The State of Israel is tiny, in size and population. The nations of the world didn’t want it to exist at all, and when they couldn’t stop it they did their best to keep it small. There aren’t so many Jews in the world, anyway; millennia of oppression and murder have kept our numbers down, and today there are millions who are “Jewish by extraction” but are assimilated enough to other cultures to be lost forever to the Jewish people.
In all the world there are fewer than 15 million Jews, in Israel fewer than 7 million. But there are forces arrayed against us that are unique in their scope and viciousness. Throughout the world, even in countries where there are few Jews or none at all, people have opinions about us. According to a worldwide survey done by the ADL, some 26 percent of the world’s 7.5 billion people “harbor antisemitic attitudes.” That is incredible, when you think about it.
There are 35 million Kurds in the world, another people seeking (but so far not getting) self-determination. Certainly, they have issues with their Turkish and other neighbors, but I venture to guess that it is highly unlikely that anywhere near as many people have even heard of the Kurds, much less “harbor anti-Kurdish attitudes.”
What’s true for Jews goes triple for their state. I won’t repeat the depressing statistics about the number of United Nations resolutions condemning Israel that pass every year, and the fact that it is consistently attacked there for crimes that it did not commit while countries that do engage in murder, aggression and oppression are never mentioned. I won’t go into detail about the extreme and irrational anti-Israel expression (misoziony*) found in almost 100 percent of the world’s academic and artistic realms.
Really, Israel and Jews are unique in the “objects of hatred” department (and if you think it’s our fault, then you are part of the problem).
This hatred is not just theoretical. From time to time, our immediate neighbors start wars whose intent is to kill or disperse the Jews inhabiting the Land of Israel. As a result, Israel has been forced to spend a large portion of its GDP on defense, which has led to its possession of very advanced military technology, which, along with its slightly better degree of organization, led to the defeat of its enemies in conventional war. That in turn led them to adopt strategies of asymmetric warfare and terrorism, which we have managed to counter, although less successfully.
These aren’t our only enemies. In the middle of the twentieth century, one of the most highly developed scientific, literary and musical cultures in the Western world descended into genocidal madness and ignited a war which resulted in 60 million dead and much of Europe laid waste, primarily—there were other reasons, but I’ll stick with “primarily”—to annihilate us. Largish groups in almost every country of Eastern and Western Europe worked together with the Nazis to help collect, ship and exterminate those of us who fell into their hands.
After the war there was a general revulsion in what was left of the countries that had participated in the biggest pogrom in history, as well as an understanding on the part of the Jewish remnant that our state had to be established regardless of the cost, which prevailed against the resistance—imagine, after all that!—the resistance from Britain and the Arabs.
But the anti-Semitism of Europe didn’t go away, although it was pushed under cover by the embarrassment of its involvement in the pogrom of pogroms. There was no embarrassment about expressing it in the form of misoziony, the wild hatred of the state that we managed to establish despite Britain’s best efforts to prevent it. And while there is still enough revulsion left to prevent them from repeating their attempt to liquidate our people, it hasn’t stopped them from paying to create the conditions for others to do it for them.
So we have European powers, particularly Germany (of all nations) and the hyper-civilized Scandinavian countries—the ones who abhor physical violence and have made the expression of racist sentiment illegal, spending millions of their citizens’ taxes on enterprises designed to weaken the Jewish state and set the stage for its destruction by Arabs or Iranians who aren’t squeamish about direct action with guns and bombs to accomplish the goal desired, but never said out loud in public, in Brussels, Berlin, and Stockholm.
European money keeps numerous international and Israeli organizations afloat, usually ostensibly in defense of human rights, but practically focusing on the rights and national aspirations of one particular group, the Palestinian Arabs. If you ask an honest Palestinian, he will tell you that he aspires, above all else, to violently kick the Jews out of all of the Land of Israel, in which he believes they have no right to live (except as a dhimmi minority), and certainly no right to have a sovereign state.
The Europeans, realizing that this aspiration smells uncomfortably like the 1940s, insist that what they want is only to divide Israel along the 1949 armistice line and set up a Palestinian Arab state in the eastern part. Then this state will live happily alongside Israel, with its nine-mile-wide waist, and the “Middle Eastern conflict” will be over. This is called the “two-state solution,” but of course won’t solve anything, except the difficulties the Arabs have today in hitting Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport from their territory with the cheapest and simplest of mortars.
Israelis learned by experience that Arab control of areas near Jewish populations makes them a target of terrorism and rocket attacks, and refuse to vote for the stupid or psychologically disturbed politicians who advocate this. Thus, since the second intifada (2000-3) and the Hamas takeover of Gaza (2007), Israeli voters have rejected the parties of the left, whose support has fallen to the point that they flirt with the cutoff percentage in elections.
Europe wants to change that. For example—and this is just one of countless similar examples—the European Union has granted more than half a million dollars (500,000 euros) to an Israeli NGO whose objective is to change the attitude of Russian-speaking Israelis, who have always leaned politically right for obvious reasons and who have opposed the creation of a Palestinian state.
The European Union says that the grant is intended to “promote conditions for a negotiated settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and potential shifts in public opinion among the Russian-speaking community by building confidence and trust in the two-state solution among a population that has traditionally rejected and been omitted from the process, as well as to deconstruct a negative view of the Palestinian narrative.”
It should be obvious that the political attitudes of Russian-speaking Israelis are nobody’s business but Israel’s. But this item provides a window into the overall program of the European Union and individual European countries, which work on numerous levels to bring about the partition of the Land of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state.
This and other manipulative programs, including financial support for international and Israeli NGOs that propagandize, support BDS, and engage in “lawfare” against Israel, complement the E.U.’s investment in building infrastructure for Palestinians in Area C, the part of Judea and Samaria that according to the Oslo accords is under Israeli civil control.
These building projects, carried out without permits or permission, are intended to create facts on the ground that will make it more difficult for Israel to retain control of these areas in any future deal. At the same time, international pressure on Israel to not build in the territories, even inside existing settlements that will certainly end up as part of Israel, has been effective. Despite news reports that “1,000 new homes have been approved” and so forth, very few buildings have actually been constructed. And illegal Palestinian settlements have not been removed.
Make no mistake—the Palestinian leadership has no interest in a state in the territories except as a stepping stone to the replacement of Israel by an Arab state, and the death or dispersal of about half of the Jewish people. They say it themselves, over and over.
Are officials in the European Union and individual countries that support this project so stupid or blind and deaf as to fail to understand that? Do they not know that the funds that they provide to the Palestinian Authority are used to pay terrorists? Do they not see that UNRWA, of which they are now the prime funder, educates Palestinian children to hate?
I don’t believe it.
Victor Rosenthal was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., lived on a kibbutz through the 1980s and returned home to Israel in 2014 after 26 years in California. He writes at the Abu Yehuda blog.
*Misoziony (pronounced mis-OZ-yoni) is the extreme and irrational hatred of the Jewish state. It is anti-Semitism raised up one level of abstraction, although almost all misozionists are anti-Semites as well.
This article was first published at AbuYehuda.com.
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