Thursday, February 14, 2013

Unwarranted hatred

When I was a child growing up in London I was often attacked by gangs of boys and they used to say things like "Jew-boy, go back to your own country."  When I was young I was mystified by this, what after all was my own country, since I had been born in England?
When I got older I thought that they were referring to the Jewish country of Israel that had come into existence when I was about 10 years old.  This made me a Zionist.  But, then after Israel was founded and recognized it became clear that these anti-Semites weren't consistent.  Now they decided that it really wasn't our country, no it belonged to another group called the Palestinians.  How did this transition occur, I am not sure, but it is clear that now a large proportion of people in the western world and certainly a large majority in the east, consider Jewish sovereignty not just wrong, but immoral, and anything that they can do to support the rights of the Palestinian Arab underdogs is justified, even if it means hating all Jews. 
Recently Sarah Honig caused a scandal when she wrote in her column in the Jerusalem Post that when she was visiting an obscure village in rural Ireland she was shocked to find that during normal school hours they were being taught about and were collecting money for the poor, deprived Palestinians.  When she questioned them, they knew nothing about Israel, where it was, how big it is, all they knew was that they were expected to support the "poor" Palestinians who were being persecuted by the Jews.  By writing about this travesty she disturbed a hornet's nest.  Now she and the Jerusalem Post are being inundated by letters from Ireland, most of them anti-Semitic in the crudest possible terms (see her column on this at
This reminds me of a description in the book "Among the Believers: an Islamic journey" by V.S. Naipaul, who toured the Islamic world in the 1970s.  When he was in a remote village in Indonesia he visited a madrassa, a religious school, and he asked what was being taught.  The translator told him that the teacher was telling the children how the Jews were evil and must be destroyed.  He questioned this and said, but there are no Jews in Indonesia, why not teach them something more useful, and he was told, no, they must be taught this, it is part of the curriculum.
So this is where it comes from, from the beginning they are all taught to hate the Jews, even if they have never met one and even if none exist in their country.  If anyone really believes they can distinguish between anti-Semitism, defined as racial hatred of Jews (and not just hatred of the religion Judaism) and anti-Israelism, defined as hatred of the Jewish State, good luck.  The only guarantee of Jewish survival in the world is the existence of a vibrant Jewish State of Israel with a strong army to defend it.


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