There are numerous international conflicts in play all the time. There are struggles over borders and resources, ethnic and religious intolerance, persecuted minorities and ones that are not persecuted but would like to be persecutors. There are conflicts pursued by military means, by terrorism, by diplomacy and propaganda, and by a combination of all of these. Some of these have been simmering for hundreds of years.
But if we consider the number of players, the different arenas in which it is played out, the absolutely enormous amount of resources dedicated to it, its worldwide scope, the way generations have had their lives entirely circumscribed and defined by it, the fact that it has permeated every aspect of international relations and affected virtually every human on the planet — and if we compare this to the remarkably tiny sliver of land and people at its center — then it’s impossible to see the Muslim/Arab/European war against the Jewish state as anything but completely sui generis (one of a kind). To borrow a phrase from Victor Davis Hanson, it is a war like no other.
Am I exaggerating? Several destructive regional wars have already taken place, another is brewing, and unless Israel is overrun, there will be more after that. Terrorist organizations like the PLO, Hizballah and others which were created as part and parcel of the conflict have defined and developed international terrorism, legitimized it and served as paradigms for conflict by proxy. They have destabilized regimes and caused untold misery for the civilians unlucky enough to reside where they base themselves.
The United Nations, an institution whose charter is to prevent war and help improve the condition of humanity has been infiltrated by the cancer of this conflict, with unnatural organs created at huge expense just for the purpose of assisting one side in the struggle. Institutions of international law and organizations intended to improve health, protect human rights, preserve culture, advance science, provide educational opportunities — all have been grotesquely perverted and twisted in the service of it.
Educational institutions, labor unions, charities, religious groups in every part of the globe have become obsessed with it.
An entire nation has been created — the ‘Palestinians’ — from a disparate group of Arabs that happened to live in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1948, to oppose the Jewish nation’s sovereignty in the tiny state now called Israel. Some Palestinians and their descendents have been kept in the limbo of a unique refugee status for 66 years. Most of them have been systematically indoctrinated into an unprecedented culture of hate, desiring only revenge and to shed the blood of their enemies. A detailed historical narrative has been fabricated to justify this.
The rest of the world has financed and fed into it for multiple reasons. The oil monarchies of the Gulf invested large amounts of money and commercial influence to turn governments, institutions (especially universities), and whole populations against Israel, while arming and paying terrorists. Leftist political groups and individuals, especially psychologically dysfunctional individuals of Jewish extraction, compete to prove themselves more radical in the struggle against the Jewish state. Academics and writers create careers for themselves out of increasingly ingenious expressions of hate, since there is always a market for it.
And then there are the Europeans, presently pumping money into anti-state NGOs, nationalist Arab groups, etc., while repeating over and over again the big lie that “settlements are illegal under international law” and threatening boycotts and sanctions unless Israel agrees to curl up into a fetal position and ask the Arabs or Iran to please slaughter her.
I used to think that this was all about currying favor with Arab oil powers, but it is becoming more and more clear that their behavior is an honest expression of how they feel. It is not only Muslims who are outraged when Jews deign to rise above their appointed station. How dare the Jews — the same Jews that were kicked out of so many European countries, subjected to pogroms and discrimination — how dare they build a country (“that shitty little country,” in the words of the French ambassador) with a thriving economy and a birthrate far above the replacement rate, when the economies and cultures of Europe are crashing around them!
But really… all this Sturm und Drang over a country the size of New Jersey and about 7 million Jews?
Imagine if the energy that went into hating and trying to destroy Israel could be used for productive purposes. It’s crazy, obsessive, psychotic behavior, and it drains the material and spiritual resources of a world which needs them badly.
You are expressing what so many of us feel.
Maybe this animus will somehow work to the benefit of Israel; we don’t know.
Because of the disaster that is today’s Middle East there is less and less chance that Israel will leave the territories. They are needed to protect the kingdom of Jordan, at the very least, and that is probably starting to dawn on world governments.
This piece says a lot of what I and I am sure many other Jews feel. It all in some way seems so absurd and so exaggerated. Some here will certainly search for a religious explanation and even point to this week’s Torah Reading ‘Balak’ and the passage about the People who dwell alone. However we are too close to the Shoah and too close to so many other disasters in History to I believe take any kind of explanation, as comforting.
There are many ironies here including the major one that we the people who were and are by our moral example ideally supposed to bring out the best in humanity, have simply by being who we are , however this is misinterpreted, brought out much of the worst in Humanity. I do not mean here that we are responsible for this. But the long list of cruel and evil people and peoples that have persecuted the Jews is to my mind one of the strongest pieces of evidence that Humanity is anything but ‘good at heart’ or essentially ‘noble in purpose’, but rather in many cases corrupt and evil beyond any possible Redemption.
Brilliant indeed! It’s a puzzle, but perhaps the explanation is that what bothers “them” is the persistence of our existence.
With all that has happened to us over so many centuries, the loss of homeland, the persecutions, the massacres, we should have disappeared from the world stage long, long ago, but we have survived, seen many of our enemies perish and disappear and we have flourished! This is an affront to “them”.
When, in his student days in Poland, the great Jewish freedom fighter Menahem Begin asked a Polish fellow student why he hated Jews, the response was: “the very fact that you exist is a provocation!”.