After 60 Years, The 'Lamp Unto The Nations' Illuminates
As Israel celebrated her 60th anniversary, a few facts and realities to consider.
Palestinian refugees came about as they fled a war of their own making. Had the Arab world not insisted on a genocide of the Jews, there would have been a Palestinian state and no Palestinian refugees.
It is also true that nearly a million Jews fled Arab nations- not as a result of war but as a result of systematic and state sanctioned persecution, racism bigotry and hate. As a result, communities that were 3000 years old and predated Islam were eradicated.Jews were evicted from their ancestral homes, their property seized.
The State of Israel absorbed the majority of those refugees. No Arab state has integrated the Palestinians into their midst. If for no other reason, Israel's absorption of those refugees are reason enough to legitimize her existence. That nation is beacon, a free nation that preserves the rights, freedoms and self determination of an oppressed people.
What distinguishes Israel from her Arab neighbors is more than geographical disputes. What follows is a discussion that will lead to a comparison of Israel, a Jewish State and her neighbors, nations governed by Islamic religious principles.
We were struck by Dr Sanity’s post on Jews, Muslims and Ostriches and Gagdad Bob’s Occidents Just Don’t Happen. With simple and crisp clarity, they each unveil the ’secrets’ of the Jews. What is left unsaid is what we want to discuss.
Gagdad Bob quotes Melanie Phillips:
The Islamic world -- or part of it -- has waged war on the Christian (and Jewish) western world. The Christian world is merely responding in self-defence. It is the Islamic world which says it wants to conquer the Christian. The Christian world does not say it wants to conquer Islam, merely that Islam should stop trying to conquer it. Yet the Islamic world pretends that the Christian world is engaged in an act of exterminatory aggression against it.
"That lie is the motor of the jihad. That lie is fundamental to the absence of peace between the religions. Yet this letter fails totally to acknowledge this seminal fact. It says: The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians. Very true; but for this piety to be any more than a meaningless truism, the Islamic world has to end its aggression. The letter makes no acknowledgement of this. All the emphasis is on the Christian world altering its behaviour. So its inescapable implication is that for peace to occur, the Christian world must abandon its own self-defence. In other words, there can be no peace without the Christian world surrendering to Islam."
Why is it that the demands made of the Jews and Christians are demands that they be ‘universal’ and generically ’spiritual’ before they be Jewish or Christian? Why is it that there are no demands Muslim populations that they put aside their Islamic beliefs in favor of ‘universalist’ and ’spiritual’ accommodations? Why is it there are higher expectations (a nice word for demands) made of Jews than others?
Maybe it is because the Jewish faith, exemplified by the State of israel, embraces the belief in the sanctity of man, no matter his station. The height of Jewish spiritual aspirations is reached by the Jewish everyman, not by prophets, priests or leaders. ‘And they shall beat their swords into plowshares‘ is a testimony that in the end, communities succeed not because of their leaders, but because of the values of the individuals. Similar values are found throughout the Asian communities, irrespective of social status and similar values can be found in many other immigrant groups. The parental and communal demand for education are insatiable and excellence in academic achievement are matters of community pride.
Still, there is something about the Jews. They are at once very familiar and at the same time, very different.
Some might attribute those differences to the uncanny ability of Jews to survive as a distinctly and fiercely proud community throughout a history of persecution, but that is of minimal import. All kinds of groups have survived all kinds of trials throughout history. The ability to survive bestows no special status on any group of people. Survival is what nature is all about. Neither man or animal is rewarded for survival- we might be congratulated perhaps, but no more than that.
What does bestow a special status on any given group of people is what they accomplish and achieve. This is as true of the ‘wretched Jews’ as it is of the ‘wretched refuse’ that built this nation.
Each of us are destined to spend our time on this earth making mistakes. That is the shared human destiny. It is true of individuals and it is also true of societies, cultures and religions.
What distinguishes success from failure is determined by the number and kind of mistakes that are made, the lessons learned from those mistakes and the contributions that are made for the greater good. The fewer mistakes made, the ability to learn from those mistakes and the commitment to elevate those around us are the universal hallmarks of success.
These are the values the Jews live by. Theirs is a culture of education, innovation, adaptation and service, not only for the singular glory of God, but even more importantly, for the elevation of man, so that he might reach the ever expanding potential that was endowed to him by God. This not simply a matter of religious expression- these values are cherished by Jews irrespective of their level of faith. They are embedded in the cultural and familial collective psyche of the Jews.
As Americans, we are fortunate to live in a society and culture that shares many of those values. If something doesn’t work, we fix it. If we need to learn from our failures, we do that too, no matter how painful that might be. As a nation, we have the remarkable ability to self correct. Most importantly, America offers everyone who has been blessed to call this nation home, an opportunity to reach beyond what he or she believe is even possible. America elevates and empower all who cherish her values.
Like the Jews, this nation is defined not by an aristocracy of bloodlines or money, but rather by an aristocracy of those who made their dreams come true. The same is true for all those nations and of all faiths who embrace and share those values. It is a remarkable truth that those who make their own dreams come true also make the lives of others better. This nation gives more charity and aid to others than any other nation on earth. As our dreams our realized, our ‘tribe’ within the community of mankind expands. In more ways than one, that is our greatest blessing.
Dr Sanity, in A Most Ingenious Paradox:
It is a most ingenious paradox of life that most civilized societies and cultures encourage and support the individual in the pursuit of his or her own life, happiness and psychological growth. These societies do not lay claim to an individual’s life for the glory of the state; and in turn all members of the societey benefit as the culture’s productivity, wealth and benevolence all increase.
In other words, paradoxically, those political, economic, cultural and religious factors that encourage what is best for individual growth and maturity, are exactly what encourage the positive evolution and maturation of societies and cultures.
…Mature psychological defenses enable a creative solution to conflicts in ways that are positive for both the individual and his or her society. This is exactly what the immature defenses–such as denial, projection, paranoia do not do. On the contrary, such defenses almost always in the long run cause not only damage to the individual’s developing self, but they also eventually destroy the fundamentals of civilized behavior that can hold a society together and give it a future.
When we think back to the heady days of the toppling of the Berlin Wall, we don’t for one minute think of the speeches, government edicts or radio broadcast that were made at the time. We recall with crisp vivid memory the images of sledgehammers wielded by young and old attempting to pulverize hardened concrete. We recall images of East Berliners, choked for decades by tyranny being hoisted over the wall by young West Berliners who seemingly never tired.
When the Wall came down and in the days that followed, it was clear that no government had beat their ’swords into plowshares.’ What we saw was only made made possible by individuals who believed that they were capable of greatness, not only for themselves, but their fellow man. This is another lesson of the Jews.
There are those who say that the State of Israel does not deserve to exist because she came about only as a result of the Holocaust. There is an element of dry humor in that most of those who make those remarks are the first to deny the Holocaust ever occurred- and at the same time, think a Holocaust against the Jews is a good idea.
The State of Israel deserves to exist because of what that nation has accomplished and achieved. She has contributed mightily to the betterment of her own citizens and to the betterment of the entire world (Israel has come to the aid of over 140 nations. An incomplete list can be found here. ). For a look at some of the Jewish state’s remarkable achievements, see The Beast That Is Israel.
Some ask why Jews are so much an integral part of our reality and consciousness. They are tired of hearing of the Holocaust and they resent what they believe in undue Jewish influence in many areas of the human endeavor. They are quick to point out that only a few evil men were really responsible for the Holocaust and the history of anti Semitism is one of a few evil men doing evil things.
Jews are in our reality and consciousness because wherever there is institutionalized oppression there is anti Semitism. Wherever there is evil there are people who make no secret of their hatred of Jews. The Jews have been the canaries in the coal mines of human history for a very long time.
Hitler did not exterminate Jews by himself, nor was the effort mechanized and without human intervention. Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin had millions upon untold millions of their political enemies exterminated. They did not kill by themselves. They had hundreds of thousands of willing helpers, people who not only killed willingly but did so with delight and pleasure. Countless more millions could not even be bothered to care.
Today there are countless millions who are willingly goose stepping to the beat of this generation’s tyrants. The spell of the blood red and the necrotic black soul of those who worship the swastika have yet to be rejected.
Shrinkwrapped, in Pity The Poor Anti Semite:
When people attribute a negative trait of their own to others, it is projection, by definition. Another instance occurs when Europeans and Arabs describe the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as genocide or Nazism.
It is the various Arab Islamic fascists groups that call for the destruction of Israel and murder of the Jews yet they ascribe such ideas to the Jews.
The anti-Semite necessarily defines himself as monumentally inferior to the Jew.
This resides in the core of the anti-Semite and renders him permanently damaged and weakened. Only the aid of a being much greater than themselves, Allah, can save them from disaster. Short of such divine intervention, they are doomed to remain defeated. The Muslim nations of the world do not see it as within their abilities to compete in a world of high technology, higher education, competitive open economies; no, they look to nuclear weapons, only available to them by virtue of their Allah given oil money rather than by the sweat of their own brows, to bring them relief from the often imagined depredations of the now conflated Jewish/American demi-Gods.
There are consequences to turning our backs on history- and in the end, those consequences have nothing to do with the Jews. See also Shrinkwrapped’s On Holocaust Denial And Child Abuse.
A lesson in the lack of self awareness (the environment in which anti Semites flourish) can be found in Dr Sanity’s, in The Mask Slips:
In fact, the real problem of not knowing one’s self, and trying to avoid devastating self-awareness, is that the dark side is perfectly content to let the light side believe that goodness and light are running the show. The dark side is actually an expert at finding creative and disguised ways to express its destructiveness.
I am, of course, speaking about the unconscious mind, where the darkness can almost always be found in each of us. The last thing that our dark selves wants is for its unconscious processes to be made conscious through the development of insight and self-awareness; precisely because that is the only way to alter the self-destructive path that an individual or a group may sometimes be on.
Sometimes they can convince themselves that because their behavior has some good intention or idealized fantasy behind it, it doesn’t matter that it results in exactly the opposite result from the fantasy in the real world. That is how that dark side works–behind the mirror; hiding behind the mask of goodness.
In a way, the Arab world anti Semites and Iran’s Ahmadenijad and their supporters and apologists are doing the world a favor by pointing to the nefarious Jews.
In their blind rage and hatred, they invite comparison- and the emperors of hate have no clothes. They are empty and devoid of any values that might elevate man.
The Jews- and the State of Israel- are examples of what kind of successes are possible. Despite the history of horrific persecution, they have flourished. Those who hate Jews with the fury of blind rage, are examples of a different kind- of the magnitude of failures and degradations that are possible when the values that elevate man are replaced with the values that humiliate, denigrate and enslave man.
Islamic antisemitism does not of course only affect Britain. In some circles in Germany too antisemitism has increasingly become a part of Muslim identity. We hear “Jew” being used as a term of abuse, we witness the adulation of rappers who call for attacks on Jews, and we hear the term “Nazi” used as a compliment.
In Berlin a Muslim schoolboy called for “all the Jews to be gassed”. A gang of school students trapped one of their fellow pupils in a chemistry lab, telling him “now we will turn on the gas taps”, while during a visit to the Museum of German History a group of Muslim students gathered round a replica of an Auschwitz gas chamber and applauded. You see, they did not view the Holocaust as a warning, nor were they denying that it happened; it was being taken as an inspiration, as proof that it is possible, that millions of Jews can be killed. But are things any better in Britain?
“In Hampstead Garden Suburb, swastikas and the words ‘Kill all Jews’ and ‘Allah’ were daubed on the house and car of Justin Stebbing” reports the Times. “Dr Stebbing, who works at a hospital, said: ‘I felt violated. It’s horrible.’” Swastika, “kill all Jews” and “Allah” – the very topic of my talk today.
According to journalist Richard Littlejohn, “I met a Jack the Ripper tour guide in East London who was beaten up by a group of Muslim youths, who took one look at his period costume – long black coat and black hat – and assumed he was an Orthodox Jew and therefore deserving of a kicking. They didn’t want a ‘dirty Jew’ in ‘their’ neighbourhood”.
Finally an opinion poll of 2006 – according to the Times - “revealed that a horrifying 37 per cent of Muslims polled believed that the Jewish community in Britain was a legitimate target;
…and no fewer than 46 % thought the Jewish community was in league with Freemasons to control the media and politics.’”
As Israel abandoned Gaza, we watched the human drama unfold, live on TV. We saw the images and pretend to be detached. We spoke of politics and economics and ideas that are global in nature. What was left deliberately unsaid were the references to earlier deportations and expulsions of Jews. No one spoke of the wild and frenzied celebrations that accompanied the destruction of Houses of Worship. No one needed to discuss why the remains of Jews buried in Gaza needed to be disinterred and reburied in Israel proper. Everyone understood. No one had high moral expectations of the Palestinians, even as to cemeteries.
The cold facts cannot be missed: The Palestinians, reflective of the entire Arab world, will not tolerate Jews in their midst. That Israel is a free and successful state, is cause for even more frenzy and ferocious hatred. Decades of teaching hate, racism and bigotry and spewing hate from religious pulpits will have that effect. It is a time proven technique. It worked for the Nazis and Russians, and it is working again, for the Arabs.
Israelis do not drag other Israelis our into the streets, where they are summarily executed. Palestinians are only too happy to shoot each other in their unannounced civil war, fought to secure control in the Palestinian Authority- and fought to secure the billions in aid that will be stolen by corrupt regimes.
Occupations are ended when there is peace. We did not leave Germany or Japan before they had secure and democratic governments and were well on their way to building productive societies. We are staying the course in Iraq until a government can prove it’s inclusiveness and stability, and we will not leave until violence is subdued by Iraq troops, if not entirely ended.
The Israelis are being asked to end their occupation of territory won in a succession of wars they did not want or ask for, before any promise or guarantee of peace with her neighbors. Indeed, Palestinian factions and the Arabs nations who support and encourage them are promising more violence and the ‘slaughter of Jews’ in the future. The lessons learned- or not learned, is that in the Arab world, wars can be started and lost with impunity, and that there are no negative consequences for such behavior. The Arab world has learned that civilized behaviors and exchanges among nations are irrelevant.
The Arab Jew hatred of Jews began long before the establishment of the State of Israel. Jew hatred will still be an integral part of Arab identity and a necessary component of the Arab psyche, because hatred of Jews explain their total dysfunction and inability to launch in the civilized world. There is no arena in which the Arabs have made a positive contribution to the betterment of mankind.
Here are some official statements made by Muslim organizations and imams and politicians and kings and prime ministers from the Arab countries within minutes of the UN's declaration of Israel's statehood:
From Cairo: "The Zionist invasion is like that of the Tartars. If the Jews dare to declare their independence on May 14, they shall be so ravaged that it will make Genghis Khan seem like a man of peace. There will be new pyramids of skulls...Jewish skulls."
From Baghdad: "Revenge and hatred of the Jews is just and legitimate. We shall proudly uproot this Zinist cancer from sacred Arab soil."
From Kuwait: "O Arab brothers in Palestine, take heart. We shall cause history to repeat itself. We have rejoiced over the devastation of the Jews, whose filthy economic cunning led to their massacre in Europe. We shall finish Hitler's work."
From Saudi Arabia: "May the greatest of Islamic dogmas light our way into the battle of the extermination of the Jews."
From Trans-Jordan: "The Jews are wild beasts, bloodsuckers, traitors, enemies of mankind. The world has scorned, rejected and expelled them. If they try to establish a Zionist state, it shall be eradicated by blood and victims."
From Libya: "We shall drench Palestine with rivers of Jewish blood. We shall crush Jewish bones and use them for fertilizer."
From Yemen: "We live and die with Arab Palestine" (even though we won't offer them a home). "We shall strew Jewish entrails over the land." From Tunis: "May the Prophet strike us blind, nay dead, if we permit a Jewish state in the midst of sacred Islamic soil."
From Lebanon: "Victory is ours! We shall throw every Jew and every Jewish baby into the sea with its mother."
Goebbels would have been proud.
As a nation in good standing in the civilized world, Israel does not have to defend her right to exist. On the other hand, the Arab nations have a whole lot of explaining to do.
In the end, those damned Jews will proved right again and that nation will indeed be a 'Lamp unto the Nations.'
Israel will endure even more vicious terror, because the west would not listen to the truth: Occupations are ended with peace, and not in violence.
Israel's trvails have never been about a military occupation (the most benign military occupation in history) . It has never been about that occupation, poverty or even the right of self determination. It is all about an agenda of hate and nothing else that drives the Palestinians and the Arab world. If it were anything else, there would be no competing factions amongst the Palestinians. There would be only the drive to form a successful state. Instead, we have no idea what ‘Palestine’ means. Will it be a secular state, as Fatah or PFLP want, or a Islamic state, as Hamas and Islamic Jihad want? The only value the different factions share is a visceral hatred of Jews and a love of the game of charades, in which they pretend to be civilized to westerner audiences
The occupation of Gaza and the West Bank came as the result of an Arab started war of annihilation. The promise was to ‘drive the Jews onto the sea.’ We in the west, in the name of stupidity, are intent on allowing them a ‘do over.’ You can be sure their visceral hatred will overcome any false illusions at even the appearance of a peace process. Hizbollah has been rearmed, foreign aid is used to buy weapons and Palestinian and Arab media spew hate. 24/7.
Most nations are born and have their borders defined by conflict. Israel was born by a United Nations mandate and then had war after war thrust upon her. Her legitimacy is now beyong question, in more ways than one.