How appallingly mistaken we were. While hypnotizing ourselves into accepting “the irreversible peace process” we also deluded ourselves into believing that anti-Semites had become an extinct species.
We failed to appreciate that after the defeat of Nazism the poison of anti-Semitism only went into remission.
The horrific speed of the global revival of raw hatred, even encompassing countries without Jews, is mind-boggling. The obscene level of anti-Jewish incitement is comparable to the worst days of the Nazis in the early 1930s.
This is especially so in the Arab world, where gory medieval blood libels displaying Jews extracting blood from children in order to make matzot are triumphantly presented on TV. Graduates of Arafat’s kindergartens and schools are conditioned to erupt into public street celebration every time Israeli civilians are blown to pieces by the shaheeds, who enjoy the highest sanction of Palestinian society.
The mushrooming pace of anti-Semitic growth is particularly disconcerting in Europe whose soil, only 60 years ago, was drenched with Jewish blood. With the speed of an erupting earthquake the sunshine of life for Jews has been clouded. Many are now genuinely fearful, even questioning the future of their children, who are already encountering hostility and violence at school. Jewish institutions are regularly attacked and desecrated.
While the bulk of the violence originates from Islamic immigrants, the incitement itself often emanates from the sophisticated chatter of the liberals and the Left, who focus their venom on the Jewish homeland as a surrogate for Jews as individuals.
Admittedly much of this is a byproduct of post-modernism, which has been imbibed by European culture, creating an environment of moral equivalency that trivializes every distinction between good and evil.
In addition, consciously or unconsciously, many Europeans seek to purge their own wretched colonial guilt on the altar of Israel. So yet again, the Jewish state assumes the role of Jewish scapegoat.
Yet the reality remains that the primary source of this hatred originates from the same anti-Semitic phobia that has set Jews apart for thousands of years – “a people who dwelleth alone.”
Of course the huge difference between the 1930s and now is the presence of the State of Israel, providing a haven that was denied the Jews before the Shoah.
Not surprisingly, critics of Israel dispute this, alleging that the charge of anti-Semitism is a diatribe to divert criticism away from the “occupation.” This is humbug. It is riddled with double standards. The same people who display a persistent passionate hatred against the only democracy in the Middle East invariably ignore the monstrous outrages involving the murder of millions of innocent people in other countries, none of whom are threatened by neighbors seeking to destroy them.
IRONICALLY THIS hypocrisy is also expressed by a small but highly vocal number of Jews, including Israelis, who are often at the forefront of the demonization and delegitimization of the Jewish state. These turncoats are effectively exploited by anti-Semites and lionized by those Left and liberals in the Western world who were once staunch friends of the Jewish people but now head the anti-Jewish pack.
It is also extraordinary, even miraculous, that conservatives, who previously distanced themselves and even occasionally adopted anti-Semitic stances, are now numbered among our best friends. Prominent are Christian Evangelicals who have today elevated support of Israel to one of their primary religious obligations and vigorously condemn anti-Semitism.
Yet, paradoxically, there are still Jews gullible enough to believe that the upsurge of anti-Semitism is basically a byproduct of Israel’s policies. The logic is that in the absence of a Jewish state anti-Semitism would somehow disappear.
This has led some Jews to even distance themselves from Israel and join the anti-Zionist chic – as if there were a distinction between demonization of Israel and hostility against Jews. Both are birds of a feather and rooted in a common hatred. Nothing would delight our enemies more than to drive a wedge between Israeli and Diaspora Jews. They realize better than some Jews that without Israel the Jewish people is doomed.
In recent years we were reluctant to aggressively confront the anti-Israel activities of European countries and the UN and expose their shameful hypocrisy. This is now changing, and we are fortunate that Minister-without-Portfolio for Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky is leading the campaign on behalf of Israel. With his unique personal record in the struggle for human rights he is ideally equipped to provide leadership to the Jewish people in the global battle against anti-Semitism.
It is often said that the attitude toward Jews is a litmus test for the level of bigotry and intolerance in any given society. Now the time has come for us to take the initiative and expose the double standards manifest in the policies of those attacking us. We must assiduously avoid confusing or labeling legitimate criticism of Israeli government policies as anti-Semitic.
But we must shame the so-called enlightened nations, who persistently defame and condemn us for defending ourselves while simultaneously tolerating bigotry and appeasing murderers and terrorists.
We must dramatically confront the evil that suffuses all levels of Palestinian society and sanctifies child sacrifices and suicide bombings, and expose those who remain silent and fail to distinguish between murderers and victims.
The recent emotional outbursts by European leaders in response to an article by World Jewish Congress President Edgar Bronfman and Koby Benatoff criticizing the European establishment for failing to act more forcefully against anti-Semitism highlights the extraordinary sensitivity surrounding this issue.
This brings me to the crux of the matter:
The World Jewish Congress is now launching an international campaign involving every Jewish community and directed toward enlightened people everywhere to persuade governments to press for the carrying of a resolution on this subject at the UN.
We intend resurrecting the resolution condemning anti-Semitism that was initially promoted by the Irish Government at the General Assembly, and subsequently withdrawn under pressure from the Arab bloc.
We will also launch international petitions to promote this campaign and hope to obtain millions of signatures of support from men and women of goodwill from all walks of life throughout the world.
We intend to canvass support along similar lines to the successful campaign which resulted in rescinding the 1975 Zionism is Racism UN resolution. Our primary objective will obviously be to promote the passage of the resolution condemning anti-Semitism at the United Nations. But should that fail, we would at least identify those purportedly respectable governments who refuse to condemn bigotry directed against the Jewish people and expose the UN as a body unfit to provide moral leadership.
We regard this campaign as the first major Jewish global counterattack designed to stem and ultimately reverse the tide.