2015 began very badly. It’s not that 2014 was a joy ride, but the level of anti-Jewish violence has evidently jumped a phase. On January 20, I wrote in a blog post for The Jerusalem Post that it looks like we have reached a tipping point, and we must act fast, and with resolve.
It didn’t take long before we received another reminder that we are living on borrowed time, and that we are all in the same boat. France’s sinking into anti-Semitism is not an isolated incident. Neither was Belgium before, nor is Denmark now. We can see that it is quickly spreading into all of Europe, and the vision of it crossing the Atlantic no longer seems unwarranted.
Quite honestly, I think that Jews have nothing to look for in today’s Europe. It is being conquered by Islam, and the Europeans haven’t the inner strength to fight for their values. The war that extreme Islam is waging against Jews is not about land, sovereignty, or the lives of the Palestinians in Gaza. It is a Jihad, a war aimed for one purpose only—to exterminate the infidels. And the first to be targeted are the Jews.
However, we also need to realize that the anti-Semitic mindset is not exclusive to Muslim extremists. Jews are unwanted throughout “the old continent.” The Muslims may be the most aggressive and outspoken in their actions, but we have seen numerous times that native Western Europeans from the entire political spectrum readily join anti-Semitic riots. In light of that, I think that if Jews want to feel safer, they will do well to look for residence elsewhere.
At the moment, Israel and North America seem like the two safest places for Jews. But it would be a gross mistake to think that they can go there and ride out the anti-Semitic storm in peace, then return to their homes in Europe. Anti-Semitism is spreading like brushfire and will soon take over the entire world.
For this reason, it’s not enough to flee; we also need to make a thorough introspection into the possible causes of this tsunami of hatred. However, since the usual arguments of counting our contributions to science, economy, culture, and ethics, are clearly ineffective, we need to search for answers elsewhere.
The one thing for which Jews have always been both envied and hated is their solidarity, their unity of the community. However, anti-Semites argue that we use this trait to our benefit and against the rest of the world. I think that this is where we need to look for answers to anti-Semitism, because they are subconsciously waiting for us to share this solidarity with them. This is our true gift to the world and some of the people I would least expect to understand this often astound me by understanding the uniqueness of the Jews in an exceptional way.
I once met one of Russia’s most outspoken anti-Semites, Alexander Prokhanov, editor-in-chief of the extreme-right newspaper Zavtra (Tomorrow) for a televised conversation, he said very plainly, “It seems to me that the Jews have already united the whole of humanity. Globalization was built primarily by Jewish consciousness, and this passion for money, possessions, and power … Humanity is already united, but on what basis? … We can say that the first part of the work [uniting humanity] has been achieved, so don’t be so hard your people,” he surprised me with rebuking my own criticism of my people. “What remains,” he added, “is to fill that connectedness with a different filling, to extract from this composite the dark essences [greed and power struggles] that fill it. …Indeed, your people [Jews] have already done part of the work.”
I must say that I agree with him on that. For too many years we have been displaying discord. It is not that we have to agree on everything, we just have to learn to unite above our differences. Our sages have always told us that unity is Israel’s salvation, and this is what we need now.
We are fighting one another both in Israel and everywhere else, thus exposing our disunity. We already know that the world is watching our every move. No other country has been “awarded” a dedicated UN delegate to check on it, and no other nation or religion has been accused of causing all the wars, and all the troubles in the world, even in places where there are hardly any Jews (South Korea?).
Being blamed for every adversity is indeed a bane, but it is also a boon, if we play our cards right. Being the world’s focal point also makes us the most capable of affecting positive change. At present, we are a role model of social fragmentation. But what would happen if we became the opposite? How would nations react if we displayed unity, not the sectarian type, but one that is open to embrace all nationalities within it?
Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, was not only a revolutionary industrialist, but also a perceptive and eloquent anti-Semite. His anti-Semitic publication, The International Jew—the World’s Foremost Problem, provided me with much food for thought concerning the world’s willingness to grasp the message of unity and the role of the Jews in achieving it. Ford had high regard for Jewish morals and values, and believed that it would work to humanity’s best interest to implement them. In his words, “Modern reformers, who are constructing model social systems on paper, would do well to look into the social system under which the early Jews were organized.”
Ford not only thought that these values were worthy, but that it’s the job of the Jews to impart them to humanity. He stated that “[The] Jewish religion supplies the moral structure for both of the other great religions,” and demanded that we share it: “The whole prophetic purpose with reference to Israel seems to have been the moral enlightenment of the world through its agency.”
We truly need to open our eyes and look in the mirror. It may be unpleasant, but only for a minute. Immediately thereafter we will begin to build a new society based on mutual responsibility and unity.
All Jews should begin to work on it, and the sooner the better. While we must go where we feel safest at the moment, we must also remember that no place will be safe for long until we begin to implement our unity and share it with the world, just as the world’s most diehard anti-Semites demand. If we do, it will be a win-win situation, but we have to go first. When we take one step toward uniting among ourselves, so as to share it with the world, the world will take ten steps toward uniting with us.
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