How can these Jews still fail to understand their absolute and binding obligation to resist becoming another Jewish police? How can they have learned so very little from their own modern and unique history?
Before suffering his then-unexpected torments, the pianist was fully optimistic about the world. Understandably, he did not want to be bothered too much by the unrelenting burdens of being Jewish. The world, after all, had already become indisputably “modern.” So weren’t absurdly medieval hatreds certain to disappear?
The Jew in the modern world has become free to worry about others. Now he can even choose to be liberal and cosmopolitan. After all, especially in America, he has finally been fully liberated. Isn’t it finally time, therefore, to stop worrying.
Today the state of Israel, now the individual Jew in macrocosm, exists in existential peril, and without any correspondingly accurate awareness of its own core fragility. For this to change, all Jews must, at an absolute minimum, firmly reject and counter the endlessly false portrayals of Israel’s indispensable self-defense policies. An example would be the blatant calumny of the Goldstone Report, concerning Israel’s winter 2008-2009 “Cast Lead” military operation in Gaza. Later, this Report was even denounced, in part, by Judge Goldstone, its own (Jewish) author.
Regarding Israel, all Jews everywhere should refuse to collaborate in any way with those who would soon bring us another Final Solution. This time, as already indicated, the genocidal task could actually be much easier to carry out, at least in its crude logistical contours. This time, there would be no complicated round-ups, no excruciatingly complex train schedules. This time, Israel’s ecstatic foes would not have to transport their Jewish victims to the gas. Instead, the “gas,” most likely in assorted forms of chemical, biological, and (in a year or two) nuclear rocket warheads, would be transported to the victims. Although such particular threats would at first seem more readily connected to the Iran problem than to the dangers of Palestinian statehood, it is actually from the prospective interactions or synergies between seemingly discrete threats that Israel presently faces its most dire security harms.
Sometimes, instructively, past is prologue. For us, there is much to be learned from “The Pianist.” Between the suffocating ghettoes of the Holocaust and the crematory missiles of jihadists, there is, incontestably, an indissoluble continuity of purpose.
Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of political science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.