What is Good for the Jews?

April 29, 2012 4:00 pm 0 comments

Ken Livingstone. Photo: wiki commons.

The Arab World Would Celebrate the Defeat of Sarkozy in France & the Victory of Mayoral Candidate Ken Livingstone in London.

A March 2012 study by the Simon Wiesenthal Institute noted that “Europe—the historic civilization from which the Jews emerged into modern world through the crucible of triumph and tragedy—seems to be again approaching, as many prefer to avert their eyes the same paroxysm of Jew hatred that plunged the continent into its twenty century abyss. Is the twenty-first century doomed to repeat with variations the tragedies of the twentieth? The answer may depend whether Europe, this time, repeats the cycle of indifference or instead stands up against evil before it is too late.” According to the report, “today almost a third of Europeans show significant levels of anti-Semitism…..over half of Europeans view Israel as the greatest threat to world peace”, additionally, significant Anti-Jewish hate crimes have been perpetrated (including the recent massacre in Toulouse, France), and in many countries there are rapidly growing Muslim populations.

The second Jewish generation following the Holocaust often tied their voting agenda to the answer of one simple question: “Is it good for the Jews?” While in the increasingly globalized, complex, multi-cultural world we live in today, for many Jewish communities around the world, this is no longer necessarily the first question that is asked, the next few weeks will see two high-profile European elections whose outcomes have the potential to significantly impact Jewish and Israeli sensitivities:

  • In France, Nicolas Sarkozy  – who has been among the warmest French Presidents to the State of Israel – is facing a re-election challenge from Socialist François Hollande. Sarkozy has stated “We will never compromise on Israeli security”, and said that the establishment of the Jewish state was “the most important event of the 20th century” – his opponent on the other hand is closely linked to Anti-Israel political leaders. “France would be more politically aligned with the Arab countries, and this could have an effect on its relations with Israel,” said Ivan Rioufol, columnist in the French daily Le Figaro. Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center has said it would be a “big blow to Israel” if Sarkozy lost.
  • In London, Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London who is running for mayor again is the frontrunner in polls – and has been a persistent enemy of Jews and Israel – he has stated on a number of occasions that it would be better off if Israel did not exist. According to David Hirsh, “Livingstone sees Israel as a pariah state with a menacing and malign influence well beyond its borders.” Livingstone recently used anti-Semitic language in a meeting with the city’s Jewish community leaders – and has vowed to “turn London into a beacon for the words of the Prophet Mohammed”. He has embraced Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a high profile member of the Muslim Brotherhood and avowed anti-Semite, who in July 2003 spoke in favor of suicide terror attacks, also saying that the Likud party and Hamas are “two sides of the same coin”. He has called for the forcible disarmament of Israel and claimed that Israel has engaged in ethnic cleansing, and that Jews had no right to be in Israel.

Antisemitism expert Professor Charles Small formerly of Yale University says that, “Increasingly, Jewish communities around the world feel under threat.” So one wonders – scarily – how this trend will be impacted is France and London  change elected officials further increasing open European hostility to Jews & Israel.  The polls show that it’s not such a far-fetched theory.

In August 1930 Zionist leader, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, spoke in Vienna of how European policy “has begun to strengthen certain Anti-Jewish movements…In the Eastern bazaar stretched out from Cairo to Basra, and encompassing a population of millions, the tidings, the news, the sensation is being passed on by word of mouth: Have you heard that Islam is being backed by the most powerful and most cultured of all of the nations of Europe?”

One can be sure that the Arab world would celebrate the victories of Hollande and Livingstone – and push for further democratic victories in elections taking place before the end of 2012 in Ireland, Greece, the Netherlands and Italy. Walter Russell Mead, a professor of Foreign Affairs and Editor-at-Large of The American Interest magazine wrote recently, “Seventy years after Hitler, antisemitism of the worst and most violent kind walks the streets of Europe once more. And once again the educational, religious, cultural and political institutions and leaders of Europe are ineffective and paralyzed: like a rabbit frozen with terror in the presence of a rattlesnake, the European establishment is unable to act. Its follies and errors have created a trap from which it can see no escape.”

Jabotinsky is often referred to as a prophet – and history has been known to repeat itself. His words are worth re-reading during these frightening times for the Jewish people. One hopes that Jews around the world are cognizant of the old saying “What is Good for the Jews” when they go to vote.  Let’s also hope that decent Europeans of all races and religions place their votes for decency – and not for Jew-haters  – as the potential alternatives are very scary.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading Public Relations Agency and Author of “For Immediate Release”, a best –selling PR Book.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – Rabbi Gordon Tucker spent the first 20 years of his career teaching at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the next 20 years as the rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, N.Y. I confess that when I heard about the order of those events, I thought that Tucker’s move from academia to the pulpit was strange. Firstly, I could not imagine anyone filling the place of my friend, Arnold Turetsky, who was such a talented [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    JNS.org – I’m in love, and have been for a long time. It’s a relationship filled with laughter, tears, intrigue, and surprise. It was love at first sight, back when I was a little girl—with an extra-terrestrial that longed to go home. From then on, that love has never wavered, and isn’t reserved for one, but for oh so many—Ferris Bueller, Annie Hall, Tootsie, Harry and Sally, Marty McFly, Atticus Finch, Danny Zuko, Yentl, that little dog Toto, Mrs. Doubtfire, [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    At the turn of the 21st century through today, American involvement in Middle Eastern politics runs through the Central Intelligence Agency. In America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, historian Hugh Wilford shows this has always been the case. Wilford methodically traces the lives and work of the agency’s three most prominent officers in the Middle East: Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt was the grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt, and the first head of [...]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home give dating advice to a young Jewish man in a comedic video posted Monday on YouTube just in time for Valentine’s Day. Jonathan, an associate at the Jewish home, quizzes the senior citizens on an array of topics including having sex on the first date, kissing a girl, who should pay for dinner and whether online dating is a good idea. When the 28-year-old asks a male resident named Lee about his experiences [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Anyone who spent time in the Jewish Catskills hotels – especially those like me, who returned for decades – must see the new documentary,”Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort.” Not only will the film transport you back to the glory days of your youth and thousands of memories, but it will also make you long for a world that is now lost forever. I returned to Kutsher’s one last time in the summer of 2009, but by then, the [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Jewish Identity Lifestyle Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    JNS.org – Amid the numerous studies and analyses regarding Jewish American life, a simple fact remains: part-time Jewish education is the most popular vehicle for Jewish education in North America. Whenever and wherever parents choose Jewish education for their children, we have a communal responsibility to devote the necessary time and resources to deliver dynamic, effective learning experiences. The only way we can do this is by creating space for conversations and knowledge-sharing around innovative new education models. That also [...]

    Read more →
  • Commentary Featured Features Jewish 100 The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2014

    The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2014

    The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2014 ACADEMIA Alain Finkielkraut Moshe Halbertal Deborah Lipstadt Jacob Metzer Steven Pinker Tammi Rossman-Benjamin ARTS AND CULTURE Yaacov Agam David Blatt Leonard Cohen Gal Gadot Scarlett Johansson Ryan Kavanaugh Steven Spielberg Harry Styles INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM Meira Aboulafia Adina Bar-Shalom Nitsana Darshan-Leitner Daniel Gold Anett Haskia Ephrat Levy-Lahad Gabriel Nadaf Dumisani Washington GOVERNMENT Tony Abbott José María Aznar Ron Dermer Yuli Edelstein Abdul Fatah el-Sisi Stephen Harper Goodluck Jonathan Mitch McConnell Narendra Modi [...]

    Read more →
  • Features Jewish 100 Jewish 100, 2014: Bassam Eid – Voices

    Jewish 100, 2014: Bassam Eid – Voices

    Bassam Eid Palestinian human rights activist While Palestinians who demonize Israel as the sole reason for their woes receive no shortage of media invitations, those among them who spotlight their own leaders’ iniquities are far less in demand. Even so, the profile of Bassam Eid, the Director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, is thankfully continuing to grow. Eid’s latest campaign is for the overhaul of UNRWA, the UN refugee agency dedicated solely to the Palestinians, which he says [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.