Neil Lazarus
An internationally acclaimed expert in the fields of Middle East politics, public diplomacy and effective communication training.
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Trouble in Jew-rassic Park

Diaspora Jews have have historically sought five ways to resolve the dilemma of rising anti-Semitism -- all are wrong

For 70 years the Jewish people have been wrestling to answer a question: If every living Jew is a survivor of Hitler’s plan to kill them, what is the fundamental lesson of the Holocaust?

There is trouble brewing for Jews in the Diaspora a.k.a Jew-rassic Park. In the shadow of a new threat from a potentially nuclear Iran, which is calling for the destruction of the Jewish state and heralding the rise of anti-Semitism worldwide, the need to answer this question has gained more urgency than ever before.

Jews in Jew-rassic Park have historically sought five ways to resolve the dilemma.

These approaches to survival are not new and are typical of many species living in a hostile environment and feeling uncertain of their future.

The ostrich approach

Unable to run away, the ostrich has a unique form of self defense. Keep still, place your head in the soil, and imagine the danger has gone. This curious form of self preservation explains why ostriches are popular animals for taxidermists. Likewise, many Diaspora Jewish communities deny any threat to their future, considering anti-Semitism a marginal problem and looking at the Holocaust as a unique historical event.

The rhinoceros approach

The rhinoceros is a large animal, dangerous but very short sighted, with a proportionally small brain. This approach to the Holocaust and anti-Semitism is popular among some elements of the Jewish community. In light of the threat, these groups have formed self-defense mechanisms that charge at anything that appears dangerous, whether real or phantasm. These Diaspora rhinoceroses can often be heard shouting “never again!”

The game keeper approach

The game keeper is concerned only with maintaining order and keeping the animals from going off the reservation. If only visitors would pay their fees, or even donate more to the Jew-rassic institutions, order could be maintained. Game keepers have endless plans to raise money and often plant trees, even forests, for no apparent reason.

The chimpanzee approach

This is a curious approach exhibited by the most intelligent members of the Jew-rassic Park. These members imitate visitors to the park as a means of denying the threat from the outsider.

This imitation can go as far as believing that they are not members of the Jew-rassic Park and criticizing those who are.

The back-to-the-wild approach

A few of the inhabitants have decided to leave the artificial safety of the park and head back to their native land. These pioneering creatures now roam areas where their forefathers walked thousands of years before them. They understand what it is to be free in their own land and realize that, with the chimpanzees convincing too many in the way of assimilation, within a generation the Jew-rassic Park may close.

These Jews mistakenly believe they are free of the artificial barriers of the Jew-rassic community: that they are proud Jews and not Jew-ish, and sometimes their nationalism verges on arrogance. For them, living is real. They act as if they have a truly independent environment and can defend themselves, independent of the whims of others. They are often condescending toward their relatives and friends who try to help them from abroad

There is a crisis brewing for both the Jews living in their land and those Jew-ish people living in Jew-rassic Park.

Political reality is changing the relationship to Jews worldwide. There is a cloud brewing on the horizon that, if allowed to develop, could wipe out the very heart of the Jewish people living freely in their land.

Tribe-members are gathering, talking and planning. There are even consultations with American friends.

Ironically, those living freely in their own land are acting as if they are back in the old Jew-rassic Park. The ostriches call for sanctions, the rhinos say “attack,” the game keepers are planting trees in solidarity, and the chimps are acting like baboons.

If we are not to become dinosaurs, Jews everywhere must unite. In Jewish history there has always been an enemy of the Jewish people seeking their destruction. Our strength comes from a sense of unity and the realization that we are a family wherever we may live rather than the creation of artificial barriers based on geographic location.

About the Author
Neil Lazarus is an internationally acclaimed expert in the field of Middle East Politics, Israel Public Diplomacy and Effective Communication Training. He is the the director of He is emerging as one of Israel's leading key note speakers. He regularly podcasts.