web analytics
July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Bidding Adieu To A Miserable Decade


The arrival of the new millennium proved to be a false alarm for computer users. But, it turned out, the switchover from the ‘90s to the ‘00s did unleash the J2K virus.

Think of it as history’s practical joke on the Jews, one that’s still going strong as the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close. Things were going so well through most of 2000 – building on positive trends in the 1990s – when matters took a sudden and sharp turn for the worse.

The Israelis and Palestinians finally were hashing out the details of a final peace deal, an Orthodox Jew seemed poised to be elected vice president of the United States, and it was a time of unprecedented wealth and philanthropic activity in the Jewish community.

For a few months it seemed American Jews could have it both ways: full integration without assimilation at home and a Jewish state free of war in the Middle East. The safety and acceptance that had been denied Jews for centuries and then in Israel for decades appeared to be within reach.

Before 2000 was over, however, the convergence of these utopian developments had unraveled. Joe Lieberman was undone by hanging chads and confused Palm Beach, Fla., voters who ended up voting for Pat Buchanan instead of Al Gore. The peace process, meanwhile, collapsed after the Palestinians rejected Israeli proposals for a final deal and launched the second intifada.

Instead of a golden age in Jewish history, the past 10 years ended up bringing waves of unforeseen anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism worldwide, increased scrutiny of Jewish organizations in the United States, and growing threats to Israel and the West from Islamic terrorist organizations and Iran. Not to mention the near collapse of the global financial system, a slumping world economy and a shrinking Jewish philanthropic landscape.

If the eruption of the intifada in September 2000 killed the hopes for peace, then the sure signs that we had entered a new, darker era came almost a year later, starting with the United Nations anti-racism conference in Durban, South Africa.

Organized and billed as a global forum to combat racism, the meeting also became a magnet for anti-Israel activists. According to an on-the-ground report from JTA, the Arab Lawyers Union distributed pamphlets filled with caricatures of hook-nosed Jews depicted as Nazis, spearing Palestinian children, dripping blood from their fangs, with missiles bulging from their eyes or with pots of money at hand.

Nearby, at an overlapping conference of NGOs, fliers were found with a photo of Hitler declaring that if Hitler had won, “There would be no Israel, and no Palestinian bloodshed.” During a Palestinian-led march, one placard read “Hitler Should Have Finished the Job.” Not far from there, someone was selling copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Jewish activists were stunned by the intensity of the invective they encountered, underscoring the degree to which they were unaware and unprepared for the scope and intensity of the anti-Israel movement emerging worldwide.

Organizers ultimately managed to keep the harshest condemnations of Israel out of the conference’s final document. But Palestinians and their allies used their time at the gathering to coordinate and launch an international campaign aimed at isolating and delegitimizing the Jewish state through divestment, boycotts and other means.

Days later, the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks robbed U.S. Jews (and Americans of all stripes) of any sense of safety from the gathering storm of militant Islamic forces overseas.

Israel, meanwhile, would face a series of violent threats, starting with a relentless Palestinian terrorism campaign that killed more than 1,000 Israelis and crippled the country’s tourism industry. Later, Iranian-aided terrorist organizations – Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon – fought two wars with Israel in less than three years and unleashed a barrage of missile attacks against the country’s civilian population.

While Israel’s southern and northern fronts remain relatively quiet for now, the country’s security establishment is racing to head off what it views as the greatest potential threat: a nuclear Iran.

As the decade comes to a close, the push for new anti-Iranian sanctions has become a top priority for many U.S. Jewish organizations. They enter this legislative battle after years of enduring sharp political attacks from those attempting to neutralize the influence of the pro-Israel lobby.

About the Author: Ami Eden is editor in chief of JTA.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Bidding Adieu To A Miserable Decade”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Graffiti found on a building in the village of Duma.
Arab Infant Killed in Arson ‘Price Tag’ Attack
Latest Indepth Stories
Schwartz-073115

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Tobin-073115

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Rabbi Yaakov Spivak

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

More Articles from Ami Eden
Jackie Robinson.

Robinson witnessed the valuable contributions that Jews were making to the black community’s struggle.

NEW YORK – It was an unexpected development in an otherwise relatively mundane U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process. Failed Reagan nominee Robert Bork grabbed headlines last week when he spoke out against President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the high court. At the top of his complaint list: As dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan once referred to former Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak as her “judicial hero.”

NEW YORK – It was an unexpected development in an otherwise relatively mundane U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process. Failed Reagan nominee Robert Bork grabbed headlines last week when he spoke out against President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the high court. At the top of his complaint list: As dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan once referred to former Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak as her “judicial hero.”

In response to the Obama administration’s stepped-up criticism of Israeli building plans in Jerusalem, Jewish groups are slamming the White House for failing to speak out more against Palestinian incitement.

In response to the Obama administration’s stepped-up criticism of Israeli building plans in Jerusalem, Jewish groups are slamming the White House for failing to speak out more against Palestinian incitement.

Forget 2012, Sarah Palin must think she’s headed to the White House even sooner.

Forget 2012, Sarah Palin must think she’s headed to the White House even sooner.

The arrival of the new millennium proved to be a false alarm for computer users. But, it turned out, the switchover from the ‘90s to the ‘00s did unleash the J2K virus.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/bidding-adieu-to-a-miserable-decade/2009/12/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: