Friday, July 01, 2005

No, Thank You
I Don't Like Trains Very Much

In this article from Jewish World Review, Fiamma Nirenstein describes the bafflement and frustration she has felt at being rejected by liberal peers for her support of Israel over the years:

I soon noticed that I had lost the innocence of the good Jew, of the very special Jewish friend, their Jew: I was now connected with the Jews of the State of Israel, and slowly I was put out of the dodecaphonic, psychoanalytic, Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Philip Roth, Freud shtetl, the coterie that sanctified my Judaism in left wing eyes.

I have tried for a long time to bring back that sanctification, and they tried to give it back to me, because we desperately needed each other, the left and the Jews. But today's anti Semitism has overwhelmed any good intention.

Throughout the years, even people that, like me, who had signed petitions asking the IDF to withdraw from Lebanon, became an "unconscious fascist" as a reader of mine wrote me in a letter filled with insults. In one book it was simply written that I was "a passionate woman that fell in love with Israel, confusing Jerusalem with Florence."

A very famous Israeli writer told me on the phone a couple of months ago: "You really have become a right-winger." What? Right winger? Me? An old feminist human rights activist, even a communist when I was young? Only because I described the Arab-Israeli conflict as accurately as I could and because sometimes I identified with a country continuously attacked by terror, I became a right-winger?

In the contemporary world, the world of human rights, when you call a person a right-winger, this is the first step toward his or her delegitimization.

She then goes on to give a perfect illustration of how the New Anti-Semitism (which focuses on hatred of Israel) is connected to the old anti-Semitism which focused on Jews in general:

A famous Italian journalist, the former director of Corriere Della Sera, was named president of RAI, which is a very important job. RAI is an empire that shapes Italian public opinion and manages billions of dollars. The nominee's last name, Mieli, is Jewish.

Mieli is a widely appreciated journalist and historian who enjoys enormous and well deserved prestige. When he was appointed, the same night, the walls of RAI headquarters were filled with graffiti.

RAI means Radio Televisione Italiana - Italian Radio and Television. The graffiti authors wrote the word raus (get out!) over it. They drew a Star of David over the A of the word RAI, and transformed the acronym to "Radio Televisione Israeliana" - Israeli Radio and Television.

The phrase is a perfect cross-section of what we are talking about: Raus and the use of the star of David are the classic signs of traditional anti-Semitic contempt and hate, and the words Radio Televisione Israeliana, putting Israel in the center of the picture, is a clear indication of how Israel is the focus of the left winged anti-Semitic hate today.

The irrational level of hatred directed at Israel in liberal European circles has led Jews to a place where they are being to either reject Israel, or they will be rejected. Read the contents of this letter written by a group of professors at University of Bologna to their "Jewish friends":

"We have always considered the Jewish people an intelligent and sensitive one because they have been selected (that's right, selected!) by the suffering of persecution and humiliation. We have school friends and some Jewish students whom we have helped and educated, taking them to high academic levels, and today many of them teach in Israeli universities.

We are writing because we feel that our love and appreciation for you is being transformed into a burning rage… we think that many people, also outside the university, feel the same. You have to realize that what was done to you in the past, you are now doing to the Palestinians… if you continue on this path, hatred for you will grow throughout the world"

Fiamma Nirenstein comments that the letter seems to plead, "Come back, our dear Jews. Be ours again. Let us curse Israel together and then take a trip together to the Holocaust memorials".

I would add that the tone of the letter is one of proprietorship, of a master to a subordinate, or a superior to an inferior. They remind the Jewish professors that they have helped Jews, "taking them to "high academic levels," as if the Jews hadn't made it to high academic levels in almost every country in the Western World without the help of these imperious Bolognans.

And note that the reminder of all the help they have provided to the poor Jews is brought up in prelude to a warning that if they don't do what the imperious professors want them to do, then they will sow the wrath of the nations. It might be appropriate to remind a friend of a favor you have done for them in asking for a return favor, but it is not at all appropriate to demand compliance from whole group of people by reminding them that they have helped specific people ("school friends and some Jewish students") within their community.

And besides, have not Jewish professors helped Italian professors? Of course they have. But, somehow this group of Bolognists think they have helped Jews as a community more than Jews have helped them. Because, of course, Jews are inferior, and they couldn't have ascended to "high academic levels" without the help of these powerful Bologners.

Let's get down to brass tacks here. The truth is, Israel was established because the Euros realized that the Jews needed a homeland where they could hide from them. In a moment of terrible clarity on the morning after the Euros woke up from their drunken orgy of Jew-slaughter, the Euros looked in the mirror and said,

"We can't trust ourselves. Be gone with you Jews, before we kill every last one of you. Here, take this key and this deed and go live in that home down yonder. Leave quickly before we start killing again."

And now the Euros want the Jews to feel shame over the very existence of Israel. They want the Jews to negotiate and ultimately comply with the likes of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, when both groups call for the destruction of Israel in their charters. That's like asking the Jews to come down and fill out the papers for their train ride to Aushwitz all over again.

Israel is a sanctuary for Jews. It exists precisely because history has shown that if the Jews do not a place to which to flee then they will be murdered. This worlds unending paranoid obsession with Jews is a mystery.

Why do societies repeatedly blame the Jews for their problems? Who knows? But, we do know that it is happening again. Once again, the Jews are being blamed for the worlds problems. Politicians and members of the media the world over tell us that, if we could only solve the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis, then we would have peace with the Islamofascists.

So, they demand that Israel negotiates according to the Road Map for Peace. But, the problem is, you can not negotiate with a person whose starting position is your death. You can not negotiate with someone who refuses to stop killing you.

Jews today are being presented with a Faustian bargain. Jews are being asked to reject Israel in order to be accepted in the world of academia and politics. But, Israel is the soul of the Jewish people. It is their breathing space, the thing that sustains them. And how does it profit a people to gain the world yet forfeit their soul?