The hard truths of being Jewish

Jews have learned the three hard truths from surviving tragedy: no one will stand up for us, we must never project weakness; and our responsibility towards our ancestral homeland, Israel.

'Long live the Intifada': Palestinians and pro-Palestinian supporters protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza amid days of conflict between the two sides, in Brooklyn, New York, US, May 15, 2021.  (photo credit: RASHID UMAR ABBASI / REUTERS)
'Long live the Intifada': Palestinians and pro-Palestinian supporters protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza amid days of conflict between the two sides, in Brooklyn, New York, US, May 15, 2021.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act!” – George Orwell 

The tragic events that befell Jews over the centuries seemingly perpetuate themselves in different forms at different times. The destruction of our 1st and 2nd Temples in Jerusalem was followed by exile from England; the Spanish Inquisition; Diaspora viability challenges associated with the Crusades, Ottoman rule, and the Pogroms that followed. Each, in its own way contributed to the ultimate Nazi-inspired, “Final Solution.” 

Jews who survived learned three hard truths: no one will stand up for us, we must never project weakness; and the murder of six million of our People during the Holocaust must forever guide our responsibility towards our ancestral and present day homeland, Israel.

Within the blessing of our 1948 reinvigoration of Israel, our people found themselves, no longer forsaken to second class existence, enduring unwarranted poverty, or discrimination without recourse. They instead, flared a new found pride. Yet, it was not to be a painless birthing and sublime aftermath. 

The Jews of Israel were repeatedly tested in brutal battles. They fought bravely and consistently mastered challenges. 

Yet, after seventy three years, peace and acceptance still proves elusive. Newer and stronger pockets of organized Anti-Israel/ Antisemitism sentiments are waiting in the wings, to once again test our resolve.  

The risk level has risen as our adversaries cleverly intersected themselves with legitimate causes: claiming kinship of destiny with oppressed blacks, women, marginalized indigenous populations, Asians and other minorities; with the notable exception of Jews. The purveyors of hate convinced the susceptible to band with them to challenge Israel and its Jewish legitimacy in the Middle East.

They actively promoted economic terrorist tactics; including Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) maneuvers; all the while, spreading unconscionable misrepresentations and deceptions. By repeating them over and over, at every opportunity afforded; they too easily enabled animosity towards our heritage Israel; an integral part of our Jewish faith. They knew that by eliminating one would place the other in jeopardy. Nazi propaganda techniques perfected in the 1930s seemingly have once again found a home, in current times.

Amazing how easy it was and still is for passionate haters to convince their gullible followers of the virtue of lies. Baselessly, they label Israel an “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing” and “Nazi-like” entity; and the verbal world appears to applaud, while the silent opposition suppresses justifiable rage.  

Sadly, elements from within our extended Jewish family have bought into this nefarious ruse.

Rabbi Morris Zimbalist of Congregation Beth Judea, Long Grove, Illinois; put it best when he stated: “Make no mistake; the movements against Israel promote neither peace nor stability for either Israelis or Palestinians. It takes aim at Israel’s right to exist and attempts to economically isolate and prioritize blaming Israel for just about everything bad, rather than working together towards a viable peace and coexistence.”

 George Orwell, circa 1940 (credit: WIKIPEDIA) George Orwell, circa 1940 (credit: WIKIPEDIA)

This bizarre situation is further fueled by self-serving antipathy spewing forth from within a cache of left-leaning, progressive Democrats.US Representatives Ilhan A. Omar (D-Minn 5th D.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mi 13th D.), among others, appear to view American Jewish citizens, especially those that support Israel with disdain. They seem more attuned to displacing Israel’s Jewish population in favor of Palestinians than securing the welfare of our American Jewish citizens. Do they even remotely conceive that Jews will with enough pressure forsake their ancestral homeland, Israel?  That may equivocate intimidation.

Post the May, 2021 Gaza-Israel military engagement; Israel- bashers predictably dismissed Hamas’s role within their unprovoked launching of some 4,000+ explosive-laden missiles targeting Israeli civilians. Yet, when Israel defensively responded; even after issuing pre-announcements of intended air strike targets to minimize Gaza casualties; Hamas proceeded to convince the waiting media, without any basis-in-fact, that Israel bore the sole responsibility for the total consequences of the war. Too much of the unquestioning world stood down.

Sensing universal weakness, gangs of suspected Palestinian thugs appeared to take to the streets to seize an opportunity to hunt down Jews, not only within mixed Arab/Jewish communities in Israel; but in major US cities, including New York and Los Angeles. Exiting vehicles purportedly draped with Palestinian flag colors, individuals allegedly sought out, beat and demeaned American Jews. In London, some were further alleged to have prompted incitement to criminally assault and violate Jewish women. Shameful behavior; beyond excuse. Yet, the public response appeared restrained. Incomprehensible! How a minority from within the American Palestinian population felt an entitlement to aggressively attack another U.S. minority, Jews, on the streets of America that graciously presented them with their chance at the American dream is beyond reason.  

Federal investigations may yet determine if Hamas, Fatah or other recognized terrorist elements were involved in the above, and the even more recent, alleged incitement to “Globalize Intifada from New York to Gaza!”  

If identifiably caught on security cameras or otherwise; while promoting disorder, and acted in the capacity of “Unregistered Foreign Agents;” suitable justice must ensue. Attempts at societal destabilization must not be tolerated or enabled. 

We must not close our eyes to the wrongs committed in the name of hate that bring shame upon us all – including the pain of racism, and the other equally offensive “ism” – antisemitism. Perhaps, as a start, embracing Dr. King’s pursuit of an equal justice for all philosophy may yet yield an opportunity for us to find common ground.  

The writer is author of the geopolitical thriller ‘First the Saturday People, and then the...’