Why Jews Need Israel

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In a speech given to the Domestic Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag in June 2008 on the subject of a renascent antisemitism, journalist Henryk Broder distinguished between a prejudice and a resentment: “a prejudice concerns a person’s behavior; a resentment concerns that person’s very existence. Anti-semitism is a resentment. The anti-Semite does not begrudge the Jew how he is or what he does, but that he is at all. The anti-Semite takes offense as much at the Jew’s attempts to assimilate as at his self-marginalization. Rich Jews are exploiters; poor Jews are freeloaders….The anti-Semite blames Jews for everything and its opposite.”

Of course, this is a story as old as the Judean hills. If there is anything “new” about it in the current historical moment, it resides in the form this ancient “resentment” happens to take. Its racist, religious and class manifestations persist, but a fourth ingredient has been added to this toxic soup of roiling hatreds, namely, a national element that goes under the rubric of anti-Zionism. The “historical strain of anti-Semitism continues,” writes Phyllis Chesler in The New Anti-Semitism, “but in the last fifty years it has also metamorphosed into the most violent anti-Zionism.”

What Jews cannot be forgiven today is the rebuilding of a national home. The re-creation of the state of Israel in its ancestral territory is broadly regarded as a colonial incursion into the Middle East and, in many cases, as the latest installment in a vast Jewish conspiracy to pursue the gradual conquest of the world or to assert a sinister hegemony. This conviction is obviously nonsense if not sheer madness, but it serves a time-dishonored purpose: the justification of an aversion to everything Jewish, whether expressed, in Norman Cohn’s phrase, as a warrant for genocide, or as a free-floating revulsion to the mere fact of Jewishness—even where no or very few Jews are present.

Examples abound. Soeren Kern, a senior analyst for the Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos in Madrid, considers Spain the most antisemitic country in Europe, nearly half of its people harboring negative opinions of Jews. Yet the Jewish community in Spain is infinitesimal, with only 12,000 Jews out of a population of 42 million, less than .05% (Pajamas Media, December 30, 2008). Similarly, there are only 1,300 Jews in Norway, approximately .003% out of a population of 4,645,000, yet Norway is a major Scandinavian purveyor of anti-Zionist and antisemitic attitudes and beliefs, and indeed challenges Spain for the European laurels (Behind the Humanitarian Mask, Manfred Gerstenfeld, ed.)

Not to be left behind, Sweden, where Jews form .01% of the population, is a veritable hotbed of antisemitic sepsis, its  largest daily, Aftonbladet, accusing the Israeli army of harvesting the organs of abducted Palestinians and its foreign minister Carl Bildt endorsing the blood libel as “freedom of expression.” One remembers, too, the graffiti in Potsdam after German reunification: Juden Raus, “Jews Out.” There were no Jews in Potsdam. As of this writing, Britain seems to have leaped into the forefront of the European antisemitic pack, with France breathing down its neck. Jews constitute .25% of the census in the former, .73% in the latter. Both countries have large Muslim immigrant populations, which increasingly influence the official tone of anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli feeling. Political authorities like Catherine Ashton and Nicolas Sarkozy are among Israel’s most fervid critics and appear little concerned with the plight of Jews in their own nations.

According to reports, South Korea, where scarcely a Jew is to be found, is also trending in the same direction, as witness a “top-selling series of comic books,” other anti-Semitic texts, a demonstrable strain of public sentiment, and a Secretary-General of the United Nations, the rather contemptible Ban Ki-moon, who considers Israel an occupying power that practices “violence against civilians.”

Then there is Japan, a world-leader in the promulgation of antisemitic material, though one would have to search far and wide to find a Jew in that country. Many writers, publishers and organizations in Japan are preoccupied with Yudakaya, “the Jewish peril.” According to the Stephen Roth Institute, books like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, The International Jew and Mein Kampf are regularly reprinted in new editions. Prominent authors, publishers, journalists and academics—the list is daunting—who blame Jews for everything from AIDS to cancer to Alzheimer’s to the revival of Nazism, are widely read. “Fascination caused by ignorance, but also in some cases fear and hatred of Jews,” says Roth, “probably explain the great popularity of…anti-Semitic yudayamono (Jewish books).”

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  • NotaBene

    Wrong. America is and always will be more important to Jews than Israel. Consider this: which situation is more dangerous for world Jewry; the collapse of Israel, or an eliminationist government coming to power in the US? I thought so.

    • Maher

      “an eliminationist government coming to power in the US? “ Eliminationist? You mean a US government using ethnic cleansing Arab style? Jews were indigenous all over the “Arab world” 2,000 years before the Arab occupation. Zero today. Eliminationist? Similar to the Arab governments employing ethnic and religious cleansing vis à vis the Chaldeans, the Copts, the Tamazight, the black people of Sudan and Mauritania?

      • NotaBene

        Talk about a non-answer.

        • Maher

          As a "non-answer" I'll give you the conclusion of my post : the Arabs are the worst predators this planet has ever seen.

          • Advocatus

            Well, NotaBene, that depends which Jews you mean. For Israeli Jews, the "collapse of Israel," as you so euphemistically put it, should hold pretty dismal prospects now, should it not?

          • NotaBene

            if Israel fails, the US will be there for the Jews…if the US is taken over by Nazi-era levels of antisemitism, forget it, game over….Israel won't be able to sustain itself even if you believe its nuclear weapons keep it safe from attack.

    • Cynic

      ” an eliminationist government coming to power in the US? ”

      When sharia comes to the US, and there is a relatively high probability given the current state of affairs, elimination will start.
      Take alook at what has happened to the Norwegian city of Malmo; how many Jews there now?

      • PAthena

        Malmo is in Sweden.

        • SpiritOf1683

          Yep. Malmo is in Sweden, but for the Jewish population there, it is starting to hardly matter if Malmo is in Sweden, Egypt or Iran.

    • Sage on the Stage

      How pathetically ignorant you are. If you read the articles on this site, you should understand that many American Jews-perhaps a majority, don't care about Israel. You need to consider that there was a sizeable Jewish community in America, long before the 1948 beginning of modern Israel.(Jews began to come to America in 1654)
      Also, Jews have been in the Diaspora–dispersed from their ancient homeland in Israel–since the 70 A.D. destruction of the 2nd Temple. Thus for American Jews, the destruction of present-day Israel would be a catastrophe(that might result in a 2nd Holocaust), but they would stil survive. But an "eliminationist government" in the US would be a more immediate threat to American Jews' survival.

      • Raymond in DC

        Corrective: Jews were well distributed across the Roman Empire while the Temple still stood – including in what are today Libya, Egypt, Turkey and Iran, all areas much later conquered by the Arabs.

        We obviously have a different sense of "survival". Consider what it must have been like long ago for those Jews who survived the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Yes, Jewish life continued in the Galilee and along the coastal plain, as well as many areas of that Diaspora. But the failure of the Bar Kochba rebellion some 65 years later resulted in even greater loss of life and mass enslavement. One can only imagine the resultant trauma and despair. Were there to be a second holocaust today with the span of a single lifetime I think it would be so traumatic many would simply cease to be Jews in any real sense.

    • reader

      Nifty false choice. If Israel goes, it's trouble for the US as well.

  • UCSPanther

    I think I know why Japan has a problem with antisemitism: It has mainly to do with Japanese Nationalists, a group of malcontents wanting a return to Japan's violent imperialism of WWII.

    In Japan, it is said to be somewhat fashionable to engage in revisionist history about WWII, especially with respect to their genocidal rampage in China.

    I have also seen modern day Japanese nationalists being on friendly terms with Neo-Nazis and even hanging out on their websites.

  • UCSPanther

    Frankly, it is quite pathetic yet hilarious to see the desperation of Jew haters. A lot of what they try amounts to no more than throwing garbage at a wall and hoping something will stick.

  • maria

    Israel is on the first line in battle with Islamic-fashists battle. Islamists openly say "Islam will dominate". It means the end of Western civilization. It is not only jews extermination but all non-muslims extermination as well. Read Koran, Islamic "Main Kampf". It is all about you all non-muslims including anti-semits. We all depends on Israel survival. Millinons Christians in US and in the world support Israel. The first victims in history always were Jews but next were others. After Saturday is always Sunday.
    I am patriot of US and I am for Israel.

  • Neils60

    One need only look at the OWS crowd here in the USA, and its many, many supporters, especially the politicos, who evidently have succumbed to the sickness of blind Jewish hatred in order to solidify their support with the "progressives" who share their disdain for Jews. In fact, yesterday, Jay Carney, White House spokesperson, when asked about the violence and hatred in Oakland, California's version of OWS, didn't condemn any aspect of the outrageous behavior by those occupiers or occupiers anywhere.

  • Marty

    It's not just Jews who need Israel. Western civilization and political democracy need Israel to survive and remain the only beacon of hope in an islamic infected middle east. At some point Israel will attack and hopefully destroy most if not all of the iranian nuclear program. That is when we will learn once and for all who is for indiviudal freedom and who wants to enable islam to destroy it.

  • Maxie

    Since the time of Marx it has been a segment of Jewry advocating atheistic Collectivism, aka, Communism. Whether communism or its more obscure twin "tikkun olam" the intent is a homogenization of humanity: the end of individualism, religions, nations (including Israel). It's my belief that is what's at the core of "anti-semitism" even if it goes unrecognized by the anti-Semite himself. Groups which militantly defend against so-called anti-Semitism (ACLU, So. Poverty Law Center et al) are really anti-anti-communist agencies using charges of anti-Semitism as a shield.
    Now watch people scream "anti-Semite" at me.

    • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

      The statement

      "…a segment of Jewry advocating atheistic Collectivism, aka, Communism"

      is correct. They are the so called ethnic-only "Jews".

      "… ACLU, So. Poverty Law Center et al defending Jews against anti-Semitism" – I doubt that. They may occasionally defend such "Jews" as Soros or Alinsky against critique of conservatives. Do you have more examples for ACLU?…

  • Nakba1948
    • reader

      You keep spreading this lie and keep ignoring the truth. But the truth is out there:

    • SpiritOf1683

      We all know you're a viciously insane and useless Jew hater by now who should never have reeived his Jewish-invcented vaccines and medicines, so why do you keep repeating your usual hate-filled trash?

  • Ghostwriter

    If you want an example of Japanese anti-semitism,look no further than an anime called "Angel Cop." On the surface,it's a typical anime. A story about a group fighting terrorism in Japan. Unfortunately,it went into some pretty nasty territory. Not only was it extremely violent and anti-American,but it was also anti-Jewish. It had a storyline in which the Jews took over America and tried to turn Japan into a nuclear waste dump. When this was brought to America,the anti-semitism was wisely toned down and both the English dub and the subtitled version skipped over the anti-semitic parts.
    This type of anime would greatly please Nakba1948 because he has shown time and again that he hates Jews and wants them dead. I want to tell Nakba1948 this. Jewish-Americans have been among our most patriotic citizens. They're not the ones who want America destroyed,it's those like Nakba1948 and his pals who scream "Death to America" every chance they get.

  • Debanjan Banerjee

    Gilad Atzmon has clearly stated in his book "the wandering who ?" that the basic reason behind the problem for Jewish identity is that the Jew considers itself as a different kind of superior being than the goyim and is ready to do everything to make himself superior over goyim.

    This is the reason the anti-semitism comes into picture. If the Jew can think himself similar to the Goyim , no one amongst the Goyim will consider them as "vermins" or "the children of apes and pigs".

    • Maher

      Whose child are you Banerjeer?

  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    This is a very nice and thoughtful article.

  • Raymond in DC

    "The re-creation of the state of Israel in its ancestral territory is broadly regarded as a colonial incursion into the Middle East …"

    How curious. The Arabs burst out of the Arabian peninsula early in the 7th century and within a century had conquered much of the known world from Iberia to the Indian sub-continent. Yet they accuse the Jews, who have retaken much less than 1% of that territory as their historic patrimony of "colonial incursion"!

  • gus

    I don`t undestand how some people like you always mistake the awareness on apartheid state in Israel and its anti human rights policies as antizionism. The world is nor always looking at you. Stop violating all the international laws and the world will stop critizising these israeli policies. Nothing to do with jews and hatred…