Israel and the Rest of the World
The Nazis invented the Jewish boycott, and went on from there to the Holocaust.
The world excuses Islamic murder, but focuses on flaws, often imaginary, on the part of Israel.
This is the wrong boycott in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Everybody hates Israel. That is not just accepted wisdom, it is a
reality that chokes all rational debate on the conflict between Israelis
and Palestinians. There are exceptions, of course, such as Canada, but
most of Western Europe has slipped from support for Israel to support
for the Palestinian cause, as if both sides might not have valid claims
to the disputed land.
Most Americans are enthusiastic about Israel, but the U.S. government
under Barack Obama, has, in recent years, shown increasing antagonism.
Unsurprisingly, not a single Muslim nation likes Israel at all.
Many hate the Jewish state precisely because it is
state -- there seems no other reason why they might hate it. Many, in a
display of true prejudice, have never even visited it.
In the world in general, and Europe in particular, anti-Semitism is
growing at a rate not unlike the 1930s. It does not take much mental
grip to see the link between that escalation of the "oldest hatred" and
the refined political and religious rejection of Israel as the one and
only state in the world that deserves to be abolished. Or, as Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad once put it in Farsi, "exterminated" (Umam-e Eslami bayad Isra'il-ra qal' o qam' kard
: The nations of Islam must exterminate Israel.)
In a Friday sermon, former Iranian President Rafsanjani also made the
statement, "If one day, a very important day of course, the Islamic
world will also be equipped with the weapons available to Israel now,
the imperialist strategy will reach an impasse, because the employment
of even one atomic bomb inside Israel will wipe it off the face of the
earth, but would only do damage to the Islamic world."
the world focuses on Israel's flaws (often imaginary), in Saudi Arabia
there are special roads for non-Muslims to ensure they cannot enter
Mecca or Medina.
But then, one might surely ask, if everyone hates Israel, will it
make the slightest difference if it actually is wiped off the face of
the earth? Will it matter if another six million Jews are gassed or
driven into the Mediterranean? If most of the people on the planet hate
Israel and want to see a massive Palestinian state take its place, then
who will weep if the Jews go and the Arabs come and take over, as so
many people now say they have every right to do? Would it not be a blow
for humanity, justice and people everywhere if the oppressive, violent,
and apartheid Jewish state were to be removed from the earth?
Are you starting to feel a bit uneasy about this?
Some might hold back from wishing death on the Jews, but would not hesitate if someone else
were to kill them. Or force them to pack their bags and leave their
homes to make room for an army of Palestinian "refugees." If you hate
Jews enough, nothing may seem too bad for them, and no history of
pogroms and the Holocaust will be enough to dissuade you and your
friends from doing it all over again, or rejoicing that someone else is
doing it for you.
The treatment—or rather, mistreatment—of the Jews stands out in the
modern era as the single greatest emblem of man's inhumanity to man.
From the Christian (and post-Christian) West to the Islamic East, hatred
of Jews has led to unfettered cruelty, and a continuing refusal to
accept any form of moral or ethical constraint. However much Jews
suffer, anti-Semites want them to suffer more. However far Jews might
try to run, their self-appointed overlords will try to hunt them down
and start the process of hate and persecution all over again. However
much Jews contribute to human civilization, win Nobel prizes, develop
cures for illness, create remarkable films, set up hospital units
worldwide to treat the sick, irrigate the fields of the poorest farmers
and change our lives for the better — the haters sneer and lie and kill
Jews with the same knives; and every time a Jew is killed or wounded,
dance on the same floors.
And what have the Jews ever done to deserve any of this? Are the Jews
really the masterminds behind every war, every revolution, every
economic disaster, every plot, even the Holocaust itself? Yes, according
to anti-Semites, either the Holocaust never happened and was made up to
secure Israel as a country for the Jews; or else the Jews instigated it
to force other Jews to flee Europe to Mandatory Palestine, to take it
over. Just read a few comments on YouTube as a measuring stick for this
Of course, I know the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion
says all this (apart from the Holocaust slurs), but the Protocols
is a forgery;
and not just a forgery, but a cheap and shoddy product of the Tsarist
secret police before World War I. Even though it is now more than a
century later, some people still treat this libel as Gospel, and write
comments on YouTube to prove that the Jews are the worst of mankind.
In Arab countries, after many years, the Protocols
is still a bestseller. And Hitler's Mein Kampf
, tagged in 2011 by Waterstone's in the UK as the "perfect Christmas present
in its electronic form is selling hand-over-fist. How hurtful -- and
deeply unjust -- that is to Jews who have just made critical advances in
medicine or saved a Palestinian child's life when operating in an
Israeli hospital, or journeyed to Africa to teach better methods of
farming, or travelled with an Israeli aid team to Haiti or the
Philippines to save yet more lives.
The Jews are not the worst of mankind; they are like the rest of us,
some bad, some good, and some so talented they have left indelible marks
on every field of human endeavor. They have always been an
underappreciated force, above all in the realm of ethics. No religion
has developed in so well-structured a fashion as Judaism; its impact on
Christian and Islamic ethics is well attested.
Without the Jews, a major
force for good and a barometer for moral concern would be taken from
civilization entirely -- or is moral concern something the world would
secretly rather do without?
The irony is that it is precisely these prejudiced, conniving, and
racist haters of Jews -- including those who envisage the destruction of
the one and only Jewish state and those who conjure up a realistic
threat of a second Holocaust -- who have the arrogance to treat the
Jews, including the Israelis, as if they are the most prejudiced, the
most conniving, the most racist of all mankind -- and the most immoral
-- and, of course, deeply inferior to Christians or Muslims.
The false piety of much Christian condemnation of Israel is matched
only by the cheap moralizing of the followers of Islam in their attacks,
both physical and verbal, on the Jewish state; or their failure to
recognize that Jerusalem was always a Jewish city; that there were two
Jewish temples there; and especially in the obsessive Palestinian
refusal to recognize any
part of Israel as a Jewish entity, or to
make peace with Israel, or even to acknowledge that there has been a
continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land for three thousand years.
The loss of Israel -- engineered as it would be by a coalition of
"progressive" Muslims and Western secularists, along with anti-Semitic
Christians and hard-line Islamists -- would not be a victory for any of
the values we hold dear. On the contrary, it would be one of the
greatest disasters to befall mankind. The values we consider highest –
such as peacemaking, neighborliness, cooperation, caring for the less
fortunate, for those of different religions, ethnicity, and mutual
defence against aggression – would start to crumble, and our sense of
human progress would weaken and lose its hold on our minds and hearts.
If we could do that to the Jews, a people of great deserving, who have
done so much for us, what might we then do to others? For even if the
Jews were gone, there would still be other, weaker people for us to
persecute and eliminate.
Does such a prognosis seem inflated, even barely respectable? Israel,
however, did not emerge in the way most other countries have done, as
an expression of traditional boundaries, a containment of one or more
specific languages, a repository of a single culture, a place determined
by one king, one dominant holy man, or one parliament, or one body of
laws. Of course, Israel has had several of those things, beginning with
the establishment, on that same plot of land, of the oldest set of laws
after Hammurabi: the Ten Commandments and the earliest set of social
Modern Israel had the original acclamation of much of the
international community; it set up a democratic parliament, established a
set of basic laws, and, when other nations let boatloads of refugees
sink at sea, served the Jews as the only sanctuary, free from a
persecution which still exists to this day, and, sadly, which is once
again being orchestrated by people supposedly educated enough to know
For civilization — any civilization — to work, there must be a core
set of values that crosses from one culture to another, acquiring on the
way a sort of universal validity. Small differences may exist between
one country and another, one language and another, and even one religion
and another. With few exceptions, people who belong to Western
civilization believe that it is absolutely wrong to take a human life
(except in life-or-death cases or self-defense). We strongly believe in
human rights even if we are not always observant of them. In general,
Western countries advocate and legislate for equality between men and
women, equal justice under law, an independent judiciary, and freedom of
and from belief. We attempt to expunge racism in its various forms from
our streets and businesses. We defend minorities, religious, political,
or gender-based. And free speech, we defend that too, even when it
hurts us to do so.
Islamic civilization holds often starkly different values. A man's or
woman's life may be taken, often by beheading or stoning, for a wide
range of "sins," from heresy (really, free thinking; there, called
blasphemy) to adultery to apostasy (more free thinking). A Muslim also
may not be punished for killing a non-Muslim, or even another Muslim if
is to further the cause of Islam. Although not Islamic
in any true sense, female genital mutilation and honor killings are far
from uncommon. They happen in the UK and the US, mainly within Muslim
communities – as well as in Muslim countries.
Perhaps Islamic civilization would find the disappearance of the
Jewish state a satisfactory gift. But Western civilization might not
wear this too well, except for that part occupied by those who consider
themselves as members of the far left -- Stalinists, Trotskyites,
anarchists and anti-Semitic Christians who believe they do the will of
God, and even Quisling Jews -- when they curse Jews and boycott Israel.
When the Nazis took power, Germany seemed to be one of the most
civilized countries in the world, with a rich culture, a deep grasp of
academic achievement, and a growing mastery of science and technology.
Within a few years, the country had been reduced to the status of the
most barbaric of countries, the most abusive of human rights, perhaps
the most savage political entity in history. And not many years later,
Germany was in ruins, destroyed by the very totalitarianism it had used
to impose itself on the rest of Europe.
Across the world, people came to condemn the great wrongs Germans had
done to mankind. Germans rebuilt their nation only by rigorously
excluding that tendency to totalitarianism. Yet today, young Germans
march against Israel and, in fighting Israel, fight the Jews. What
conceivable right do the scions of that black period and the years of wiedergutmachen
[compensation] have to treat Jews as untermenschen
[subhuman] once again, to march in the streets where the SS marched, to bellow as their grandfathers bellowed, Juden Raus
, "Jews out" -- out of "Palestine," out of the Middle East, out of everyplace.
Whatever its detractors may say, Israel declares loudly that it is a
country where the best Western values are honored, where democracy, the
rule of law, the creation of new laws through an elected parliament, the
fair treatment of all minorities, rights for women, for gays, for all
citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike, are demanded. But say it is also a
Jewish country based on Jewish ethics, and someone of limited intellect
will come along clutching a copy of the Torah
, the Talmud
, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,
or anything else they can lay their hands on, and declaiming that they
can prove Judaism is a bloodthirsty religion that has always worked to
defeat and mistreat non-Jews. In the past years, I have only known a
violent and angry Islam; yet the world is silent. The world excuses
Islamic murder, but focuses on flaws, often imaginary, on the part of
The very establishment of a Jewish state stood for more than even its
founders guessed. It was open defiance of the universal impulse to
persecute and kill Jews.
Only in their Holy Land could the Jews weave their own destinies at
last -- and do. Israel thrives. They have won Nobel prizes and made some
of the greatest advances in science, technology, and medicine. Israelis
create world-class hospitals and universities. They have written more
scientific papers per capita than any other nation, and have saved
children's lives – Palestinian children's lives – in a dozen operating
theatres, and sent aid teams around the world to save yet more lives.
Israeli "apartheid"? Far from it. All facilities and opportunities are
equally open to all Israelis: Black, White, Arab, Christian, Jew --
everyone. Far more than in say, Saudi Arabia, where there are special
roads for non-Muslims to ensure they cannot enter Mecca or Medina, or
where a Bible is not even allowed in the country. Or all the mosques
where every Friday congregants are told that Jews are the sons of pigs
and apes. It would seem that is racism; that is apartheid.
What the destroyers of Israel would do is negate every one of
Israel's achievements and more, and leave a hole in the world, in their
own world. What, after all, would take the place of Israel? Another
failed state, riven by strife, characterized by failure,
poverty-stricken, dependent, just another victim of the authoritarian
Arab way of governing? Is that something that will set civilization
towards new horizons? It is up to us to keep the lights on, to place
civilization against barbarism, to put our minds and bodies between
Israel and all who mean her ill.
"Iran Calls for the Destruction of Israel
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Center for Special
Studies, Special Information Bulletin, November 2003, citing Khabar TV,
December 14, 2000. Cited in Joshua Teitelbaum, What Iranian Leaders Really Say About Doing Away with Israel
, Jerusalem Center for Pubic Affairs.
See David Aaronovitch, Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History
, London, Jonathan Cape, 2009, pp. 22-48.
Labels: Anti-Semitism, Human Rights, Israel, Judaism