web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Bidding Adieu To A Miserable Decade


Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Bidding Adieu To A Miserable Decade”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

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.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: