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In some ways it is a depressing period in Jewish history. The American Jewish Diaspora community, or at least the non-Orthodox bulk therein, is in the process of committing cultural/national/religious suicide. Most American Jews are indifferent to their Jewishness; intermarriage is close to and may be above 50 percent; and the dominant “religion” of the American non-Orthodox Jews is the pseudo-religion of Liberalism-as-Judaism, its chief tenet being that Judaism is nothing more nor less than the political agenda of the American Left, never mind that this agenda is totally bankrupt intellectually on its own demerits.
The Reform movement, the Deconstructionist Reconstructionists and many Conservatives (as in Conservative synagogues) are simply religious liberals, with political liberalism is their dogma.
The “defense” organizations, American Jewish Congress, Bnai Brith, et al, are also largely devoted to the practice of political liberalism as pseudo-religion.
And then we have the chattering classes in Israel - the media and intelligentsia and literati – devoted to seeing Israel weakened and dismembered through the Oslo process of national suicide.
We have even the Likud, first under Netanyahu and then under Sharon, still pursuing the delusion of the “peace process,” still trying to buy Arab toleration through strategic endangerment of Israel’s existence, still thinking that just a few more concessions to the PLO
will nudge the PLO away from terror and its genocidal ambitions and move it to peaceful coexistence. In these days of frustration, I think there is one idea that we should bear in mind. And that is that the Zionist movement has many fantastic accomplishments under its belt, one of the more important of which is that Zionism forced a major change in the nature and expression of anti-Semitism.
Not that anti-Semites are really any different when they hide behind the mask of anti-Zionism. These are the same gutter bigots, the same people who refuse to acknowledge that Jews are humans, that Jews are entitled to rights and equality. But they have been forced to express their bigotry differently.
This should be obvious any time you observe the campus anti-Semites of the Left, the Arab fascists and the self-hating Jewish Uncle Toms demonstrating against Israel.
For centuries, the slogans of the anti-Semites were that Jews were racially inferior, intellectually inferior, cowards, money-grubbers, killers of God, sub-humans. But observe the main slogan of anti-Semites today: The Jews are mean. They are mean to the poor Palestinians.
Ooooh, soooo mean.
What a marvelous transformation! The main calumny thrown at the Jews is that they are bullies, meanies. What greater accomplishment of Zionism could be imagined?
Of course, this does not mean that the anti-Semites really think that the Jews are mean or cruel to the Palestinians. The anti-Zionists do not give a damn about the Palestinians, and the last
thing they care about is Arab human rights. This is why they have absolutely nothing to say about
the treatment of Arabs in Arab countries or by the Palestinian Authority’s Gestapo.
When Saddam Hussein ordered Kuwaiti civilians to be forced to drink gasoline and then had his troops shoot into their bellies to make them explode (to the cheers and laughs of his storm troopers) there was not a single anti-Zionist who expressed disapproval or concern. The anti-Zionists know perfectly well that Arabs are treated a thousand times better in Israel (and this would be so even if one were to believe all their accusations and allegations of mistreatment)
than are Arabs in Arab countries.
The anti-Semites lament supposed Israeli mistreatment of the poor Palestinians because they think this is an effective way to delegitimize and undermine the existence of Israel. In other words, they are motivated by hatred of Jews and not by any compassion for Palestinians. They seek to see Israel destroyed, not the Palestinians enfranchised, or rather their only interest in Palestinian enfranchisement is as a tool to endanger Israel’s existence. Of the enormous territories of the Middle East, larger than the United States, the only place where they suddenly are concerned for the welfare and civil rights of Arabs is in Israel. The other Arabs, as far as they’re concerned, can go to hell.
And if they can accuse Israel of violating these civil rights (never mind that 90 percent of their accusations are invented) then they can pretend to be compassionate and interested in peace, not gutter bigots who hate Jews.
The anti-Semites have lost their ability to march about and accuse the Jews of ritual murders and similar medieval libels (at least outside the Arab media). Such things would make them laughable in the West. No one outside the Arab world takes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as anything other than an embarrassment for anti-Zionists. So they have seized onto a new propaganda tactic, complaining that the Jews are oh, so mean and cruel – and bullies to boot.
At long last – after two millennia of exile – to be accused of being bullies! To leave the anti-Semites with no more effective weapon than heaping invective upon the mean Jews. For this one must say a blessing of thanksgiving, a shecheyanu. And often.
It is Zionism’s greatest achievement.
Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.
I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”
His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.
At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel
“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”
Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning
Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.
He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.
Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.
Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.
Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed
Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.
Why does Israeli health services refuse to finance species reassignment surgery as well?
The iconic image is baby Shani in the arms of a policewoman frantically searching for Shani’s mother
“Oppressed people unfortunately often are forced into use of violence.”
“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”
Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation
The Mid-East conflict is a unidirectional campaign of Arabs murdering Jews, not the inverse.
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