The unfinished final solution: Warning for the future, II

Introduction: A “regular” participant in my blog, a committed Christian struggling to understand my description of the scriptural origins to contemporary antisemitism, wrote the following comment to the same article which inspired my latest TOI piece, The unfinished final solution: Warning for the future.

“David, reality is that nothing is in isolation. Politics creeps into everything. A person’s faith always colors their responses and actions. Anti-semitism is political and religious in nature. To arrive at a just solution where no one is discriminated against, we must come to a place where we can agree to disagree and still respect each other.”

Your humanity is well reflected in your comment, “To arrive at a just solution where no one is discriminated against, we must come to a place where we can agree to disagree and still respect each other.” But you come at it as a Christian, not threatened for being a Jew. But to myself, a Jew and inheritor to two thousand years of victimization resulting from Christian anti-Jewish scriptural references, the faith that Christendom will finally accept Jews and Judaism, “can agree to disagree and still respect each other” departs from reality. Such a turn-around for Christendom would require a degree of theological reform and social moderation impossible to achieve, and retain its identity as “not Jewish.”

Assuming that the anti-Judaism of Christian scripture was originally political polemic aimed at distinguishing the new sect from its Jewish parent (which, by the way, is considered by many scholars to have been the case), over the centuries that purpose was lost, and the “polemic” became part of a scripture considered by the faithful as the inerrant word of God, “gospel truth.”

This isn’t about lions and lambs lying together but about either the lion changing from predator to “lamb,” something nobody truly believes possible; or the lamb, we Jews, accepting that the warmth and comfort the lion usually provides is only provided between meals.

Of course there is third possible course: the Jewish people could convert en-masse to Christianity, assimilate entirely into Christian secular society. The most obvious such example of this effort came as a response to the appearance of “liberation” provided by our 18th century “emancipation.” But even as the religious Inquisition turned on the Spanish and Portuguese “Conversos” and in the end tortured and murdered their descendants under suspicion of not being “real” Christians, so too did the “secular” West turn on the Jews as a group for their difference first as a “nation apart” and, not long after, as a “species apart.” So even a full and final Jewish concession of conversion/assimilation is a proven failure: Jews “by blood” were burned in the 15th century Inquisition, in the 20th century Holocaust.

You would see the Jewish Problem amenable to a “political” solution that,  “a just solution where no one is discriminated against” is a possibility. And many commentators in this forum, Jewish as well as Christian, radical and conservative maintain, as do you, that at bottom the Jewish Problem is a “political” problem. But that the “Jewish Problem” even exists today, has survived 2000 years and counting… Is it not obvious that “politics” fails as explanation? Yes in our secular world it requires a government led by a political party to marshal the social will and economic resources to achieve a “final solution.” But to conclude from this that Jewish Problem is political is to remove it from the only real context that matters: History. The Jewish Problem is social and cultural.

The final nail in the coffin to the notion that a conversion/assimilation “solution” to the Jewish Problem is even a possibility going forward is the legal precedent of the 1935 Nuremberg Laws. Following the Spanish Inquisition’s typing Jews by genealogy, by “blood” (limpieza de sangre), through its Mischlinge definitions Germany laid the legal precedent for the ultimate solution to the West’s nagging, now social itch, its Jewish Problem.

Your heart and head, my friend, are good. Unfortunately for my people your numbers are too few and far between to provide “politics” the relevance you would have for a humane solution not only to Christendom’s Jewish Problem, but to banish all discrimination going forward.

About the Author
David made aliya in 1960 and has been active in Jewish issues since. He was a regional director for JNF in New York, created JUDAC, Jews United to Defend the Auschwitz Cemetery during that controversy; at the request of Jonathan Pollard created and led Justice for the Pollards in 1989.