February 3, 2015
Both the United States and Europe are witnessing a marked increase in anti-Semitism. Outright killings of Jews, including children and pregnant women, have occurred in France and Belgium. Jewish stores have been looted and in some European cities, orthodox Jews are afraid to wear yarmulkes. Major politicians in Europe make blatantly anti-Semitic remarks with political impunity.
In the United States, some college campuses are overtly hostile to Jewish students. Swastikas have appeared on Jewish fraternity houses. At the liberal bastion of Berkeley, a man waving an ISIS flag was either ignored or given the thumbs up sign. When the same man waved the Israeli flag, he suffered multiple incidents of verbal abuse.
Apologists will note that Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians justify such hostility. This is simply nonsense. It is unheard of for anyone to attack Russians at random because of Putin’s policies in the Ukraine, or to blame those of Chinese descent for the oppression of Tibet. Why is it reasonable to attack Jewish children walking to school because of policy disagreements with Israel?
Israel existed intermittently during Biblical times, its capital located in present-day Jerusalem. The Romans destroyed The Temple in 70 A.D. leading to a diaspora of the Jewish people. To this day, the breaking of a glass at a Jewish wedding symbolizes the Temple’s destruction, along with the commitment of the Jewish people to return to their Biblical homeland.
The fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I led to the Balfour declaration, creating a Jewish homeland –but not a country – in the area of the Biblical Israel. As he Jewish people immigrated to the area, many Arabs who had property titles for generations had their land confiscated. Conflict was inevitable. After 6,000,000 Jews were killed in the Holocaust during World War II, the Jewish people demanded – quite reasonably – their own independent country. Israel was created in 1948.
The Arab world feels to this day that they had nothing to do with the Holocaust and should be penalized by losing their land. Furthermore, the immigration of Arabs to Europe and the United States has created another voting block for professional politicians to manipulate. France has 600,000 Jews but 5,000,000 Arabs. Arab students are an increasing presence on America’s college campuses and some are quite vocal in their hostility towards Jewish students.
The fall of the Berlin Wall created an international consensus that border wars must cease – the New World Order. The Palestinian people have a point when they complain their land was stolen. So do the Mexicans, when they complain the United States stole Texas, California and the Southwest. In fact, the state of New Mexico is so named because it was once part of Mexico itself. But the Mexicans stole that land from the Apaches and Navajo Indians. And the Apaches and Navajo took it from somebody else. When will it end?
Part of the problem is that Jewish voters remain firmly in the Democratic camp and with the exception of Florida, are not concentrated in swing states. This is further complicated by the fact that Arab voters are strongly Democratic too. Thus both political parties see little advantage against speaking out strongly against anti-Semitism. As a former Republican Secretary of State reportedly said, “F*** the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway.”
As my father used to say, “If it was a simple problem, it would already have been solved.” Ending the Arab-Israeli conflict is testing the patience of even the most seasoned diplomats. Perhaps Europe and the United States could issue tax-free peace bonds to create a Palestinian state in return for the Palestinians’ acknowledging Israel’s right to exist. Perhaps the Israeli’s could be offered American citizenship as an incentive to return some land the Palestinians feel is rightfully theirs. This problem must be solved before the nuclear bombs fly.
But whatever the solutions proposed, there is absolutely no excuse for the resurgence of this vile beast. Some issues simply transcend politics and go to the core of what we are as a people. Speaking out against anti-Semitism, should be the on the agenda of anyone who aspires to public office, even if it costs votes. To not do so is un-American.