Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Never again? We'll see...

  The 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is as good a time as any and a better time than most to consider the unsettling resurgence of global anti-Semitism.
   It seems unthinkable that within the lifetime of some Holocaust survivors, Jews are once again under siege on the same continent where they were targeted for highly-organized and systematic genocide.  Modern day anti-Semitism is not unique to Europe, but that the beast has reawakened where it took its deadliest toll is disquieting, with gusts up to ominous.   
   Much 21st century anti-Semitism is thinly disguised as anti-Zionism.  You can be against Israel, the logic goes, without being against Jews.  It's faulty logic, considering that Israel is by definition a Jewish state, but far be it from the champions of Palestine to let semantics get in the way of Jew-bashing.  It's curious that in a world rife with minority persecution on every continent, Israel gets a disproportionate share of the attention for its supposed mistreatment of Palestineans.  It's actually fashionable among the professional activist set to embrace the Palestinean cause.  At least, I assume it's de rigueur, because otherwise there wouldn't be a logical explanation for how much time and attention is spent on condemning Israel - unless it were fueled by anti-Semitism.
   Most puzzling to me are the self-loathing Jews who take white liberal guilt to the next level by piling on whenever they perceive some wrongdoing on Israel's part.  So-called "journalists" like Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen would have made fine "kapos" in the Jewish ghettos and concentration camps, where subservience as a sort of police functionary for the German authorities earned a few extra bread rations until it was the kapos' turn to die in the gas chambers.  Activists like Blumenthal and Cohen (and note to both: you can't be a journalist and an activist - you're one or the other) either didn't grow up at the knee of a Holocaust survivor or they're shameless attention seekers more interested in their own public profile than they are in the legacy of Jewish suffering.
   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn't have been more clear or more correct when he said "If the Arabs were to lay down their guns tomorrow, there would be no war.  If Israel were to lay down theirs, there would be no Israel."  In the face of direct and lethal physical threats to the Jewish state and the sinister reawakening of widespread anti-Semitism, "never again" is much more than a platitude.  It's a call to action for Jews and non-Jews alike who remember the not-so-distant past.