The Jewish year may be winding down but Jews and Israel continue to dominate the news one way or another.
Some events from the recent past seem to have sunk into oblivion. Others may have caused some minor ripples but have otherwise elicited only muted responses.
As we prepare to wrap up another year it is important to recall those challenges which have gone unanswered. Putting them in the too-hard basket because dealing with them might have upset too many people is a recipe for disaster. Kicking the can down the road in the hope that someone else might deal with them is a failed strategy.
Politicians love to promise and procrastinate in the hope that the befuddled masses can be beguiled into believing their intentions. While many are fooled, increasing numbers of the long-suffering public can discern “snake oil” salespersons and are not prepared to fall for unfulfilled gestures.
The following is just a random selection of some of the still unresolved challenges which confront us.
There are still many who cannot understand the continuing romance with an entity which promotes jihadist martyrdom and pays murderers and their families for killing Jewish Israelis. Recently an Abbas spokesperson declared that Israel’s elimination of “martyrs” (aka terrorists) is a war crime. Following this patently poisonous assertion one should have expected the White House, State Department, EU, UK Foreign Office and the UN to denounce the sponsors of terror residing in Ramallah. These same defenders of “saint Mahmoud” are quick to condemn Israel for each and every perceived “threat to democracy.”
Unsurprisingly nary a peep has been heard.
Instead, all we can hear are hymns of praise from the international community and Jewish self-loathers for those who supposedly are yearning to establish a fake State based on democratic and human rights values. Instead of an outpouring of outrage from Diaspora Jewish leaders and Israeli politicians all we have is silence or meaningless mumbling.
A report in the Israeli media this week revealed that in a recording of a speech by Abbas he claimed that “Jews were murdered in the Holocaust not because of their “Jewishness” but so that the Nazis could seize their money.”
For good measure, he also asserted that “all the historical evidence and documents show the Palestinian identity of Jerusalem, the Al Aqsa Mosque and all the holy places for Islam and Christianity in Jerusalem.”
His lies and fabrications elicited muted responses from Israeli political leaders and Diaspora Jewish spokespersons.
Why, therefore, should anyone be surprised when the UN and general media give yet another pass to the anointed apostle of peace?
Recently, a group of Democratic Party legislators visited Israel and were shown around various areas of the country. They also had the opportunity to meet and speak with many Israelis. The object of the exercise, no doubt, was to expose them to some realities so that they could better understand the complexities of the problems confronting Israel. Presumably, it is hoped that once cognizant of facts rather than myths these US representatives might return to the USA and enlighten some of their colleagues who are drifting into the far-left anti-Israel camp.
On their return, the Michigan State senator issued an abject apology for having participated in this visit and in the face of furious condemnation from Michigan Muslim groups recanted any sympathy that may have been expressed for the Jewish State.
Once again, American Jewish leadership remained relatively mute in the face of this glaring hypocrisy.
What can only be described as a continuing theatre of the absurd manifested itself in a few other ways as we count down to the end of the year.
One of the contenders for the Republican Party Presidential nomination in 2024, Vivek Ramaswamy, touted as an up-and-coming young politician, found himself caught up in controversy over his remarks about Israel. At first, he advocated ending aid to Israel but after a barrage of scornful criticism from fellow Republicans, he backtracked somewhat. Whether his views were as a result of political naivety or a misstep remains to be seen but a subsequent declaration should ring warning bells not only in Israel but also with other US allies.
He stated that he was against using US military force against Iran. As reported, he declared that “it would be taking part in a war we don’t belong in.” I am sure that the Mullahs in Tehran must be rooting for him to become the nominee in 2024. Faced with a choice between a Democrat President doing his level best to unfreeze billions of Iranian funds and a potential Republican candidate pledged to avoid military action, the regime must be in paradise.
Just imagine what the Taiwanese facing a Chinese invasion and the South Koreans facing a North Korean nuclear attack must be thinking.
Any Israeli with some recollection of recent history will remember the infamous words of Neville Chamberlain as Czechoslovakia was about to be swallowed up by Nazi Germany: “it’s about a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.”
Is history about to be repeated?
The International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report which stated that “it regrets a lack of Iranian co-operation as enriched uranium grows.” This observation, instead of sending shivers down Iranian spines, will induce paroxysms of hilarious laughter.
The mandate for the UN “peacekeeping” force in South Lebanon has been renewed by the Security Council (with China and Russia abstaining). Listening to the subsequent rhetoric, one could imagine that this was a triumph for the enforcement of UN resolutions and the disarmament of Hezbollah terror forces. No such event, of course, will take place and the Iranian-backed terrorists will continue to aim their missiles at Israel and prepare for a conflict which is not that far away.
The stark reality is euphoric diplomatic hallucinations that ignore the effective disarming of those threatening not only Israel but also the independence of Lebanon, will result in mayhem and murder.
Egypt has reportedly asked Israel not to harm Hamas and Jihad leaders. In other words, those fomenting the murder of Israelis should be given immunity and allowed to continue plotting their terror agenda. This is the mad cuckoo world we face at the moment and the absence of a concerted campaign to expose this only lends credence to the hypocrisy which is now the rule.
The Papal blessing of Pope Francis provides proof of how far sanity has been compromised.
In a message to young Russians, he pontificated: “You are the heirs of the great Russia – of the saints, of the Kings, of Peter the Great, Catherine, great imperial Russia, cultivated with so much culture and humanity.”
This declaration may have warmed the hearts of some, but it certainly did the opposite as far as any intelligent Jews are concerned.
The history of Jews in Tsarist and Communist Russia is certainly not one of humanity and religious tolerance. It is a bloody trail of pogroms and persecution at the hands of rulers and with the sanction of Church authorities. Blood libels and conspiracies are the legacy of those periods in Russian history.
It’s a pity that political correctness has yet again produced a shameful silence.
What will the New Year bring? Stay tuned.