Revisiting Israel’s ‘Peculiar Position’
Amidst the continued criticism of Israel for simply defending herself, I couldn’t help but think of an amazing op-ed by Eric Hoffer — a famed philosopher — that appeared in the Los Angeles Times on May 26, 1968, under the headline “Israel’s Peculiar Position.”
It’s as true today, some 50 years later. Excerpts are below:
The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchman.
But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single one.
Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious, it must sue for peace.
Other nations, when they are defeated, survive and recover, but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed.
Had Nasser triumphed last June , he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.
No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on.
The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources.
Yet at this moment, Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer  had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war, to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.
I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel, so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us all.
Israel must — and will — remain strong. Am Israel Chai.