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Who is the real problem?

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) twice described Israel as a “pariah” among the world’s nations:

“Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah. … [The Israeli public] understands better than anybody that Israel cannot hope to succeed as a pariah opposed by the rest of the world.”


It was for that reason that the majority leader said that Israel should choose a leader other than Benjamin Netanyahu, its current prime minister. Then, Schumer implied, Israel will presumably no longer be a pariah.

In Schumer’s view, and in the view of most of the Democratic Party, as well as that of The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, the BBC, and nearly every university in the West, the world is right, and Israel is wrong. Therefore, Israel is a pariah among the nations.

But there is another possible explanation for why Israel is a pariah among the nations: namely, that the nations of the world are morally wrong and Israel is morally right with regard to the war the tiny Jewish country is waging in Gaza against Hamas.

And what exactly does “pariah among the nations” mean? Has a plebiscite among the world’s nations been taken? Do we really know how all the world’s nations view Israel at this time? Or do we only know the views of the world’s governments? And even with regard to governments, Israel is not entirely a pariah. One very significant government, that of Germany, continues to support Israel. As regards the nations themselves, according to polls, the majority of the American people continue to support Israel. Ironically, then, the description of Israel given by the majority leader of the United States Senate does not even hold true in the senator’s own country.

So, why did Mr. Schumer use that language – not once, but twice?

One reason, I believe, is that he is a frightened Jew. This is not my opinion. He acknowledged fear of being eradicated in a Holocaust-like event: “Some Palestinians,” he said, “have voted to empower groups like Hamas, which seeks to eradicate the Jewish people.”

“Some” Palestinians? Most Palestinians, according to all polls, adore Hamas. Three out of four, according to The Palestinian Center for Policy Survey and Research (and reported by Reuters), support the Oct. 7 atrocities. The primary reason the Palestinian Authority has not allowed elections in 18 years is that it knows Hamas would win. In a decent world, the Palestinians would be a pariah.

Schumer knows Hamas “seeks to eradicate the Jewish people.” Few non-Jews have a clue how much the Holocaust has affected Jews – including those born after the Holocaust and those Jews who lost no relatives in the greatest genocide in modern history. Most Jews suffer from a form of collective PTSD.

It could not be otherwise. The most culturally advanced country in the world, the most militarily powerful country in Europe, sought to murder every Jew in Europe – including babies and the elderly. And it nearly succeeded: Two of every three European Jews were murdered. Equally significantly, “the nations” watched. So, just for the record, the Jews in Europe during World War II were also a pariah among the nations. With a few noble exceptions, the world was divided between nations that helped exterminate the Jews and nations that refused to do anything for them – neither allowing into their countries the few who managed to escape the Nazis nor bombing any of the death camps or even just the railway tracks leading into those camps.

For 3,000 years, the fate of the Jews has nearly always been to be a pariah among the nations. This was foretold in the Hebrew Bible itself, which cites Balaam, a pagan “prophet,” as saying that Israel is “a nation that shall dwell alone, not be reckoned among the nations” (Numbers 23:9). When Jews are defenseless, they are a pariah. And when Jews defend themselves, they are, according to Mr. Schumer and the elites of the world, also a pariah.

Had Mr. Schumer told the truth, he would have said this: Israel’s being a pariah among the world’s nations tells us much more about the world’s nations than about Israel. Just as it did a mere two generations ago.

This column was originally posted on

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Dennis Prager is a popular nationally-syndicated radio show host, creator of, and the author of several books, including "Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.”