No More Illusions: Come Home
Objectively analyzing recent events can only lead to the dismal conclusion that the status of Diaspora Jewry, bad as it is, is only likely to deteriorate.
The horrific escalation of the global antisemitic and anti-Israeli tsunami extends to areas that are not even inhabited by Jews. The United Nations Human Rights Council and other human rights organizations, hijacked by Muslim and far left elements, have been transformed into anti-Israeli hate fest arenas, employing blood libels against the Jewish state as a surrogate for the Jewish people in a similar manner to anti-Semites throughout the ages. The global community demonizes the only democratic state in the Middle East while downplaying the sea of barbarism that pervades the region.
The epicenter of global antisemitism is the Arab world, where hatred of Jews has become endemic among both Sunni and Shiite religious extremists. The Palestinians are the most fiercely anti-Jewish Arab sector. After being brainwashed and incited by Arafat, Abbas and the Hamas mullahs, their hatred of Jews has evolved into a murderous religious frenzy.
Muslim migrants who settled into enclaves in Europe have imported their hatred and formed unholy alliances with traditional anti-Semites and political leftists – including organizations purportedly promoting human rights – to foment an environment of Jew-hatred reminiscent of the 1930s, immediately prior to the rise of Nazism.
The ongoing influx of millions of Muslim refugees will massively reinforce the existing Muslim antisemitic elements and permanently alter the demographics of Europe. Unlikely to be reversed, it will enable Islam to become an immensely powerful political force in many West European countries. The implications for European Jews are horrendous, as the combination of the prevailing virulently anti-Israeli public opinion and extremist Islamic political agitation will, in all likelihood, lead to even more extreme policies toward Israel. Despite lip service to the contrary, antisemitism will continue to thrive.
Moreover, there is the constant danger of terrorist acts against Jews by jihadists who entered the country posing as refugees or by second-generation Muslims incubated by extremist European jihadi mullahs. Jews in Europe have been murdered and attacked in the streets and armed guards or military forces are required to protect schools and synagogues. University students face concerted antisemitic and anti-Israeli hostility, both casual and violent. Jews are warned not to draw attention to themselves and avoid being publicly identified as such.
To top it off, most European governments, even those like the French that have experienced jihadi terrorism, still direct their foreign policy to placate their Arab minorities by haranguing and applying their double standards against Israel. They refuse to recognize that the murder of Israeli civilians is a direct consequence of Palestinian incitement of religious frenzy and continuously condemn Israel for defending itself. They now seek to pressure Israel to create a Palestinian state despite the fact that such a criminal entity would represent an existential threat and merely prepare the ground for a takeover by the Islamic State group.
The absence of any sense of moral compass is highlighted by the despicable groveling of European countries toward the Iranian terrorist regime. The continent that was drenched with the blood of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust is currently hosting the leaders of a state that repeatedly calls for the elimination of Israel from the map and obscenely engages in Holocaust denial, even stooping to the grisly depths of state-sanctioned cartoon competitions lampooning the Final Solution. Yet in return for trade opportunities, most European leaders, including the pope, welcomed and embraced Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, without even referring to these abominations – not to mention Iran’s appalling human rights record. Nor did they take into account that much of the $150 billion of frozen assets the Iranians retrieve will be directed toward strengthening their terrorist surrogates.
European Jews who fail to see the writing on the wall are simply living in denial.
But Jew-hatred is not restricted to Europe. Jews in South Africa face an equally grim situation and anti-Semitic forces in Latin America, encouraged by Muslim migrants and Iranian influence, have also increased dramatically over the past decade.
The situation in the United States, Canada and even Australia, while not comparable to Europe, has also taken a massive downturn since US President Barack Obama assumed office. By its constant undermining and pressuring of the Israeli government, the Obama administration has effectively given a green light to the Europeans and others to intensify pressures against Israel.
Fortunately, two factors have inhibited Obama from going much further. The shameful silence of the Jewish leadership cannot detract from the fact that committed Jews at the grass-roots level are still an influential force and remain loyal to Israel. More importantly, American public opinion is overwhelmingly pro-Israel and the powerful and growing movement of evangelical Christians in America (and throughout the world) has now emerged as Israel’s most fervent supporter and ally.
But there are concerns. Bipartisanship, which prevailed over the past few decades, has frayed considerably with the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party, accelerated under the Obama administration.
More worrying is the hardening of liberal policy against Israel; the toleration and support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in academia; and above all, the intensity of frenzied anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic activity on campus. BDS in the United States (as in other parts of the world) is intimidating Jewish students, many of whom resist confrontations to avoid social stigma.
Since Justin Trudeau displaced Stephen Harper as prime minister, Canada has rapidly followed the Obama approach to Israel. Canadian Jews were appalled when Trudeau’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day message, like that of many European countries, omitted any mention of Jews.
Australia still retains a strongly pro-Israel government and is one of the most hospitable countries toward Jews. Yet there are today growing sections in the opposition Labor Party, partly influenced by Muslim electoral pressures, which have become virulently anti-Israeli. Anti-Semitic outbursts have also grown considerably over the past few years, anti-Israeli and BDS activities at university campuses have proliferated, and for the first time, armed guards have been deployed to protect Jewish schools.
The Diaspora Jewish situation can therefore be summed up as disastrous in Europe and South Africa and worrisome in North America and Australia.
But thanks to the existence of Israel, today most Jews are able to determine their own fate. Now is the time for Diaspora Jews to honestly review their situation and plan for the future.
Yes, Israel is currently undergoing a difficult period. Yes, there are threats. But we should bear in mind that the Israel Defense Forces have never been as powerful and are capable, if necessary, of defeating all our adversaries simultaneously.
Above all, here in Israel there is a Jewish army, a Jewish police force and a Jewish community – which is significantly different from a non-Jewish military presence grudgingly provided to protect Jews in the Diaspora.
As a former Diaspora Jew, I urge you to review the situation objectively. If you are a European and want your children to be proud Jews, you should seriously weigh leaving now!
Those in the US, Canada or Australia should consider encouraging their children to settle in Israel, their only true homeland.
The Israeli government and the Jewish Agency must get their acts together. This is a historic moment and every effort should be made to encourage Jews in countries under siege to come to Israel rather than relocating to another Diaspora community where they are likely to lose their Jewish identity. To achieve this, the government must formulate policies to ease their integration and open up every opportunity to provide employment.
Despite the inevitable spread of antisemitism, we will not be witnessing an overnight ingathering of the exiles. But the message to committed Jews who wish to ensure that their grandchildren remain Jewish is to objectively review their situation, consider coming home or at least encourage their children to make aliyah to the Jewish homeland.
Those remaining in the Diaspora should intensify their efforts to ensure that their Jewish heritage is transmitted to their children. Above all, despite the vicious anti-Israeli climate, they must appreciate the centrality of Israel in their Judaism, without which their Jewish identity will wither and they will be lost to the Jewish people.