As Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Some people like Jews and some do not, but no thoughtful man can doubt the fact that they are beyond all question the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world (Illustrated Sunday Herald, February 8, 1920, p.5).
The anti-Semitic world has a hard time with Jews, and we should feel some pity for all those who work relentlessly to give us a bad name. They boycott us in academia, journalism, European governments, the marketplace, and just in the streets of daily life. But let’s be honest.
Aren’t they right? Are we not truly a nuisance? It’s not easy to live with Jews. We’re troublemakers and can be painfully irritating.
There’s no escaping it.
The trouble with us is that we are constantly breaking the rules. For thousands of years, we have survived powerful empires that did everything to try and destroy us – the Egyptians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Germans and others. In the 20th century, it looked as if they had finally succeeded. Six million of us were murdered in the Holocaust.
But instead of disappearing, we decided that after 2,000 years of exile, it would be better to go home and rebuild our own country. And so we did. Against all odds. It became the greatest success story in the 20th century.
Who would deny that this is highly irritating? And now they insist on boycotting us.
But how can they? It would be suicide.
Truly boycotting Jews, after all, would mean a lot more than banning a few Israeli products or universities. Anti- Semites would have to boycott many products on which their lives depend.
Just think of medications for all sorts of illnesses, produced by Teva, Rafa, Taro, and other Israeli companies. What about multiple sclerosis? Israelis discovered a blood test by which one can distinguish between mild and severe cases. Then there are people who suffer from spinal injuries, paralysis, breathing problems, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and DNA breakdown. For all of these illnesses and many more, Jews and Israel have made major contributions toward healing people around the world and improving their quality of life.
If not for these remarkable Jewish discoveries, most anti-Semites would be confined to bed with serious illnesses, and some would have died long ago.
But it’s not only in the field of medicine that Jews have contributed significantly.
Look at Intel Israel’s computer processor chips for personal computers; instant messaging; anti-virus computer software; cellular phones; voicemail; micro-irrigation; cherry tomatoes; steel security doors (Rav Bariah); Iron Dome (mobile air defense system); Waze (providing drivers with real-time road traffic information); ReWalk (a bionic system to enable paraplegics to stand upright, walk, and climb stairs); and the USB stick, to name just a few – all developed by Jews in this terrible, obnoxious country called Israel.
And let’s not forget that Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation and, in proportion to its population, has the largest number of start-up companies in the world. It has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies worldwide, apart from Silicon Valley. It ranks No. 2 in the world for venture capital funds, second only to the United States.
Would you not feel even a little jealous? Is some pity for the anti-Semite not in place? And then there’s a Jew called Jesus.
He is the most revered man in the entire West, worshiped by hundreds of millions as nothing less than the son of God. What non-Jewish kid could have ever have pulled that off? It was this man who introduced some very important Jewish moral stuff to the Western world and it is these very same ethics and standards that are so irritating. Anti-Semites don’t spit on the Jews because they are Jesus killers, but because they are Jesus givers! And if that’s not enough, everyone knows that if Jesus were alive today, he would eat at kosher restaurants run by Jews with beards.
Every anti-Semite knows that the United States and Europe would not be what they are today without their Jews.
They would still be looking more like impoverished countries, with underdeveloped economies, bad health facilities and lack of scientific discoveries. Their laws, although secularized, are deeply influenced by the Torah and the spirit of the great Jewish prophets. If not for these laws, the anti-Semite would not have the “freedom of speech” he so enjoys.
Indeed, it does not make sense. Here is a country in the Middle East, a piece of real estate so small that one needs a magnifying glass when searching for it on a map. Its main inhabitants, the Jews, together with their brothers and sisters throughout the world, amount to fewer people than would be accounted a statistical error in the Chinese census. Or, as Sir Isaiah Berlin once famously quipped, “[The Jews] have enjoyed rather too much history and too little geography.”
(The Power of Ideas [Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002], p. 143).
Yet we are one of the oldest, if not the oldest nation in the world! For most of our existence we have been among the poorest of the poor, scattered among foreign countries without an army to protect us. Nevertheless, we contribute, per capita, more to this world than any other nation does. Wouldn’t you get depressed if you were an anti- Semite? And then this: For as long as we Jews have existed, we have not had heroes like Julius Caesar, Titus and other men of military superiority. We opposed the “heroism” that other nations see as their very raison d’être. In fact, we could not understand what there was to admire! Instead, we loved our peace-seeking, spiritual leaders such as Moses, Isaiah and Amos. We never got carried away with heroic battles – not even of King David or those of the Israeli army today. We have an inherent aversion to hurting people.
More than anything else, it is unbridled passion for studying and for knowledge that moves us. We are obsessed with our Holy Book, which constantly reprimands us, and gives us severe headaches.
Add to this the fact that anti-Semites make sure that the Jews and their country are the most debated topics in the world, and you then understand why they have such a hard time with us.
Who would not be on the verge of a nervous breakdown? Empathize with their frustration and their need to let it all out. And where will they end up? On the couch of a psychiatrist who uses methods developed by a Jew to relieve them of their depression! We Jews poke fun at all that the anti- Semites hold dear. So what should we expect of them? To love us? The writer, who is an author and international lecturer, is dean of the David Cardozo Academy in Jerusalem.