The following article by Gideon Levy appeared in Haaretz. Opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of True Torah Jews.
Since its establishment, more Jews were hurt in wars and terror attacks in Israel than anywhere else. The war in Gaza endangered world Jews as well, as no other war has before it.
Israel is today the most dangerous place in the world for Jews. Since its establishment, more Jews were hurt in wars and terror attacks that took place in Israel than anywhere else. The war in Gaza took this one step backward – it endangered world Jews as well, as no other war has before it. The Jewish home, the national refuge, not only doesn’t provide refuge, but even threatens Jews everywhere else. When you tote up the results of the war, include that too in the loss column.
A wave of animosity is washing over world public opinion. In contrast to the complacent, blind, smug Israeli public opinion, people abroad saw the pictures in Gaza and were aghast. No conscientious person could have remained unaffected. The shock was translated into hatred toward the state that did all that, and in extreme cases the hatred also awakened anti-Semitism from its lair. Yes, there is anti-Semitism in the world, even in the 21st century, and Israel has fueled it. Israel provided it with abundant excuses for hatred.
But not every anti-Israeli sentiment is anti-Semitism. The opposite is true – most of the criticism of Israel is still substantive and moral. Anti-Semitism, racist as any national hatred, popped up on the sidelines of this criticism – and Israel is indirectly responsible for its appearance.
But Israel and the Diaspora Jewish establishment automatically tag any criticism as anti-Semitic. It’s an old trick – the burden of guilt is shifted from those who perpetrated the Gaza horrors to those who are tainted with so-called anti-Semitism. It’s not us, it’s you, anti-Semitic world. No matter what Israel does, the whole world is against it.
This is nonsense, of course. Just as not every policeman who gives a Jewish driver a traffic ticket is an anti-Semite, as the Jewish organizations try to put it, and not every robbery of a rabbi is a hate crime, so not every criticism of Israel is motivated by hatred of Jews.
These organizations have become the lightning rods of the criticism of Israel and they have brought it on themselves. This is the price of their blind support of Israel, their noisy propaganda campaigns in Israel’s name, their turning of every Jewish community center into a PR agency for Israel, and their unanimous support for everything Israel does. We’re all one people, they say. In that case, if every Jew who dares to censure Israel, even when it’s involved in brutal conduct, is a self-hating Jew – then everyone bears responsibility.
Quite a few Jews abroad sent me frightened messages during the war, pleading me to stop writing my articles, cease my criticism, because the anti-Semites use them. I replied to all of them that all my articles together haven’t affected Israel’s status as much as one news report from Gaza. I also know many who still harbor sympathy for Israel precisely because of the remnants here of a free society, one that allows criticism.
In any case, the address for the Jews’ fear should be the State of Israel. Many Jews now feel afraid. Part of the fear may be exaggerated, part of it is justified. It seems to me that being a Muslim in Europe is still harder than being a Jew. But in Paris, Jews don’t dare wear a kippa, in Belgium a woman wasn’t allowed into a store because she was Jewish and a French journalist who visited Algiers last week told me that the hatred for Israel and the Jews in France has reached an all-time high.
The address for all the complaints is Israel, because Israel is the one to blame for Gaza.
Whoever is afraid for the Jews’ fate, whoever is shocked by the anti-Semitic incidents, should have thought about it before taking Israel to another runaway war. The world isn’t always against Israel. Suffice it to remember Israel’s status during the Oslo period, when the entire world cheered it, including parts of the Arab world. This world will be happy to embrace Israel again, if this country only changes its bullying, domineering behavior.
Gevalt, anti-Semitism? Maybe. But Israel is supplying the fuse.
We are very pleased to see that journalists and thinkers are beginning to understand one of the central problems of the State of Israel: all their actions are taken at the expense of the Jewish people living elsewhere in the world.
All those Jewish journalists in various countries who constantly justify everything the Israeli leaders do should ponder the question of whether those Israeli leaders care as much about them as they do about the Israeli leaders. Did Bibi Netanyahu and his cabinet give even a moment's thought to the concern that the war might put Jews outside of his country in danger and arouse anti-Semitism worldwide? No, there is no doubt that our welfare doesn't enter their calculations. On the contrary, if anything they benefit from danger to Jews in other countries in the form of immigration to the State of Israel. So how long will we, Jews of the world, continue sticking our necks out for the Israeli leaders? The Torah only says, "Love your neighbor as yourself" - not more than yourself. Not to mention that the war did nothing to benefit Jews living under the State of Israel either, only put the conflict on hold until the next round.
But we hope that perceptive journalists like Gideon Levy will go on to step 2, offering a solution to the problem facing world Jewry: we must announce to the world: The Israeli government are not the spokesmen for the Jewish people; their actions and rhetoric never have and never will represent Judaism.
It's time the entire Jewish people united and said to the Israeli government: enough is enough! Your actions have given the world a false image of Jews, causing Jewish blood to be spilled like water. Let the world know that your state is not a Jewish state, only a Zionist state.