July 10, 2005

The World's Jew

Even before the bombs went off, Jews in Britain were having a rough summer. During the week of Shavuot the community was shaken by three major cemetery attacks in the space of seven days. London’s mayor Ken Livingstone condemned the cemetery attacks - one of which has been hit 117 times in 15 years - as outrageous acts of anti-Semitism which would not be tolerated in his city. But such statements ring hollow in a community which still awaits the mayor’s apology for comparing a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard. Having witnessed the slaughter in his city from the safety of an Olympic junket in Singapore, perhaps Mr Livingstone will think twice before embracing another Jihadist cleric who openly praises the work of suicide bombers.

To add to their feelings of insecurity, Jews in the UK have also had to deal with an anti-Israel boycott movement. First the university teachers wanted to boycott Israeli academics. Now the Anglican Church has the same idea for Israeli products. But they prefer to call it ‘divestment’. So much more civilised, old chap!

Those of us who thought that anti-Semitism could not re-emerge in a liberal democracy are now waking up to the reality that it has found a back door. Today’s anti-Semites insist they are not against the Jews; only against Israel. In this process Israel has effectively become The World’s Jew.

Once we accept this reality, it is important to take a close look at the World’s Jew and to ask how he is going to survive. For all Jewish mamas, the greatest fear is that their son will marry out. The grandchildren will no longer go to Jewish schools, the home will no longer be kosher and the whole family lineage will disappear in a sea of assimilation.

Well, if Israel is the World’s Jew, Europe is its shiksa. For Ramat Aviv’s enlightened secularists, the greatest national achievement would be Israel’s enrolment as a full member of the European Union. Many of the older members of the EU’s squabbling family show nothing but contempt for the World’s Jew. It would be unseemly for them to take a Jew into the house and upset their ever-increasing number of Moslem lodgers. Moreover, there are the family businesses to consider, which are so dependent on oil and the lucrative contracts that flow from Arabia.

Oblivious to these prejudices, the likes of Shimon Peres doggedly pursue the courtship and continue to date Scandinavian socialites like Terje Roed Larssen, architect of the Oslo Accords. But for Israel, such a marriage would represent its own Naqba, or national catastrophe. Imagine having to allow the free movement of thousands of Spanish, Turkish and Croatian workers traipsing though our national home? How could we ever keep the place kosher? What would become of our family life and traditions? Within two generations, the World’s Jew will surely have become totally assimilated.

In truth, the World’s Jew is an abused child. Its neighbours tried to suffocate it at birth. Over the last 67 years it has had almost no respite from attacks of one kind or another. From physical attacks like bombings, kindergarten attacks, airplane hijackings, the slaying of its Olympic athletes and outright wars, to the psychological torture of defamation, demonization and an endless flow of hostile resolutions from the UN. The bizarre reaction of an abused child is to seek to please its abuser, much like a battered wife feels she is to blame for the beatings. So, for every act of abuse, there is more fawning and concession. The World’s Jew continues to appease its abuser with territorial concessions and prisoner releases as well as providing the weapons and freedom of movement with which the abuse is guaranteed to continue.

Christian social workers come to visit. They say: “Stand firm, this is your home, stand up for your rights”. Sadly they seem to be more protective of the homeland than the World’s Jew himself, who continues to turn the other cheek with more self-blame, appeasement and ever greater concessions.

Perhaps, like most mixed-up Jewish boys with low self-esteem, the World’s Jew will eventually wind up on the analyst’s couch. If so, it would seem the therapy needs to be an intensive course of Assertiveness Training.

Let’s start with our existence. We must stop apologizing for it. We do not need 100 million mostly illiterate Arabs to confirm that we exist. Perhaps the very fact that there is hardly a week in which our tiny country is absent from world headlines, is proof-positive that we exist; and in a very big way. We need to assert that we are the Children of Israel and that we will never leave our God-given land. We need to declare that we alone shall determine our security needs and safe borders; not the US, the UN or the EU. So long as the US state department gives support and weaponry to Saudi sponsors of terror, it loses credibility as Israel’s ally. So long as the British foreign secretary depends on Muslim votes to keep his own seat in parliament, he has no business mapping Israel’s borders with neighbours sworn to its destruction. So long as the French government fails to protect Jews in Paris (with its own police afraid to venture into the city’s no-go Muslim neighbourhoods) France has no place in a Quartet that seeks a veto on Israel’s security needs. As for the UN club for dictators and despots, so long as its members brand Zionism as racism, it should not expect the World’s Jew to heed any of its resolutions.

In terms of self-esteem, the World’s Jew can hold his head high. Israel has created the most amazing phenomenon in the history of the world: an ingathering of exiles after 2,000 years to their biblical homeland. What the Arabs were content to leave as dunes and dunghills for a millennium, Israel has in 50 years transformed into world-beating cities and powerhouses of industry and high technology. We have the most versatile army, the sharpest airmen and the brightest generals. Our forces have mastered the art of striking terrorist leaders with deadly precision and, if given a free hand, they would take them all out. Against this background of achievement under mortal challenge, Israel has managed to create and nurture an oasis of democracy within a vast continent of Arab tyranny. Israeli Arabs and their womenfolk enjoy more rights and privileges than their brothers and sisters in any Arab country.

The World’s Jew needs to cast off his feelings of insecurity and start asserting his rights. This process starts with the US. Uncle Sam is loved in Israel and respected as an ally and benefactor. But he should no longer dictate what we do, where we go and how long we stay out at night. The billions he has paid for our upbringing as a state and continues to provide in annual aid are but a tiny fraction of the amount by which Jews have enriched the United States. In Hollywood alone, the Jewish founders of the movie industry created more American wealth than Israel will use up in aid for many generations to come. There should not therefore be any more existential strings attached to US aid. General Alexander Haig once described Israel as the largest American aircraft carrier in the world. We are content to remain in that role, but we prefer the relationship to be based on mutual respect and a shared love of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As for Europe, we need not crave their acceptance as equals. They will never be our equals. In the name of self-interest they have appeased Arab terrorism and oil blackmail for the past 30 years. The demographic time-bomb oft spoken about in Israel, ticks most loudly in Europe which is now paying the heavy price of its appeasement of terror and its Faustian deal with the oil sheiks of Arabia.

Our place is not to seek equality with other countries or their acceptance but - in the words of Isaiah - to become a light unto the other nations. Not for nothing are we cast in Bilaam’s prophecy as ‘a nation that shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned amongst the other nations’.

All of which brings us back to Mama’s Boy and the shiksa next door. The only way to prevent assimilation of the World’s Jew is to stand up and defend our unique Jewish values and identity. This is the real battleground in our national struggle: between the secularists who seek a European state for the Jews and the faithful who will accept nothing less than a Jewish State in its biblical homeland.

Of all the psychological hang-ups, the clear and present danger for the World’s Jew is the classic mid-life crisis. All too often, those who have achieved rapid success way beyond their expectations feel that they are somehow unworthy of that success and begin to set themselves up for a fall. The symptoms of Self-Sabotage Syndrome are clear to see in Israel today. Of the top military and security personnel – at least those who are not beholden to Ariel Sharon for their jobs and perks - most have voiced dire warnings about the dangers of disengagement. Whether or not you support the expulsion of settlers, you have to acknowledge that the retreat from Gaza will bring more Jewish towns into the range of terrorist missiles. Neither Sharon nor his defense minister Shaul Mofaz deny that arms, explosives and missiles are now being smuggled into Gaza at an alarming rate. Putting Egyptians in charge of the smuggling tunnels along the Philadelphia Route is as absurd as expecting Abbas to arrest terrorists. Allowing the Egyptian military back into the Sinai sounds like total madness especially when you consider that Cairo remains the center of anti-Jewish incitement and headquarters of Al Qaeda’s ultimate holding company: the Muslim Brotherhood. These dangerous concessions are symptoms of national self-sabotage that cannot and should not be ignored.

On November 13 1974 Yasir Arafat declared from the podium of the UN Security Council chamber: “I stand before you with a freedom fighter’s gun and an olive branch of peace”. By the time of his death, Arafat had killed more Jews and gained more territory with his olive branch than he ever did with his gun. The World’s Jew has bled from each and every peace plan imposed by the outside world. The current Road Map leads to only one place: the next stage of Jewish exsanguination, and the infamous ‘Auschwitz Borders’ characterized by Abba Eban.

We do not have to accept any more of this nonsense. We do not have to appease our enemies or accommodate our friends with concessions that imperil our people. The World’s Jew needs to get off the couch and start saying No! No more concessions, no more retreats, no more Mr Nice Guy. This is our promised land, territory for which our soldiers gave their lives, and this is where we stay. We shall not be weakened any further and we respectfully decline to rely on US or UN guarantees for our national survival. Hillel had the bottom line worked out centuries ago when he asked: "If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if not now, when?"

A week before the London bombings, there was talk about support waning in America for the war in Iraq and secret meetings with insurgent leaders suggesting an exit strategy was being quietly worked out. If there is one lesson to be learned from the London bombings, it is that Iraq and Afghanistan are the real front lines in the war against Islamic terror and that with every attack on coalition cities, more troops should be committed there, not less. Unfortunately the European appeasement lobby will prefer the softer option of looking for the ‘root causes’ which make nice Muslim youngsters behave in this strange way. And throughout all the troubles of human history, there has never been a cheaper all-purpose, one-size-fits-all ‘root cause’ more readily available and so well tried and tested than the Jews; and now Israel. In the aftermath of July 7th we can therefore expect even greater pressure to be applied on Israel to sacrifice the safety of her own citizens for peace and quiet in Western cities.

All prime ministers of Israel have faced this kind of pressure at various times in our short history as a state. Few if any have stood up to it like Menachem Begin. In his account of the 1979 peace negotiations with Egypt, Begin’s close friend and confidante, Harry Hurwitz, told of the time President Carter paid a personal visit to Cairo and Jerusalem to push through the last five stubborn articles of agreement that stood in the way of clinching a treaty. In three days of difficult meetings, the American President saw Begin as the charming host, the man of principle and tough negotiator who insisted on crossing every "t" and dotting every "i".

At the height of a particularly heated and frustrating discussion with the Israeli Cabinet, Carter presented the American version of a final text. After reading it, Begin said calmly and tersely: "We will not sign this document." All eyes turned to Carter who, white with rage, responded: "You will have to sign." Whereupon Mr Begin answered: "Sir, I will not have to sign any document to which I do not agree. I take exception to this statement of yours."

After a silence of a few seconds that seemed an eternity to everyone in the room, Carter said in a low voice: "You are right, Mr. Prime Minister. You are right and I apologize."

The final agreement that evolved from these tough exchanges may not have yielded much warmth between Israel and its strongest neighbour, but the peace has held for a quarter of a century. It was achieved by a Jewish leader who had the courage to say “No” when that was the only correct answer for his people to give.

A slightly edited version of this essay first appeared in the Jewish Press
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