There is a lot of worry popping up in the media just now -- "Can
Survive?" Don't worry about it. It relates to something that Palestinians,
the Arabs, and perhaps most Americans don't realize -- the Jews are never
going quietly again. Never. And if the world doesn't come to understand
that, then millions of Arabs are going to die. It's as simple as that.
Throughout the history of the world, the most abused, kicked-around race of
people have been the Jews. Not just during the holocaust of World War II,
but for thousands of years. They have truly been "The Chosen People" in a
terrible and tragic sense.
The Bible story of
is history, if festooned with theological legend and heroic epics. In 70
A.D. the Romans, which had for a long time tolerated the Jews -- even
admired them as 'superior' to other vassals -- tired of their truculent
demands for independence and decided on an early "Solution" to the Jewish
was pursued and crushed by the implacable Roman War Machine -- see '
And thus began The Diaspora, the dispersal of Jews throughout the rest of
Their homeland destroyed, their culture crushed, they looked desperately for
the few niches in a hostile world where they could be safe. That safety was
fragile, and often subject to the whims of moody hosts. The words 'pogrom',
'ghetto', and 'anti-Semitism' come from this treatment of the first
mono-theistic people. Throughout
tolerance, sometimes even warmth for the Jews, but eventually it meant
hostility, then malevolence. There is not a country in
children of Moses, sometimes by whim, sometimes by manipulation.
Winston Churchill calls Edward I one of
was under his rule in the late 1200's that
into the British crown, and
He was also the first European monarch to set up a really effective
administrative bureaucracy, surveyed and censused his kingdom, established
laws and political divisions. But he also embraced the Jews.
Actually Edward didn't embrace Jews so much as he embraced their money. For
the English Jews had acquired wealth -- understandable, because this people
that could not own land or office, could not join most of the trades and
professions, soon found out that money was a very good thing to accumulate.
Much harder to take away than land or a store, was a hidden sock of gold and
silver coins. Ever resourceful, Edward found a way -- he borrowed money from
the Jews to finance imperial ambitions in Europe, especially
loans were almost certainly not made gladly, but how do you refuse your
King? Especially when he is 'Edward the Hammer'. Then, rather than pay back
the debt, Edward simply expelled the Jews. Edward was especially
inventive -- he did this twice. After a time, he invited the Jews back to
their English homeland, borrowed more money, then expelled them again.
Most people do not know that
Renaissance. People from all over the world came to
medieval period. All were welcome -- Arabs, Jews, other Europeans. The
world -- scholars of all nations, all fields came to
their knowledge and their ideas. But in 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella, having
driven the last of Moors from the Spanish Shield, were persuaded by the
righteous fundamentalists of the time to announce "The Act of Purification".
A series of steps were taken in which all Jews and Arabs and other
non-Christians were expelled from the country, or would face the tools and
the torches of The Inquisition. From this 'cleansing' come the Sephardic
Jews -- as opposed to the Ashkenazis of Eastern Europe. In
the sporadic violence and brutality against Jews are common knowledge.
'Fiddler' without the music and the folksy humor. At times of fury, no
accommodation by the Jew was good enough, no profile low enough, no village
poor enough or distant enough.
From these come the near-steady flow of Jews to the
despite the disdain of the Jews by most 'American' Americans, they came to
grab the American Dream with both hands, and contributed everything from new
ideas of enterprise in retail and entertainment to becoming some of our
finest physicians and lawyers. The modern
IS The United States in part because of its Jewish blood.
Then the Nazi Holocaust -- the corralling, sorting, orderly eradication of
millions of the people of Moses. Not something that other realms in other
times didn't try to do, by the way, the Germans were just more organized and
had better murder technology.
I stood in the center of
trying to comprehend how this could have happened. I had gone there on a
side trip from
engulfed in the enormity of what had occurred there nestled in this middle
and working class neighborhood.
How could human beings do this to other human beings, hear their cries,
their pleas, their terror, their pain, and continue without apparently even
wincing? I no longer wonder. At some times, some places, ANY sect of the
human race is capable of horrors against their fellow man, whether a member
of the Waffen SS, a Serbian sniper, a Turkish policeman in 1920's
Garden. For a long time Jews had quotas in our universities and graduate
schools. Only so many Jews could be in a medical or law school at one time.
Jews were disparaged widely. I remember as a kid Jewish jokes told without a wince - "Why do Jews have such big noses?"
Well, now the Jews have a homeland again. A place that is theirs. And that's
the point. It doesn't matter how many times the
powers try to rein in
its people, they will fight like no lioness has ever fought to save her
cubs. They will fight with a ferocity, a determination, and a skill, that
will astound us.
And many will die, mostly their attackers, I believe. If there were a
macabre historical betting parlor, my money would be on the Israelis to be
standing at the end. As we killed the kamikazes and the Wehrmacht soldaten
of World War II, so will the Israelis kill their suicidal attackers, until
there are not enough to torment them.
The irony goes unnoticed -- while we are hammering away to punish those who
brought the horrors of last September here, we restrain the Israelis from
the same retaliation. Not the same thing, of course -- We are We, They are
They. While we mourn and seethe at September 11th, we don't notice that
We may not notice, but it doesn't make any difference. And it doesn't make
any difference whether you are pro-Israeli or you think
without the concurrence of the
out without pause or restraint at those who would try to annihilate their
The Jews will not go quietly again.
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