Over the life of this column, I have been concerned with the worldwide growth of anti-Semitism. I felt that we were in a period comparable to the late 1920s-early 1930s. Media coverage of, and governmental reaction to, Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, leads me to believe that only the oblivious or those purposely ignoring the facts on the ground fail to acknowledge that Jews worldwide are under assault.
It starts with selective outrage against Israel as pointed out by Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
If in the past year you didn’t CRY OUT when thousands of protesters were killed and injured by Turkey, Egypt and Libya, when more victims than ever were hanged by Iran, women and children in Afghanistan were bombed, whole communities were massacred in South Sudan, 1800 Palestinians were starved and murdered by Assad in Syria, hundreds in Pakistan were killed by jihadist terror attacks, 10,000 Iraqis were killed by terrorists, villagers were slaughtered in Nigeria, but you ONLY cry out for GAZA, then you are not pro HUMAN RIGHTS, you are only ANTI-ISRAEL. [Emphasis in original.]
Neuer could have pointed to the blatant idiocy of the head of the UN Human Rights Council, Navi Pillay, that Israel may be guilty of war crimes because, among other things, Israel didn’t share its Iron Dome defense shield with the “governing authority” of Gaza — i.e. Hamas. She also criticized the United States for helping fund Iron Dome.
Imagine the United States, in the 1940s, sharing the Manhattan Project with Germany and Japan or, today, the Russians sharing Buk technology (the missile that shot down MH17) with the Ukrainians to help them defend themselves from Russian Buks.
The actions of UNHRC are indicative of UN hostility against Israel. From 2006 through 2012, Israel was formally condemned by UNHRC at least 47 times and is the only country in the world that remains a standing agenda item at every session. UNHRC has never formally mentioned “Hamas” by name, let alone condemned it.
Operation Protective Edge reignited a favorite anti-Israel mantra about proportionality. The media publishes daily casualty lists to demonstrate that Gazans have been disproportionately affected by the hostilities, minimizing Hamas’ indiscriminate use of rockets against Israeli population centers — the same strategy used by the Nazis in launching V-1 buzz bombs to terrorize England during WWII — and Hamas’ growing network of infiltration tunnels.
Demonstrations have been held all over the globe to protest a perceived disproportionate use of Israeli power. Some of these demonstrations have been peaceful, others not. Demonstrations in Paris have been notably violent. Some have been tinged with anti-Semitism. In France, a Facebook page published pictures of French Jews to encourage attackers. Rome’s historic Jewish Quarter was daubed with swastikas and anti-Semitic posters. The Daily Mail reported a rising tide of anti-Semitism in Britain.
These demonstrations caused Israeli Jewish Congress president Vladimir Sloutsker to call the rise in anti-Semitic incidents accompanying Israel’s invasion of Gaza an “SOS situation.” He warned that if left unchecked, such behavior could lead to another European genocide.
Such events are not limited to Europe. In Calgary, Canadian Israel supporters were violently beaten by a crowd shouting anti-Semitic slurs. Synagogues in Miami-Dade County have been subject to anti-Semitic graffiti. One was spray painted with swastikas and the word “Hamas.”
At a rally in Miami, demonstrators chanted “Khaybar, Khaybar ya yahud,” “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.” At the Battle of Khaybar (628 CE), Muslims massacred the Jews of Khaybar, a town in northwestern Arabia.
Proportionality apparently has struck a responsive chord with the Obama administration. Our peripatetic Secretary of State, John Kerry, took it upon himself to broker a series of cease-fires between Israel and Hamas. Israel has agreed to many of these, Hamas has not. The administration, for whatever reason, seems to be willing to give Hamas breathing room.
Thus, two weekends ago, it was revealed that Kerry put forward a cease-fire proposal with practically no mention of Israel’s security needs or of demilitarizing Gaza of rockets and heavy weaponry or of the need of destroying the terror tunnels linking Gaza to Israel, the opposite of what Kerry told the Israelis 24 hours earlier. It was rejected unanimously by Israel’s security cabinet.
Shortly after, Israel agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire, which was broken by Hamas within 90 minutes.
The administration’s actions have been interpreted as empowering Hamas and radical elements in Turkey and Qatar at the expense of traditional allies Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, Charles Krauthammer called Kerry “clueless in Gaza.”
Israel prime minister Netanyahu has had enough, warning the administration “not to ever second guess me again” on the matter of Hamas.
However, world Jewry should heed the warning given it. We can live in the Garden of the Finzi-Continis or be mindful of Jewish self-defense advocate Ze’ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky’s warning to European Jews in the 1930s: “Ehr Kumt. Yidn Farlawst ayer shtetl” (“He’s coming. Jews abandon your city.”).