identities, black, Jewish, Muslim, Asian etc. of the protestors!  There is so much hate in the college protests, and it is tragic to see the police get violent with students, many of which are there for the right reasons!

So, there is antisemitism from the left.  And there is of course antisemitism from the right.  Many in the world are taking a hard right wing approach to antisemitism, attacking Jews as Hitler once did, based on racial grounds.  And it doesn’t help that Donald Trump has called immigrants “vermin”, the same language used by Adolph Hitler.

The leftist protestors say that they may not vote for Biden, possibly costing him the election.  But do they really think Trump–who moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem–a move antithetical to the sensitivities of the Palestinians is a better choice for them.  Biden is doing his best to find a solution in Gaza, to temper the moves of Israel and safeguard the lives of civilians.  Would Trump be as sensitive ? I would think he’d give carte blanche to the Israeli military.  In the same sense that he said that ” he would encourage Russia to ‘do whatever the hell they want’ to any NATO country doesn’t pay its fair share.

Yes, there is antisemitism on the left, but also on the right.  In the United States and Europe, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Holocaust deniers circulate the Protocols of Zion.

There is a bill being considered by the United States congress that would adopt a law against antisemitism.  The current climate in the country shows a rabid antisemitism, and not just on college campuses.  A new study by the ADL Center for antisemitism research reveals 24% of Americans harbor extensive antisemitic prejudice–an all time high.   And in addition to the individual attitudes the research reveals that an astonishing 42 percent of Americans either have friends/family who dislike Jews or find it socially acceptable for a close family member to support Hamas.

The bill that is being considered by the US Congress is based on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.  Rhetorical and physical  manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish  individuals and / or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

It is encouraging that such a bill is being considered and it would appear to have enough support to pass ( but we shall see).  Opposition to it comes from ignorance and the height of anti-Semitic thinking.  Republican congresswoman Marjory Taylor Green says that voting for it may get her in trouble for saying ” that the Jews killed Jesus.”  The ADL considers that statement one of the anti-Semitic myths that for generations have fueled hatred toward Jews.”

Yes, the war in Gaza has brought out the antisemitism of a Holy War, the antisemitism of the left and right.  It is a deeply troubling time for Jews in the world.

And I go back to the prescient words of Elie Wiesel, which are that the existence of Israel guarantees that there will not be a second holocaust.  May we see peace in Israel, love and kindness fill the region.  May the people of the West Bank and Gaza have a homeland that can co-exist peacefully with Israel.  May the bloodshed please stop!

Bruce Farrell Rosen

San Francisco

About the Author
My understanding of politics, economics, geopolitics, political theory is grounded in my undergraduate and graduate study of philosophy and international relations. I recently retired from managing investment portfolios for over Forty Years. I have also always been a writer, and have published two books of non-fiction: Bombed In His Bed, the Confessions of Jewish Gangster Myer Rush', and " If you Ever Need Me, I Won't Be far Away". I have done television and radio for these books. I have authored numerous articles on various subjects, such as international affairs, politics, economics, culture, music, sport for various newspapers, magazines and journals. I live in San Francisco California.
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