A friend of mine was a prominent rabbi in South Africa before he emigrated to Israel. Prior to the fall of the apartheid regime, he went on a speaking tour in America. His subject was Israel but Jews in America besieged him with questions about the Apartheid regime in South Africa, then in its death throes. He was bemused. Of all the cruelty and injustice in the world, why should apartheid specifically have so riveted the passions of Jews?
And what does it have to do with the passion of Jews today to end “The Occupation”?
What explains the “J Street Syndrome”? Why would Jews decide to serve the enemies of the Jews, the very people whose most cherished goal is to destroy the State of Israel and massacre all the Jews in the world? This is not hyperbole. They say it themselves on their websites and in their media, their public meetings and in their mosques. The Hamas Charter itself (in Article Seven) says that Jews are the cause of all the world’s problems and that the Judgment Day can come only by killing all the Jews. To stand with them is tantamount to carrying a sign, “Death to the Jews,” because that is that they stand for. Why do Jews do that?
I have two theories which interlock. First, I believe it is a function of a specifically Jewish sickness called Ma Yomru Hagoyim – freely translated, “What will the World Think of Us” — a uniquely virulent form of the well-known psycho-sociological phenomenon called “Self-Hatred.” In brief, the natural result of being victim of bigotry universally reviled is to internalize the reaction that it is one’s own fault, that if one (or, in this case, we Jews) behaved more acceptably to those who revile us, we would no longer be hated; or even more simply stated, Jews are the cause of anti-Semitism.
There is hardly a Jew alive who has not been told by bigots “You aren’t like the other Jews” meaning “You’re OK” … unlike the Other Jews; unlike Those Jews.” The notion is implanted that “if all Jews were like me, there would not be anti-Semitism,” that the world hates us because we are different, because we believe we are special and “chosen”, because we believe we are superior and above the rules of civilization and entitled to rule over others, etc. Therefore, the cure to anti-Semitism is for Jews to accept universal “enlightenment” and universality and to demolish “particularisms,” starting with our own, and be worldly, pliant and “progressive.”
Following this reasoning, the obstacle to peaceful relations with the non-Jewish world is Those Jews, the ones who refuse to assimilate. So the “good Jews”, the enlightened Jews, the universalist Jews have to prove that not all Jews are like “Those Jews”. The classic paradigm is the sheiner Yidden, in the language of an earlier generation, who believed that the Jews who learned Talmud and kept the Commandments were “too Jewish” and that caused anti-Semitism. Their solution was to petition government to outlaw learning of Talmud and otherwise suppress the practice of Orthodox Judaism.
The sheiner Yidden feel the need for Jews to be in the forefront of the struggle for abstract “justice” (as defined from time to time by the world at large), and champion all the causes currently popular among the nations of the world. Jews have to do so, even if the cause is inimical to Jewish interest, for that proves our sincerity and dedication to principle. In fact, if the cause is perfectly suicidal to Jewish interests, it presents a positive opportunity to prove our commitment to principle.
The issue, therefore, was never whether apartheid or “The Occupation” is the worst thing happening at any historical moment. Rather, it is merely that this is the cause which seems dearest to the world at the time, and therefore, is the cause which best enables us to endear ourselves to the hearts of the world by being in the vanguard. If we are the first and the best of what they think is good, how can they hate us? It is enough to command the massive allegiance of the sheiner Yidden that it is a popular cause for the world at large, especially for those who hate us the most.
How does a cause become endeared to the world? The “conscience of the world,” whether embodied in world organizations, such as the United Nations, non-governmental organizations or the international press corps, fully subscribes to the most powerful driving “principle” in international relations today; namely, Third World Can Do No Wrong.
The corollary is that Democratic West can do right only by full support of Third World causes, however one-sided or suicidal. The West too suffers from self-hatred, having been so reviled for so long by their former colonies for their history of exploitation and so, it has abdicated moral leadership to the Third World and serves Third World goals dutifully.
The Third World is dominated by the countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, so the richest and most powerful of the Islamic countries determine what causes are most important. The Islamic authorities despise Jews and cannot reconcile themselves to the loss of Islamic sovereignty, certainly not to the lowly Jews. “The Occupation” is therefore a source of acute embarrassment to the sheiner Yidden and it has to be ended at all cost and the State of Israel even abolished or the world will not accept the sheiner Yidden.
Here two historic dynamics merge. The West is the exemplar of skill in “imagery;” presentation of urges as ideals, of consumerism as “progress,” of technology as spiritual enlightenment, of bigotry as principle. (Remember “Manifest Destiny” and “White Man’s Burden”? Remember the sacred principle of “Neighborhood Schools”?) It is no accident that public relations is a Western invention.
The second historical dynamic is that the West has always used the Jew as the scapegoat to cleanse its own conscience by projecting its sins onto the Jew and then punishing the Jew. Thus, Europe can expiate the sin of Nazism by turning the Israelis into Nazis in their own minds and then “fighting Nazism” by attacking Israel. So important is it to them to do this that there is no distinction which cannot be obliterated in the process, even to the point of blind nihilism.
After evacuating Gaza and absorbing some 8,000 rockets from Hamas, specifically targeting civilians, Israel finally undertook a limited, pinpoint operation to inhibit the hostile activity and the elite opinion makers of the world went into a rage. They screamed “Genocide!” The Israeli “occupation” has been called “fascistic,” “genocidal,” even “worse than the Nazis” and the European “peace camp” intones solemnly that “The real Holocaust is in Gaza.” Seriously.
The fact is that fuel, food and medicine have been allowed into Gaza, even during military operations and even though it has been routinely commandeered by Hamas to its terrorists. Nevertheless, Gaza is compared to the Warsaw Ghetto, where Jews were confined and systematically undernourished, harassed, denied medical attention and publicly executed for smuggling food and medicine.
How are Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto even similar? Did the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto rain rockets down on German cities and send suicide bombers to blow up German buses and restaurants? Did they wage relentless war on Germany for generations, asserting their right to destroy Germany and turn the Baltic red with German blood? Unlike the Arabs of Gaza, the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were completely innocent of any offense against Germany or anyone else and completely harmless.
The population of Gaza has quadrupled under the “fascistic, genocidal, worse-than-the-Nazis, apartheid” Israeli “occupation.” Standard of living and life expectancy have increased similarly. At the same time, the rate of infant mortality has declined sharply. If the Jews had suffered such a fate in Europe, the word “genocide” would not have entered the world’s vocabulary. (Should we compare the rate of Jewish infant mortality in the Holocaust?)
The comparison is so ludicrous that it should have the world rolling on the floor holding their sides in derisive laughter. But no, people take it seriously and entertain it as a valid opinion. It cuts the hearts of the sheiner Yidden to the quick.
None of those militating against Israel over the fate of the “Palestinian” civilians, however, really cares at all about them. The proof is the total lack of interest in any massacres of Palestinian civilians by anyone not associated with Israel; not the Fatah people rounded up and thrown off roofs or otherwise massacred by Hamas; not the tens of thousands killed by King Hussein of Jordan back in 1970, when he put down a PLO uprising against his rule nor the massacres perpetrated by Islamic State in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria.
Nor do the parties screaming “genocide” really care at all about genocide. The proof is the lack of interest elicited by any of the real genocides taking place in the world, even as they scream about a totally fanciful Israeli “genocide” against the “Palestinians.” Sudan has committed not one genocide, but two; one against the black Africans of Darfur and another, of longer duration, against the black Africans of South Sudan. The Conscience of the World could hardly care less. Who did anything for the Tutsis when they were being massacred by the hundreds of thousands? Who did anything about the Chinese genocide against the Tibetans or the Indonesian genocide in East Timor? Third World can do no wrong, remember, even when the victim is another Third World people in equally good standing.
No one presents any of this as anti-Semitism, of course. What we are given to believe is that it is only Zionism that is reviled, certainly not Jews or Judaism. Of course, that is demonstrably nonsense. Why is Jewish nationalism, alone among the world’s nationalisms, illegitimate and “racist”? And why is anti-Zionism always accompanied by threats and intimidation against Jews? Why do defensive measures taken by everyone in the world become “disproportionate” and criminal when undertaken by Zionists?
If anti-Zionist is not anti-Jewish, then why are slogans like “Jews to the gas” heard at “anti-Israel” demonstrations all over Europe, North and South America and the Muslim world and it seems to be perfectly acceptable? And why are violence and incitement against Jews very generally not treated as a hate crime? A classic anti-Semitic caricature was posted on Facebook. It could have come straight from a Nazi propaganda sheet. It depicts a stereotype Jew, teeth dripping with blood, about to bite into a dead boy wearing a Palestinian flag. Facebook rejected complaints that it constituted hate speech, and denied that it violates community standards. To have posted such a thing depicting an Arab terrorist would certainly be deemed Islamophobic “hate speech” but the Jew was wearing an Israeli flag, so we can pretend that it is not about Jews, only Israel, although it could not be clearer that “Israel” is only a different, collective, persona of “Jew.”
And once again, a powerful nation has decided that the world would be better off without Jews and the world seems willing to go along with the decision. Iran has declared “wiping Israel off the map” as part of its agenda and its proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, have openly declared their intention to kill every Jew in the world. And yet, the ruling elite of the world regards them as “legitimate resistance” and is moving on all fronts to empower them as sovereigns over territory and engage them as part of the international community. No one even objects that nuking Israel would kill millions of Arabs, including their precious “Palestinians.” No one objects to the intended double genocide, not even the “Palestinians.”
Forcing Israel into indefensible borders and tying its hands defensively is presented, still to this day, as part of a “peace process” as though the proponents really believe that Israeli surrender of territory and other strategically important concessions will actually result in peace with the Arabs. In fact, not many people are that stupid. Every Israeli concession has produced more war and death, not less. There is a clear and deliberate policy goal. Anyone who advocates for the “peace process” is willfully trying to bring about the demise of Israel and the slaughter of the Jews.
The Obama administration, which was outstandingly hostile to Israel found a tame, well funded, ostensibly Jewish organization which insists that they are pro-Israel because they seek to force Israel into concessions “for peace” and isn’t peace in Israel’s interest? They know what the Road Map really is. They know the Road ends at New Auschwitz.
Nevertheless, the effect on Jews, sensitized by self-hatred, is to stimulate the urge to out-do the world, to be better than they at their own game. Once the direction the wind is blowing is clear, the urge is perfectly reflexive: to run to get there first, no matter where, in the expectation of being smothered in camaraderie. When the camaraderie is withheld, and they still experience exclusion because of their Jewishness, they naturally locate the cause as the “Other” Jews who did not run with them and thus denied them the approval of the Jew-haters, which they so crave.
A great many Jews accept and internalize the hatred of the nations. They feel the need to justify our existence to a world which hates us, not for what we do, but simply for the fact of our existence. They do not see the futility of trying to justify the Jews’ existence by championing a cause which the West needs to pursue in order to expiate its own guilt, which historically requires The Jew as scapegoat.
Subtly, the enemy becomes the “Other” Jews rather than the bigots who hate us and the remedy is to make common cause with the bigots against the “Other” Jews.
So the demand “Peace Now” has been directed toward the government of Israel alone, never toward the Arab parties, as if it were so clear that the Arabs sincerely want nothing but peace; as if it were so clear that the Arabs, who prepared enthusiastically in 1967 to “drive the Jews into the sea” and “turn the Mediterranean red with Jewish blood,” really want true peace if only Israel will “abandon its aggression” (meaning, put its neck on the block again by retreating to the 1949 Armistice lines, with a 9 mile waist at its population and economic center, facing uphill toward the Arab armies).
Their hatred of the Other Jews has become ever more extreme. Expulsions of Jews from their homes and communities have been carried out by the Israeli government with exceptional violence. It was meticulously planned, with malice aforethought, that resettlement and rehabilitation of those communities would be delayed indefinitely, simply to destroy the lives of Those Other Jews and render them powerless. In a word, they were pogroms.
In Israel and all over the world, there are Jews in the forefront of the efforts to delegitimate the State of Israel as a “fascist” and “apartheid” state and return the Jews there to minority status, to be ruled over by the tender mercies of the “Palestinians,” who make no secret of their intentions to slaughter Jews and reduce any survivors to dhimmi status.
No one calls that “apartheid” or “racist.” University professors all over the world, even in Israel, call for the isolation of Israel, boycott of Israeli products and of the very universities whose faculties they sit on. The idea of a Jewish State is an embarrassment to them. They have taken every opportunity to proclaim that Israel is not a Jewish state, but rather, a state of all its citizens which happens to have a Jewish majority, for the time being.
In this environment, Jews have a choice. They can go along with the tenor of the times and stand, like J Street, shoulder to shoulder with the world’s elite, which has grown more openly and viciously anti-Semitic year by year. Obviously, acceptance and promotion in the world of the elite goes to those who serve the established Jew-hating order without reservation, just as it once depended on serving the Church in its persecution of Jews or the Communists in theirs. The price demanded for entrée into the community of the “enlightened” Jew-haters is total support of the enemies of Israel and the Jewish people. Their hostility to everything associated with Israel must be as vociferous as that of any of the bigots. They must become, in effect, “unJews.” In doing so, of course, they lend legitimacy to their benefactors’ bigotry.
They will be amply rewarded. They will be praised and honored for their service to the forces of Jew-hatred who pose as defenders of human rights. The organizations of the sheiner Yidden will receive copious financing from European governments and foundations that have for many years financed Arab terror organizations (in the name of “resistance,” of course).
Or a Jew can stand for truth against the Powers That Be, the “Conscience of the World” as embodied in august sounding titles, like United Nations Human Rights Council, which is, in fact, dominated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference whose members include some of the most egregious violators of human rights in the world. That is irrelevant to the world’s twisted morality, however. Third World Can Do No Wrong, after all, even when the victim is another Third World people. Will it be different if the victim is The Jew?
Apartheid is now a thing of the past and the new business of the world’s elite rulers is not the real evils in the world but rather, delegitimation and destruction of Israel. And the sound we hear is the stampede of the sheiner Yidden, running to get there first.
Copyright 2019 by PROF. J. P. GOLBERT