What Israel Owes the World, Part 1

What does Israel owe the world?

Idiot question. Everybody knows it’s the other way round. What does the world owe Israel?

Or maybe not everybody knows. There are roughly 6.2 billion souls on the planet, and it’s a fair assumption that most of them don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what they can do for (or to) Israel, or Jews in general. It is also a reasonable assumption that, to the extent these 6.2 billion people think about Israel and Jewry at all, they have some sense that Israel thinks the world owes it a great deal.

If that’s what the Goyim conclude, they may not be all that far off. And the world’s Jews, no matter what their stance on Israel, cannot avoid at least the imputation of association.

At the moment, we’re in yet another, call it hiatus. The aftermath of the French outrages is fading. We haven’t yet, or perhaps we have, entered the prelude to the next massacre abroad or at home. So maybe now’s a good time to consider how Israel and the Jewish people might have appeared to the world these last couple weeks, and what it might portend.

It’s always easy to generalize. As every good journalist knows, you can find somebody to say just about anything. And all that social media dreck has not improved the popular intellect or moral discernment.

Patterns emerge.

When the French massacres happened, everybody knew their lines. For some, it was genuine grief and horror. Others evinced an arrogant gloating.

Everybody hates us. They always will. Told ya so.

Others merely kvetched.

The world’s not grieving adequately for our tastes.

For others, the murders provided yet another opportunity for all-purpose condemnation of Islam as barbaric, murderous and retrograde. There was, however, an oops. When the world got a glimpse of some Haredi newspaper removing Angela Merkel from some picture, the Jewish blogosphere and social media went livid over the mirth.

How dare the world liken us to THEM in their intolerance? And should we not shut up about it, in front of the Goyim?

Haredim, the world now knows, forbid all published photos of women, the better to enforce female “modesty” and lest the men come to evil thoughts.

Lusting after Angela Merkel?

The political echelon and the Hasbara types also knew their lines. Hardly a day passed without some prominent somebody-or-other embarrassing the nation. Personal fave: Get some French Jews to come over, then build new settlements.

If the Martians landed tomorrow, somebody would discern in that event a rationale for building new settlements.

What didn’t get discussed openly, or perhaps not at all: How can Israel participate in what must become but, rhetoric aside, shows no signs of becoming, a serious, effective, visible alliance against globalized Islamist violence?

Israel and Jews generally have had plenty to say about European weakness. Indeed, the vapid politicos over there have done little more than make specious noises, offer up some security theater and a few overhyped arrests, and assiduously avoid discussion of how they got into this mess. For it comes down to one factor.

Cheap labor.

Several decades ago, Europe opted for cheap labor. The Muslim world provided it. But cheap labor, whatever its immediate economic gratifications, inevitably debases and destroys the societies that live off it.

Cheap labor doesn’t stay cheap. The exploited rebel in various ways, and it does no good to remind them that they have it better than they would have, wherever they came from. The standard of comparison becomes the larger societies that use them.

Muslim religion, culture, alienation and hate are now so firmly entrenched in Europe – as are the Islamists who live and operate amongst them – that Europe cannot discipline or expel them without mass violence, economic disaster and major injustice to the innocent.

And by the by, there exists a significant historical correlation between anti-Semitism and economic distress. Europe’s had nearly a decade of hard times, with no return to accustomed prosperity in sight. Israel, meanwhile, has flaunted its stability, not to mention all that Start-Up Nation braggadocio and commentary on how Europe without its Jews will decay even faster.

Not a good way to get the hurting to love you.

America, the same.  Economic distress and anti-Semitism prove a potent mix there, also. Expect nothing except prevarication, disaster and delay until Mr. Obama retires, and probably thereafter. For all the palaver about “America Must Lead,” nobody’s following. In any event, it’s always easier to call for leadership than to lead. Or to follow.

As for serious, sustained Arab participation in the war against Islamism . . . expect even less.

So perhaps this is what it comes down to.

Globalized violent Islamism poses a clear and present danger to world civilization, including the Islamic. But outside of Israel, a few European political factions, mostly extremist, and a metastatic conservatism in America, nobody’s taking the threat seriously.

Does this mean that Israel’s future, and perhaps that of the world, now depends upon, to put it bluntly, the crazies?

To be continued.

About the Author
Philip Gold made Aliyah from USA in 2010 after several decades as a Beltway "public intellectual" of sorts.
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