Long-time commenter E2 scores her first Comment of the Day with some perspective on why Western civilization, and the United States particularly, owes Israel a permanent debt.
I have no problem with critics having honest, reasonable differences with Israel’s policies and the U.S.’s support of them, as long as such critics have a sufficient knowledge of the history of the Jewish people, their existential plight in the Thirties through World War II, the initial contrived ignorance of the U.S. government and President Roosevelt of that plight, and how the State of Israel came into existence. (Two new biographies of playwright and screenwriter Ben Hecht, who played a large but largely forgotten role in that remarkable event, were just published this month. There is a reason one of the ships that brought Jewish ex-patriots to Israel was named, “The Ben Hecht.”)
As E2 points out, the public ignorance of all of this is staggering, and it fertilizes the dirt from which anti-Semitism grows, of late, in abundance. One of the many jaw-dropping statements of stupidity or dishonesty—it’s often so hard to tell which with him— that Joe Biden uttered after his announcement of his candidacy was that America needed to return to being loyal to its allies. Biden was the #2 official in an administration that displayed the most outright hostility to Israel of any since the nation’s founding, our ally that most needs our support and that common decency demands should always be able to count on it.
Here is E2’s Comment of the Day on the item #4 in the post, “Greek Easter Ethics Warm-Up: Authority, Causation, Credibility And Dead Ethics Alarms.”
Does no one know any history at all? That, for example, the English Jews funded the Crusades, and when the King of England couldn’t pay back his debt, he simply exiled all Jews from the country to Europe? Hence, an early forced diaspora of Jews.
Do others really believe that anti-Semitism was grown by Hitler and ended in the Holocaust? Do so many not know that FDR’s anti-Semitic State Department refused political asylum for desperate Jews from Hitler’s Germany…or the story of the ship “St. Louis” – full of fleeing Jews, that went from port to port in the US and were never allowed entry?
I honestly believe that anti-Semitism is basic insecurity on the part of other religions and cultures. “Rabbi” means “teacher,” and the Jewish culture has taken learning and excelling as a basic tenet. So yes, there are lots of Jewish doctors, lawyers, artists and businessmen, because achievement is what the culture expects.
(As an aside, there is no proselytizing by Jews. Other religions require it, but Jews are trying to preserve what they have, not “turn” others to expand their ranks. This should be considered by those who adhere to the moronic conspiracy theory that Jews want to rule the world.)
I have the greatest respect for the State of Israel. The turn-around – in a single generation – from ‘putting up’ to ‘fighting back’ is awe-inspiring.
You can denigrate Jews if you like: to me, all that means is that your own religion and your own culture knows its own ethic is flawed, and in desperation, you denigrate Jews and foster hatred.
(PS. I am a lapsed Methodist, and well-versed in the hypocrisy of that particular denomination.)