By Ira Sharkansky
Letter from Israel 

A Jewish ailment

 


This letter is prompted by a note I received from an Internet friend who chided me for minimizing the threats of Barack Obama, John Kerry, and BDS.

He thinks like Caroline Glick, whose columns express the view that if things aren’t optimal, they are terrible.

Ms. Glick has a substantial audience. Some view her as the best thing since ice cream. 

She expresses a Jewish malady we’ve known about for years. A prominent symptom is the frequent expression of oy gevalt. Or Not again, and Why us? for those whose Yiddish is less than minimal.

I have struggled for years trying to cure members of my family and other acquaintances. 

One should recognize that Jews have suffered. However, leaving aside the Holocaust (which is a large thing to leave aside), Jews have generally done better than others.

We’re still here, many of us kicking and screaming, while the healthier are enjoying the good life and decent security of Israel.

My friend reminded me that Jews in Germany said the same thing in the 1930s.

True, but they didn’t have a state, the IDF and other security services, or the weapons meant to destroy those who pose a threat to our existence.

Comparison is the best medicine for the excessive depression imbued in Judaic culture.

The essence of comparison is to look elsewhere.

Some of those who were our implacable enemies are now busier killing one another than trying to penetrate what the IDF and other security forces do to protect us.

We are working with Saudi Arabia, other Gulf States, and Egypt against Iran and its minions.

Twelve Israeli Jews died in the recent six weeks, and each represents a tragedy that should not have happened. In the same length of time, however, more Israelis died in road accidents. And despite the hysterics of those who think that Israelis are bad drivers, our roads are safer than those of the U.S. and most European countries.


Those who doubt it should check.

During the recent spurt of violence, some 80 Palestinians have been killed, many at the scene of their attack.

Palestinian actions are more pathetic and self-defeating than threatening to us. Several attacks have been carried out by kids 11-14 years old 

One can wonder if they were mature enough to recognize the benefits associated with 70 virgins in Paradise, said to be the rewards of martyrdom. 

We should pity more than ourselves a community that recruits children to fight and die.

Two quotes from Golda Meir are relevant.

“When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.”

“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

An 11-year old who attacked a Jew with a pair of scissors does not add to the credit of Palestine.

Polls are showing that a substantial number of Israeli Jews support the use of deadly force by police at the scene of an attack, and fail to see a prospect of Palestinians coming to accept the idea of living at peace alongside Israel, or giving up the goal of destroying Israel. 


In the recent meeting between Barack Obama and Benyamin Netanyahu, both spoke in general terms of actions that Israel might take to build confidence among the Palestinians, but neither spoke about halting construction in the settlements of the West Bank.

The message that Palestinians should see is that their dream for a state is somewhere in line, significantly less important to greater powers than dealing with other issues in the Middle East.

Yaron London is a prominent journalist and moderator of a popular nightly discussion program. He is also a firm leftist, who signals his politics by repeatedly talking about the West Bank as “conquered territories.” Yet on the evening of the Netanyahu-Obama meeting, he asked one of his guests how was it possible to explain the connection of the United States to a people so small, hopeless and unsuccessful as the Palestinians.


Construction in the settlements will continue; and the Palestinians can ponder what will remain.

We hear a lot about BDS, and the problems of Jews on elite campuses with anti-Israel/anti-Semitic campaigns, some of whose activists are Jews.

Who really suffers from BDS? Mostly it’s kids and their parents who pay $40 K and more to high prestige colleges that—at least in part—are providing a lousy education.

Israeli Jews are well experienced in dealing with boycotts. Primary among those likely to suffer are the Palestinians employed in the West Bank.

Many others have suffered more than Jews, whether it was ancient peoples who have disappeared, the peasants of the Middle Ages who lacked all prospect of learning, had to send their sons to the lord’s militia and their daughters to the the bedrooms of the lord’s guests.

Despite Jews suffering from quotas and exclusion from the best institutions in the Soviet Union, they still climbed above the averages in income, education, and prominence in medicine, law, journalism, academics, technology, and the arts.

Likewise the Jews of my American generation, subject to quotas by the admissions officers of the better colleges.

Crying all the way to the bank is a slogan that may have been created for the Jews. Perhaps by an anti-Semite. Or by a Jew who understood the coexistence of pain and success.

Those who see Barack Obama as the essence of all that is evil might also help themselves by comparison. 

It is not easy to judge what Israel has received from various American administrations. However, we hear from reliable sources that the quality of shared intelligence and military supplies delivered under Obama has exceeded that coming from any previous administration.

Jews have been describing our tragedies for 2500 years, since those Books of the Hebrew Bible that lament the destruction of the First Temple. Among our considerable assets is the prominence of the Bible in the cultures of those who matter most, and the limited audience in those places for the Muslim nonsense that leaves Jews out of history.

 

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