Michael Jackson

The world hates us  

A friend, while discussing the Israel-Gaza situation, stated that “The world hates us’.  Another acquaintance complained that “everyone” was helping Hamas.  Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian demonstrations on a scale not seen since Black Lives Matter protests have proliferated across American campuses.

Among Jews, there is a widespread mistrust of the world.  For some Jews,, especially Holocaust survivors and their families, it verges on the paranoid.  But as the saying goes, paranoids do have enemies.  Jews certainly do.  Fear is justified, but paranoia is not.

Leaving aside avowed Hamas supporters and other extremists, most democracy-dwellers who are critical of Israel deny they have anti-Semitic motives.  Those who oppose Israel’s existence as a Jewish nation are different from those who just criticize the current government, e.g. concerning West Bank settlements. I believe that anyone who criticizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is unequivocally anti-Semitic.  This person almost certainly does not question the existence of national states of other peoples.  Those who criticize the existence of Israel as a country are steering their political beliefs into anti-Semitic waters.       

Yet Jews cannot forget history.  Jewish historical memory kicks in with the Crusades and expulsions from England, France, Spain, and Portugal reminding us of Jewish persecution hundreds of years ago.  The recent mass killings in the Holocaust loom large in contemporary Jewish memory.

Nor can Jews and others ignore geography.  There are 21 Arab countries in the larger circle of 57 Islamic countries.  These have populations hostile to Israel although a few governments have signed agreements with Israel.   The Islamic countries greatly influence the United Nations.  The UN condemns Israel more than all other nations combined.  Many of these largely uncriticized nations have killed both citizens and foreigners, persecuted citizens, and violated civil rights far more egregiously than Israel.  Yet, the UN does not condemn them.

Several American public figures have made anti-Semitic statements.  These have mainly been Republican politicians and candidates and prominent Republican supporters like Elon Musk and Kanye West.  The Republican’s continual attacks on George Soros’s influence is a dog-whistle to racist and anti-Semitic inclined Republicans.

Many people do hate Israel unreasonably.  By this, I mean that they generally ignore, and certainly do not hate other countries dealing in death and suppression of civil rights, e.g. Saudi Arabia, China, Myanmar, and North Korea.

So, yes, the world does hate Israel.  But let’s look at the other side

Pew research in America found Americans respect and admire Jews more than evangelicals, Mainstream Christians, Muslims, atheists, Mormons, Blacks, or Hispanics.  There are violent, armed anti-Semites in the US but Americans are solidly against them.  Continuing with the USA,  US foreign aid to Israel is $3.8 billion annually.  This far exceeds foreign aid to the next two regular recipients, Pakistan and Egypt.  On a per capita basis aid to Israel is dozens of times the amount to each of these two countries.

I asked my acquaintance who stated that “everyone” was helping Hamas.  He could only come up with Qatar, Iran, and Egypt.  Also, a few days after my friend stated that the world hates the Jews, a coordinated effort by the Americans, British, French, Saudis, and Jordanians brought down hundreds of drones, missiles, and projectiles that Iran hurled at Israel.

Yes, Israel has enemies, dangerous ones.  They have to be dealt with and destroyed, if possible.  But when Israel allows pogroms, persecution, and exploitation on the West Bank and kills 24,000 women and children in Gaza, it makes many enemies.  It is not excellent Arab propaganda and poor Israeli propaganda that are turning the world away from Israel, but Israeli actions alone are performing a fine job accomplishing this.

About the Author
Born in London in 1949. Studied Maths at Warwick University. Came to Israel (WUJS program at Arad) in 1971. I became a citizen and served in the army in 1973. Returned to the UK in 1974. Worked in Information Systems. Married an American Orthodox woman in 1977 and moved to America. For a few years I have led a retiree philosophy class.
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