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Fifty-Five And Counting: Israel’s Uncertain Birthday

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Israel celebrated its 55th birthday last week. The good news is that five years ago it did not look like it was going to make it to 55. The bad news is that 60 is still in doubt, 65 even more so.

If one takes a deep breath and steps back, much of the picture for world Jewry looks very good. Just a few weeks ago, one of the most viciously anti-Jewish powers on earth was annihilated without Israel so much as lifting a finger. Iraq is today an American protectorate and may undergo thorough de-Nazification at last — making it the first, but hopefully not the last, Arab fascist regime to do so. Iraq’s fall may also destabilize and threaten Iran and Syria.

On the home front, the Israeli economy, despite being mired in a deep recession, has solid healthy fundamentals, a first class labor force and a high tech sector at the forefront.

Most important, there has never been an era in terms of Jewish security to equal the past 55 years. Let me repeat that because it might strike you as absurd, given the daily atrocities that are the legacy of Oslo: Never have the Jews been so secure.

Last week Israel also marked its Memorial Day. Approximately 21,500 Israelis have died in battle or in belligerent attacks by the Arabs since 1947. (Of those, about a third died in the War of Independence and about 1,300 — mostly civilians, many of them children — were murdered in the Oslo bloodbath of the past decade.) So how can I say this is an unprecedented era of Jewish security?

I can say so because going back to the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, there was probably never an era of two generations in which as few as 21,000 Jews were killed by anti-Semites! Why, during World War II, at the height of the Germans? “efficiency,” that many Jews were killed each day by the Nazis.

The number of Jews killed since the creation of Israel is an outrage, of course, and those responsible — especially those responsible for the 1,300 murders of the past decade — must be held accountable and answerable. But it is still a pittance in terms of Jewish history.

Finally, Amram Mitzna, arguably the potentially most dangerous Israeli politician to come along in recent years, has crashed and burned. He not only got whipped in the national election, he has been forced to resign as head of the Labor party, has lost control of the Labor party apparatus, has been forced out even as Haifa mayor, and his corrupt local Haifa party machine is about to be creamed in the coming municipal elections.

The problem with this rosy picture is that there are still very real dangers to Israel’s existence, and in some ways they are growing. Israel has been so undermined by Oslo and the country’s Left that much of the population has lost the will to survive and the instinct to resist national self-annihilation. The Likud itself is increasingly Beilinized and striving for yet another nice Oslo deal with the PLO, one that will be yet another unilateral appeasement by Israel, buying nothing but increased Palestinian savagery and atrocities.

The Israeli Left is becoming more radicalized by the day. Israeli leftists are now at the forefront, not only of world anti-Zionism and the movement to destroy Israel but also of world anti-Semitism. There are Israeli leftist professors featured on the websites of neo-Nazis, Islamist fundamentalists, and Holocaust deniers. Israeli leftists are spreading every anti-Jewish blood libel imaginable (just this week, an Israeli leftist website spread two newly fabricated blood libels that Israeli soldiers are carving Jewish stars into the limbs of Palestinian children and that Jewish settlers are throwing two-year-old Arab children out of windows).

Politically, choice in Israel remains one between leftist treason and rightist incompetence. Israel has not yet emerged from the era of the Oslo death wish and national selfdestruction. It has not yet shown that it is prepared to fight for its survival at long last, against not only Arab Nazism but also Oslo appeasement and leftist delusions.

Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available through Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steven_plaut@yahoo.com 

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About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.


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