Here’s why Trump’s victory is actually the best news we could have hoped for
No survey anticipated this, but Trump is the new President-elect. In my view, which I have elaborated on several times, including here in Haaretz, Trump’s victory is the best news for the Jews. Despite rallying en-masse behind Clinton, as they did behind Obama and behind all the democratic nominees for the past several decades, the better candidate for the Jews won and the Jews in the US and Israel have been spared, for now…
Less than a month ago, UNESCO denied the connection between Israel and the Temple Mount. I wrote then that the decision at UNESCO was the beginning of the end of the state of Israel. And yet, even I was surprised by the speed at which things have deteriorated. While the world’s eyes were fixed on tallying votes, the “United Nations General Assembly committees in New York voted Tuesday on at least nine anti-Israel resolutions, including two that ignore Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.”
This vote, the first in a series of anti-Israel steps, is part of a vendetta against Israel that Obama has been planning for some time now. Had Hillary Clinton won, Israel’s situation would have been far worse. But Trump’s victory, coupled with the GOP’s domination of both the House and the Senate, allows us to pause and reflect on what we should do in order to avoid the impending catastrophe about to descend on the Jewish people.
What Makes Us Jewish?
Just as it was in Germany prior to World War II and in Spain prior to the onset of the Inquisition, American Jewry is trying to assimilate itself to the point of extinction. The latest Pew survey of US Jews shows that “the intermarriage rate is at 58 percent,” up from “17 percent in 1970.” In other words, Jews do not want to be Jews anymore; they prefer to be Americans without any denominational affiliation.
This data should not surprise us. If, according to the survey, 73 percent of Jews feel that remembering the Holocaust is what defines them as Jews, and 42 percent feel that being Jewish means “having a good sense of humor,” it is no wonder that many Jews want to opt out of the tribe. Who would want to belong to a minority group that everyone hates and is forced to compensate for it with humor (mainly at its own expense)?
But if history has taught us anything, it is that Jews are always persecuted and are never allowed to assimilate entirely. It did not work in 20th century Germany; it did not work in 15th century Spain, and it will not work in 21st century America.
Anti-Semitism Is No Paranoia
Jstreet, Jews for Justice in Palestine, and other Obama-promoted organizations have been trying to tear the Jewish community apart. When unity is the only strength of our people, nothing is more dangerous to us than separation. As I wrote not long ago, the divide between American Jewry and the state of Israel poses an existential threat to both communities. Financing the Clinton campaign, who would continue Obama’s efforts to distance American Jewry from Israel, would therefore be a horrendous mistake for which we would all pay heavily. The Qataris and the Saudis, who poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the Clinton campaign and the Clinton Foundation, are well aware of this. But somehow the Jews, who pride themselves on their wisdom, were totally oblivious to the facts.
We could write this off as paranoia, but the facts are that US campuses have become hotbeds for anti-Semitism and the government has done nothing to stop this. Such indifference to repeated hate crimes clearly does not coincide with liberalism and democracy. Had Clinton been elected, she would have pursued the same policy with equal vigor, while Obama would be liberated to “deal” with Israel, as he is already attempting to do through the UN. If the Jewish nation does not unite and thereby reverse these malevolent plans, we will waste the chance that Trump’s victory has given us and the consequences will be unthinkable.
Being Jewish is not about humor or intellect; it is about balanced human relations and connection among people. While nature maintains balance by operating on two complementary forces—positive and negative—we humans use only the negative force, which manifests in us as egoism. This force stands behind the wars we fight, the pollution we release into our skies and oceans, and the abuse we inflict on one another. When the negative force is the sole operator in humanity, we are creating a very dark world for ourselves.
When we Jews agreed to unite “as one man with one heart” at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the mountain of sina’a (hatred), this was the first time that the positive force had been introduced into humanity on a massive scale. And as soon as we received it, we were tasked with spreading it by being “a light unto nations.”
Our forefathers perfected a very simple method to maintain their unity: They covered their hatred with love (Prov 10:12). Instead of trying to suppress their loathing for each other, they united above it, thereby invoking the positive force to balance their society just as it balances all other parts of nature. They did not work against hatred, but rather developed love above it. Our forefathers did not do this for themselves. They wanted to create a method to correct the ego in all of humanity—to be “a light unto nations.” This is why the kabbalist Ramchal wrote that “Moses wished to complete the correction of the world at that time” (The Commentary of Ramchal on the Torah).
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai captured the entire process of covering hate with love with these simple words in The Book of Zohar: “‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is when brothers sit together.’ These are the friends as they sit together, and are not separated from each other. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another. Then, they return to being in brotherly love. …And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part … And by your merit there will be peace in the world” (The Zohar, Aharei Mot).
The choice is in our hands. If we decide to unite above the hatred we feel for one another, and we do feel it, then we will finally become what we, the Jews, were meant to be: a role model that demonstrates how unity can triumph over egoism and alienation among people. But as long as we shun unity, we deny the world a chance to balance the egoism inherent in human nature. Thereby, we become our own worst enemy because the world hates us for our hatred for each other and our resistance to carry out our task.
If we want the world to recognize our worth, we must first acknowledge our mission. Now is our time; we must not wait until it is too late.
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