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In recent months much has been made of papers written by supposed Western intellectuals that were deemed so rabidly anti-Semitic as to earn comparison to the infamous Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion - a poor Russian forgery purporting to expose a Jewish plot to take over the world.
Am I the only one who watches what's happening around me and wishes halevai - would it were so?
After all, what's so very wrong about trying to rule the world? The ancient Greeks and Persians did it, and after them the Romans. In the past century, the British did it. So did the Germans and the Japanese and the Russians, and now the Americans and the Chinese are doing it.
Nations have tried to take over the world for as long as there have been nations, and that's considered "business as usual." But let even one poorly forged tract claim that the Jewish nation has similar ambitions and oy va voy.
Why? Everyone else has tried to take over the world. Why not the Jews?
AND CONSIDER the methods used and the goals pursued. Does anyone really believe, as the Protocols charge, that 13 million Jews can force any nation that wants peace into war? Can anyone really imagine a Jewish army bent on world domination? Or a despotic Jewish tyranny out to squelch freedom of thought or individual ambition?
"Big Bubby is watching you!" The very idea is ridiculous.
But for argument's sake, let's say the Jews are indeed destined to govern the globe. What then? What kind of government would be put in place?
IF THE best of all possible leaders is a person who doesn't hunger to lead, what of a civil administration that doesn't pant to govern?
Hundreds of thousands of Jews today have spent their entire lives in the non-materialistic meritocracy of Talmud study - learning how to balance the multitude of personal, social, ethical, economic, political, ecological and spiritual considerations that must occupy any worthy global civil service. If that light were allowed to shine, it could draw disillusioned citizens from around the world.
And what of "the evil Jewish agenda"? Poppycock! Judaism, unlike other world religions, is not out to remake the world in its own image. It's not out to make the world Jewish, but to make the world just. It stakes no exclusive claim to heaven; membership is open to sincere converts.
Indeed, though Jews are themselves bound by 613 commandments, their mission - the reason for which they were "chosen" - is to bring the world into alignment with the Seven Noachide Laws that are binding on all humanity (Sanhedrin 58b, Maimonides' Code, Kings 8:10):
1. Do not murder.
2. Do not steal.
3. Do not worship false gods.
4. Do not be licentious.
5. Do not eat a limb removed from a live animal.
6. Do not curse God.
7. Set up courts and bring offenders to justice.
Anyone who does his or her best to live by these laws, says Judaism, is assured a place in paradise. Further, in the course of pursuing their mission to usher in an era of world peace and plenty - a mission constantly interrupted by the need to deal with the mindless pogrom of the moment - the Jews have pioneered the very concept of universal human rights, established the innate value of every human life, enshrined the sanctity of both freedom and rest, and actually practised compassion for the weak.
Are the Jews perfect? Far from it. But unlike most, they seek perfection.
From the way some people talk, you'd think a Jewish attempt to positively influence the world were a form of plague. Yet what is the Jewish disease? What is the Jews' real crime?
Perhaps Adolf Hitler named it when he wrote in Mein Kampf: "The Jews have inflicted two wounds on humanity: circumcision on the [Jewish] body, and conscience on the soul."
And make no mistake - being the conscience of the world is a thankless task. No one likes to be reminded that there is a Right and a Wrong, and that they have lost their way.
Yet we have lost our way, time and time again. Humanity has tried, fought over and swiftly discarded just about every "ism" it can think of. Why not give Judaism a chance? Unlike other ideologies, it has stood the tests of both time and opportunity.
While other nations struggled to spread their influence horizontally over space, the Jewish nation has been building its "empire" vertically through time, in the process providing countless examples of altruistic leadership and dedication to the common good. It has met with, outshone and outlived opposition of every kind.
Jews have taken the message about loving your neighbor as yourself and made it a day-to-day response to violent hatred. Israel, for example, cares more about the physical well-being of those who see all Jews as mortal enemies than those people care about themselves.
The Jews have talked the talk, and walked the walk, for 3,500 long years.
So now they are moving to take over the world?
The world could do worse.
The writer, a veteran Post staffer, is editor of the paper's Christian edition.