It’s a truism these days that traditional Jew-hatred has moved up one level of abstraction and turned into psychopathic Israel-hatred. Indeed, excessive concern over the question “is anti-Zionism antisemitism?” usually indicates that the questioner is guilty of both. There’s nothing surprising about this: in this day of globalization of trade and communications, Jew-hatred has globalized as well.
The centuries of dealing with Jew-hatred have made us familiar with various strategies for self-defense, although before we had a state and an army there weren’t many effective ones.
One of our perennial favorites was to appeal to the local prince or emir either by flattery, argument or bribery to try to get him to protect us against the pogromists that were always ready to loot, rape and murder in Jewish neighborhoods. This strategy sometimes worked temporarily, but sooner or later a friendly official would be replaced by one who “did not know Joseph” or a bribed one would raise his price to more than we could pay.
There is another strategy, which is to give nothing and fight our tormentors. Unfortunately the odds were usually so lopsided – as in the case of Bar Kochba or the Warsaw Ghetto – that although we kept our honor, we lost our lives.
Note that our enemies today do not even give us the choice to die on our feet or live on our knees: they want us to kneel so they can cut our heads off.
Zionism was, among other things, an attempt to give us the option of not only fighting, but winning. It has been the most successful strategy of all to protect our people. Zionism’s answer to Jew-hatred was to change the odds, to fight the British colonialists and the pro-Nazi Arabs at the same time in order to create a Jewish state with a Jewish army that would not have to beg for or buy its survival.
Great sacrifices were made to this end. When it became clear that neither the British nor the Arabs were prepared to let us have the homeland that the world had promised us, the Zionists of both the Left and the Right fought and died for it. The odds were not in our favor, but the Jews had the will to win – why shouldn’t they, when they felt their backs against the walls of Hitler’s gas chambers?
As everyone knows, the Jewish state was established and beat back several additional attempts to destroy it. Israel now has a powerful army, one of the best air forces in the world, and a nuclear deterrent, even a second-strike capability. We have changed the odds.
But our enemies in the West and the Muslim world changed their strategy as well. They realized that they couldn’t get rid of the Jews by frontal attack, at least not today. So they launched a broad diplomatic and psychological campaign, aiming to weaken the Jewish state to the point that it could ultimately be overrun. The Arabs, the West and the Soviets with their international Left fellow-travelers all participated. Today it is a global enterprise in which everyone does their part.
The American State Department has fought against the Jewish state since its inception. Today it works tirelessly (usually with help from the president and his administration) to reverse the outcome of the 1967 war and return Israel to the indefensible borders of 1949. It also refuses to accept the Jewish ownership of any part of Jerusalem. The Obama Administration has followed a policy to strengthen Iran in the region at the expense of Israel and other former US allies.
The PLO, for its part, works in accordance with its “phased plan” initially developed in the 1970s to establish an Arab-controlled enclave in the land of Israel which can serve as a base for terrorism and ultimately an additional front in a regional war. It cooperates with the UN – an organization that is supported by the US and Europe – to present itself as the representative of an oppressed ‘Palestinian people’ who claim to be the real owners of the land of Israel. Also financed by the US and Europe, the PLO mounts a continuous series of diplomatic initiatives against Israel and incites and supports terrorism against Jews, although it somehow manages to maintain that it is not responsible for it.
The European Union and individual European governments (especially Germany and the insufferable Scandinavians) pump massive amounts of money into the PLO and anti-state NGOs staffed with Jewish Israeli traitors and international anti-Zionist activists. They cooperate with the PLO’s diplomatic initiatives and psychological warfare operations designed to demonize and delegitimize Israel. The NGOs, since the 2001 “anti-racism” conference in Durban, South Africa, have succeeded in promulgating the wildly incorrect – but powerful – myth that Israel practices apartheid and commits ‘genocide’ against the ‘Palestinians’.
Arab petrodollar-funded academics established anti-Zionist Mideast Studies departments in American Universities, while Arab and Muslim immigrants in the US supply the foot-soldiers of an increasingly militant anti-Israel campus activism.
Hamas, which could not exist without ‘refugee’ aid from UNRWA, the UN’s special ‘Palestinian-only’ refugee agency, initiates periodic wars against Israel which terrorize the population and serve as jumping-off points for worldwide anti-Israel activism. It also mobilizes Sunni Islamic opposition and motivates suicide bombers.
Finally, Iran, previously considered a ‘rogue state’ but now increasingly a partner to the US and Europe, provides money and weapons to the Lebanese Hezbollah organization, a global terrorist enterprise which comprises a very serious military threat – today, the most dangerous one that Israel faces – on its northern border.
It is remarkable how practically the entire world can cooperate against Zionism, when it is unable to cooperate on almost anything else!
The psychological campaign has been particularly effective, both in enlisting people outside of Israel, many of whom have never met an actual Jew, and in sowing doubt among and weakening the will of Israeli Jews.
As a result, almost any military action by Israel, no matter how serious the provocation, is immediately denounced by the world media as “disproportionate” or worse. Western governments, especially the US, take action to restrain Israel.
A small but very vocal minority of Israelis has internalized the anti-Zionist ideas of our enemies. This minority has members in important positions in the media, the judiciary and even the army, and can have a disproportionate influence on the government’s decisions. Together with the coordinated international pressure that has been detailed above, the result is to paralyze our government and make it unable to take strong action against foes like Hamas and Hezbollah. It is apparently unable to declare the PLO an enemy, or even to stop providing logistical support (food, water, electricity and until recently, cement) to Hamas at the same time that Hamas prepares for war against Israel.
It does take action against Jewish nationalists, whose activities – despite an all-out effort to pin a case of arson/murder on them – appear to be limited to small-time assaults and vandalism. It punishes a simple soldier for killing an incapacitated terrorist who had just attempted to murder a Jew. In this way, it believes it will show the world that Israel is a just and humane society.
Such attempts are less likely to succeed even than the hasbara which promotes Israel as an enlightened state and a popular destination for gay tourism. It is the international equivalent of a Jewish community trying to beg or buy safety from the local princes. It is a Diaspora response, not a Zionist response.
Israel’s public behavior needs to change. Our officials need to understand that neither the Arabs nor the West accept the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East. They did not accept it in 1948, they do not today and they will not tomorrow. This is not based on a rational calculation of interests; it is a result of deeply felt anti-Zionism, which is globalized Jew-hatred. Our adoption of Western humanist values to an even greater degree than the West itself is never enough for them; and the Arabs rightly hold us in contempt.
Therefore there is no point in trying to hold off the pressure from the US and Europe by making concessions to the Arabs, on the grounds that these minor retreats aren’t dangerous and will make us look good. We cannot ‘look good’ to those who hate us, and the demands for concessions will never end.
There is no point in behaving humanely to those who would behave toward us as the Islamic State does in Syria, if we let down our guard. There is no point in giving up our honor as the owners of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in order to keep the Arabs quiet. And there will be no point in not using artillery and air power, including even tactical nuclear weapons if appropriate, to shut down the missiles from southern Lebanon.
Zionism indeed changes the odds and makes it possible for the Jewish people to stand up and fight, and to win. But to realize the change we must use the power of our state and our army.
The world will not understand the need for a Jewish state, no matter how we behave. But it can be made to understand that there is one and that it will fight fiercely and without quarter against anyone that tries to destroy it.