Jewish communities worldwide have this week been celebrating the Festival of Purim which commemorates the deliverance of Persian Jews from genocidal intentions.
The stark relevance between then and today is so obvious that only those afflicted by myopic blindness and defective hearing can assert that nothing untoward is looming.
History as we should know keeps repeating itself and in this particular instance I have identified what can be called “the five U syndromes.”
In no particular order they are: unmasked, uninterested, unheeded, untimely and unwelcome.
UNMASKED: One of the features of the Purim commemoration is how Esther & Mordechai unmasked the true intentions of the then Persian Prime Minister as he plotted to annihilate the Jews of his country and also those residing in other places ruled by the Persian Empire. It is instructive to remember that in selling his plan to the King to murder all Jews he first of all accused them of being a subversive group who owed no loyalty to the State but rather stubbornly insisted on retaining their distinctive identity and Faith. How many times since then have we heard similar libels with disastrous results?
The Israeli Prime Minister’s intention in addressing a joint session of Congress was to unmask the current Iranian Empire’s real intentions. Although their aim to eliminate the Jewish State has been clearly articulated on more than one occasion there are still those who are fooled into believing that it is all a bluff. Fooling the media and politicians with cleverly crafted masks designed to disguise their true agenda, nevertheless this masking slips from time to time and reveals exactly what the ultimate aim is intended to be. Eli Wiesel has sounded the alarm and remembering that he is the most qualified to speak up about genocidal plans it is astounding that the leaders of the democracies have tuned out. The most compelling example of how history’s lessons can be ignored is the spectacle of the White House turning off the TV, the State Department’s top politician being absent without leave (in fact hobnobbing with Iran in Switzerland) and miffed Democratic politicians (actually only 58 out of 500 or so) boycotting the speech in which Iran was once again unmasked. The EU’s foreign policy chief can hardly suppress her glee at an emerging deal which will do nothing to prevent one of the world’s chief terrorist regimes from acquiring nuclear weapons. As well as unmasking Iran the opposition to Bibi’s speech unmasks either immense naivety or visceral loathing inherent in the minds of many.
UNINTERESTED: Those opposed to hearing reality are determined to remain uninterested and would rather concentrate on anything but the real threat to Israel and the western world. These are the same people who sweep the horrific campaign of terrorism against Christians in Nigeria and the Middle East under the carpet or drown it with fine sounding declarations and meaningless marches. As the media and politicians yawn and condemn Israel for even bringing up the subject the disinterest in doing anything meaningful grows.
UNHEEDED: Following closely on from a total detachment in acknowledging facts staring one in the face are those who prefer to ignore ongoing and looming threats. The leader of the Labor opposition in Israel states that “Iran has become a threshold nuclear State because the heads of the world powers no longer listen to what the Israeli PM says.” In effect he is claiming that Netanyahu’s warnings are now unheeded because he keeps repeating them ad nauseum. Common sense would conclude that instead of blaming the messenger one should be pointing the finger at those leaders who ignore reality. Rather than blaming Israel’s leader for pointing out the obvious threats from a nuclear armed Iran, it should be the deaf and blind in western liberal democracies that are guilty of allowing the current situation to exist. Similarities between the unchecked and unheeded genocidal intentions of Nazi Germany and today’s ostrich like appeasers are eerily ominous.
UNTIMELY: For those who prefer to satiate the voracious appetites of dictators and murderous regimes, no time is right to stand up and take action. Therefore, whenever someone comes along and pops the illusory fantasy bubble of unenforceable diplomatic impotence, the whistle-blower will always be accused of untimely behavior. Anybody who exposes the fallacy of trusting liars and schemers to reform and become upright members of the civilized international community is automatically accused of wrecking any chance for another Munich style deal. That is why those who oppose Netanyahu’s open disagreement with current US attempts to appease the Mullahs of Tehran scream that it is untimely. The truth is always untimely as we have learnt to our cost in the past.
UNWELCOME: Those who do not bear tidings of great joy at the prospect of looming lunacy and collective disasters will always be unwelcome. Churchill was unwelcome and shunned for many years prior to his eventual accession to the premiership at a time when the free world’s fate hung in the balance. Jabotinsky was unwelcome as he toured Europe in the 1930’s trying to warn Jews about the looming catastrophe and urging them to flee. Jews have been unwelcome for most of the last two thousand years in Europe and even after the Holocaust they find themselves today still unwelcome in many parts of the continent.
The present situation can be aptly summed up by a quote I recently read:
“Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.”
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.