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...

  • Europe Sports Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    A Hebrew tattoo sported by Croatian soccer star Mario Mandzukic became an internet sensation in Israel after it was exposed on Tuesday during a Champions League match between Ateltico Madrid and Real Madrid A first glance, the tattoo, on the athlete’s back, might leave one with the impression that it was an unfortunate artistic mistake, since the Hebrew letters do not make sense as they are written. However, a closer look at the tattoo shows that it was actually written [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    For the past two years, I have served as Opinion Editor at The Algemeiner. I’m perhaps most proud of the paper’s commitment to publishing diverse and opposing viewpoints on the controversial issues of the day. We pride ourselves on voicing different opinions because we know that most issues are not black and white, and because our community is better served by a public debate. In my life outside of the paper, I am a professional actor and playwright. And similarly, [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    JNS.org – “Risk: The Game of Strategic Conquest,” the classic Parker Brothers board game, requires imperial ambitions. Players imagine empires and are pitted against each other, vying for world domination. Amid this fictional world war, beginners learn fast that no matter the superiority of their army, every advance is a gamble determined by a roll of the dice. After a defeat, a player must retreat. Weighted reinforcement cards provide the only opportunity to reverse a player’s fortunes and resume the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Sports Does Working Out With Other Jews Keep You Jewish?

    Does Working Out With Other Jews Keep You Jewish?

    JNS.org – For Daphna Krupp, her daily workout (excluding Shabbat) at the Jewish Community Center (JCC or “J”) of Greater Baltimore has become somewhat of a ritual. She not only attends fitness classes but also engages with the instructors and plugs the J’s social programs on her personal Facebook page. “It’s the gym and the environment,” says Krupp. “It’s a great social network.” Krupp, who lives in Pikesville, Md., is one of an estimated 1 million American Jewish members of more [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Sports Illustrated Profiles Orthodox NCAA Basketball Player Aaron Liberman

    Sports Illustrated Profiles Orthodox NCAA Basketball Player Aaron Liberman

    Sports Illustrated magazine featured an extensive profile on Orthodox-Jewish college basketball player Aaron Liberman on Wednesday.  The article details Liberman’s efforts to balance faith, academics and basketball at Tulane University, a challenge the young athlete calls “a triple major.” Sports Illustrated pointed out that Liberman is the second Orthodox student to play Division I college basketball. The other was Tamir Goodman, the so-called “Jewish Jordan.” As reported in The Algemeiner, Liberman started his NCAA career at Northwestern University. According to [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    As the popularity of cycling continues to increase across the world, Israel is working to develop cycling trails that make the country’s spectacular desert accessible to cyclists. The southern segment of the Israel Bike Trail was inaugurated on Feb. 24 and offers for the first time a unique, uninterrupted 8-day cycling experience after six years of planning and development. The southern section of the Israel Bike Trail stretches over 300 kilometers in length and is divided into eight segments for mountain biking, [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    JNS.org – With the recent Oscars in the rearview mirror, Hollywood’s attention now shifts to the rest of this year’s big-screen lineup. Two of the major action films coming up in 2015—Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits theaters in May, and the third film in the Fantastic Four series, slated for an August release—have Jewish roots that the average moviegoer might be unaware of. As it turns out, it took a tough Jewish kid from New York City’s Lower East [...]

    Read 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 →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.