June 24, 2024
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June 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Jews and the Jewish State

Two separate items in this week’s Jewish Link of New Jersey point to a very disturbing problem in the Jewish community today that requires more emphasis. The first is the op-ed by Eric Ruskin (“It’s Not the Nationality Law, It’s the Jewish State They Hate,” August 2, 2018) and the second is the book review by Ben Rothke (“Blaming Zionism,” August 2, 2018). Both pieces discuss the animosity of not just the usual world bodies like the UN and EU, but also Jewish organizations and individuals toward Israel. Ever since its inception Israel has been called the Jewish state by everyone, friend and foe alike, with no objection. However, now that Israel chose to formalize the term and call itself the Jewish state, all hell seems to have broken loose, even by Jews, but therein lies a bigger problem.

Jews today total only about 15 million souls in Israel and worldwide, and are under siege on all sides by billions of historically implacable adversaries—about 2.2 billion Christians and 1.5 billion Muslims. Worldwide, in Africa and the Middle East, out of the estimated Jewish population of about 850,000 at the beginning of the last century, almost all were expelled or persecuted by the Arabs/Muslims, forcing them to leave. These countries are essentially Judenfrei now, except for a few pitiful remnants still remaining. In Europe, Jewish life is rapidly becoming untenable in countries like France, England, Scotland and Scandinavia. In Israel, the country is completely surrounded by enemies determined to destroy it—in the west by Gaza and Hamas, in the east on the West Bank by the PA and the Palestinians, and in the north by Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran in Syria. On the south is Egypt, which still has a peace treaty with Israel, but is now having considerable troubles of its own in the Sinai with Islamist radicals. All of these trouble spots are exacerbated by the UN and EU actions, the BDS movement and campus violence, all of which condone, support and/or fund many of these activities.

And what is the Jewish response to all this conflict? Sadly, it is not unity. A unified Jewish people, as tiny as it is against this massive onslaught, would still be formidable. However, instead of unifying in the face of danger we are tearing ourselves apart at the seams. We have our own factions, some are anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic, anti-religious, socialists, J-Streeters, liberals who sympathize more with the Palestinian “underdogs” than the Israeli “oppressors,” and those who seek to make nice and try to placate our Muslim neighbors. We also have our self-hating Jews, indifferent Jews, Jews who hate Netanyahu, or just plain victims of the age-old ghetto mentality, of cowering quietly in the corner in the face of threat. Whatever the specific reasons, the totality of so many Jewish detractors make up a very significant percentage of the Jewish population. We Jews love to blame our enemies for all our problems, but in addition to the many we do have we also are our own worst enemies. This is a source not just of concern, but outright alarm.

I hope The Jewish Link (and other concerned Jewish media and organizations) continues to highlight this major problem before the Jewish fabric totally unravels.

Max Wisotsky
Highland Park
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