The festivities are over, the fancy costumes and masks are put away for another year and it is time to take note of the real world again.
Having drowned out Haman’s name during the Megillah reading and some having drowned themselves in alcoholic euphoria it will no doubt come as a severe shock for many who thought that the Amaleks of this world have been vanquished, to learn that in actuality this is not the case.
Instead of the Amalekite curse having been eradicated the sobering reality is unfortunately that the threats against us have resurfaced. The worrying aspect is that hate and nefarious plots against Jews and Israel are now at a level not seen since the end of the Shoah years. It is true that we are on the whole more aware of the dangers that unbridled delegitimization can trigger yet it is tragic that far too many, Jews and non-Jews alike, are still oblivious to the threats or even worse, sometimes complicit in their spread.
I am often accused of unnecessary fear-mongering and exaggerating the forces arraigned against us. All I can say is look around at what is happening with eyes wide open and ears finely tuned and you cannot escape the reality of what is erupting worldwide.
The first line of defence against complacency and denial is knowledge and awareness. These attributes alas are in short supply with far too many preferring to tune out and instead living in their local bubbles, deliberately cut off from the mayhem raging elsewhere. As we have learnt to our dire cost in the past, pretending that it may be someone else’s problem alone will not prevent the contagion from spreading and eventually infecting hitherto apparent safe-havens.
Post-Purim, it is now time to get down to brass tacks and take a serious look at what is brewing out there.
Jewish anti-defamation groups have issued their various 2021 reports and without exception, they all show a huge increase in hate incidents against Jews whether it be verbal or physical. Whether it is Europe, North America or Australia the proof is incontrovertible that something is rotten. Passionate speeches and political posturing aside, when Jewish students no longer feel safe at universities, when academics target Israel supporters and violence becomes the norm, you know that no amount of rhetoric will help. Hiding your identity and hoping that a low profile will save you from the attention of the haters is a losing proposition. Even worse, joining the Israel defamers may buy you a temporary reprieve but sooner rather than later they will catch up with you.
Beware of politicians who spout words of righteous indignation and then do nothing to back up their promises. Empty slogans need to be loudly called out for the hypocrisy they represent. In the absence of Holocaust education as a compulsory component of the history education curriculum in high schools and toothless laws against anti-Jewish incitement those who burble “never again” should be held to account.
In other words, apart from concrete steps to physically protect individuals and communal buildings a much more vigorous reaction must be undertaken to challenge double standards and meaningless slogans.
Concurrently with the upsurge in threats against individual Jews we are witnessing a ramping up of attempts to smear and ultimately exclude the restored homeland of the Jewish People from the family of nations.
The same methods of slanders, lies, intimidation and baseless bias are being employed. We need to expose and loudly challenge these attempts to boycott, delegitimize and sanction us.
Instead of apologizing for our miraculous resurrection from genocidal attempts of annihilation, we should be responding in a more robust and assertive manner.
There is a myriad of situations which need our urgent attention. Instead of remaining “shtum” we should be shouting from the rooftops and exposing blatant behaviour.
The PLO has renounced all agreements with Israel and stated that “we have entered a path of resistance in all its forms.” Any so called agreements with a terrorist group was a fatal mistake to begin with made by hallucinatory leftist politicians. Now that the PLO which is the major partner of the PA, our mythical peace partner, has officially embraced terror tactics, where is our forthright response? We should be updating all those foreign ministries who still burble “two States for two People living in peace and security.” Instead there is nary a whisper.
Conspiracy plots are standard fare for those who target us. It has always been that way and unfortunately their continual repetition encourages the haters with dire results. The worst part is that we react, if at all, far too late and usually after the damage has been done. Take the latest which in actual fact is as old as the Arab/Muslim opposition to the return of the Jews to their Land.
The Mufti of Jerusalem, a PA appointee, announced that “the Jews will be storming the Al Aqsa Mosque during Purim.” For good measure he also accused Mike Pence, the former US Vice President, of “storming the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron” during his recent visit there. As a bonus the Mufti asserted for the umpteenth time that the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, now excised from any Jewish connection and converted into a Mosque, is a site solely reserved for Muslim worship.
These claims by the notorious Mufti Husseini served as a basis for past riots and murder of Jews in 1929 and are fertile fodder for the Palestinian Arab and other Islamic masses today. Instead of exposing these potent lies we let them fester and therefore it is no surprise when enraged mobs having swallowed them, cause lethal mayhem. I am certain that nobody in Wellington, Canberra, London, Paris or Washington (or anywhere else) has a clue or even cares about this. What I do know however is that when the inevitable violence occurs Israel will be blamed. Why are we silent bystanders in the face of this hypocrisy?
It is reported that Syrian volunteers, undoubtedly encouraged by Assad’s wholehearted support of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, are flocking to take part in the battles raging there. As far as I am concerned the more that fight there and are subsequently killed, the better. That leaves a few less terrorists to carry out attacks against Israelis. Seriously though, has anyone heard howls of protest from the Foreign Ministries of the world’s democracies? These silent Governments are the same ones which demand Israel hand back the Golan to the murderous regime of Assad so that he can once again threaten the lives of Israelis. Our spokespeople should be creating hell over this instead of lapsing into diplomatic silence.
Last but by no means least, post-Purim has presented us with two glaring examples of how alienated individuals can twist the facts to suit their own self-loathing ideologies.
Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) which if its aims were ever achieved would ensure the demise of the Jewish State has accused Israel of accepting Ukrainian refugees “to further ethnic cleansing.” Furthermore they claim that “settling the refugees on land illegally occupied prevents 7 million Palestinian refugees from returning.” As an added bonus, in case anyone does not get the message, they assert that “aliyah requires displacement of Palestinians and that the Ukrainians will become settlers in a settler colonial apartheid state.”
There you have it in a nutshell. All the conspiracies and lies rolled into one and neatly packaged for international consumption. What’s more, as these claims emanate from an ostensibly “Jewish” group they must be Kosher Mehadrin.
The second example comes from none other than Peter Beinart who now joins the US Executive Director of Amnesty International divorcing themselves from the necessity of a Jewish return to Zion and sovereignty. He pontificated in the Guardian (as reported by Honest Reporting) : “the USA should no longer provide Israel with military aid because doing so would make Ukraine, Taiwan and every other weaker nation bordered by a rapacious neighbour more vulnerable.” Once again smearing Israel as rapacious is guaranteed to reinforce the negative and utterly false stereotyping which already pervades the fetid minds of Israel haters and the immoral majority of the UN.
As this YouTube video demonstrates, Peter Beinart and the New Israel Fund are apparently buddies.
With friends like these who needs enemies?
The bottom line is whether we pretend that lies and threats against us, individually as Jews in Galut or collectively as Jews in our sovereign nation, are just harmless posturing or whether they represent something far more sinister.
One would hope that having ignored warning signals in the past we now realize that threats against us are best tackled before they become reality.