Nor do I recall any protests against Hamas for its firing thousands of missiles at Israeli cities, towns and villages for years, not to mention terrorizing over 250,000 men, women and children who have spent the better part of the past three years running to bomb shelters several times a day.
That a country which has never produced a single suicide bomber, which never lobbed missiles indiscriminately into Gaza’s cities, which feeds and provides humanitarian aid to its enemies in the midst of war and went to the extraordinary length of contacting civilians in Arabic by cell phone telling them in advance to vacate targeted areas used by terrorists (as happened during the Gaza war) – that such a country should be so reviled and hated verges on moral bankruptcy.
In many ways, Jews are the barometers of the societies in which they live – the canary in the mineshaft of democratic societies – which accounts for why the U.S., Canada and Australia remain resilient, vibrant democracies where minorities continue to thrive. But these countries have become more the exception than the rule. The history of the 20th century suggests that as it has gone with the Jews, so it has gone with democracy, and as it has gone with democracy, so it has gone with the Jews.
By that standard, the reaction to the Gaza war and the global economic downturn foreshadow a difficult period ahead not just for British Jewry, but for British and, by extension, European democracy. The results of a recent Anti-Defamation League survey show that 31% of Europeans blame Jews for the worldwide economic meltdown (including more than half of Hungarian, Polish and Spanish respondents) and 40% of Europeans believe Jews have too much power.
There is little doubt that the Gaza campaign merely provided a pretext to unleash deep-seated anti-Semitism in Britain and across Europe. And nothing proves the need for a Jewish state more than the persecution of Jews outside of it.
About the Author:Mark Silverberg is a foreign policy analyst for Israel’s Ariel Center for Policy Research; a contributing editor for Family Security Matters and the New Media Journal; and a member of Hadassah’s National Academic Advisory Board. His book “The Quartermasters of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad” and his articles have been archived at www.marksilverberg.com and www.analyst-network.com.
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In the wake of the Gaza war and with the global economy in a tailspin, disturbing events have been occurring in Britain – events that do not bode well either for the future of British Jewry or for the future of British democracy.