When They Come for the Jews, They Won’t Ask Questions
Albert Einstein observed, “If my theory of relativity is proven correct, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.” His words are relevant today because anti-Semitism, briefly dormant, is alive again — in Europe and around the world. This “new form” of anti-Semitism claims to be different from the traditional racial and religious images. Its adherents say they are anti-Zionist, not anti-Semites. But their accusations mirror The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Only recently, a Belgian parade featured a float of grotesquely distorted Orthodox Jews in religious garb, perched on bags of money, à la the art of Nazi Julius Streicher. What makes this sickening display even more alarming is the official sanction given to it by the Mayor of Aalst, Christoph D’Haese, who stated, “It’s not up to the mayor to forbid such displays” and that the carnival participants had “no sinister intentions.” No sinister intentions? Adolf Eichmann also had no sinister intentions when he organized transportation to the death camps. After all, he himself had no part in the actual killing process; they just did their jobs.
We have our own anti-Semitic scandal with newly elected congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D), a Somalian hijab-wearing Muslim who tweets anti-Semitic tropes “without sinister intentions” or retractions. Democrat leadership won’t condemn, censure, or remove her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, leftist Jews have defended her, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi excused her inadvertent offense. Yes, Congress passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and anti–everything else, without singling out Omar and the Jews. Thus, the Democratic Party is falling farther left toward Islamic ideology.
Feeding the fire, in January 2019, the Palestinian Authority introduced in the U.N. a motion to reinstate U.N. Resolution 3379, first adopted in 1975, later revoked in 1991, that declared that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” No other people anywhere has ever been so distinguished. When South Sudan gained its independence in 2011, after years of bloodshed, no one proposed calling its citizens’ nationalism “racist.” The Kurds of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey also aspire to their own national homeland, but no one has called them “racist.” Only Israel and the Jews have that distinction.
Make no mistake: anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The two terms have become conflated. If you agree that Israel is evil, apartheid, fascist, and repugnant, then the only possible resolution is its total destruction, its Jews exiled or exterminated.
Slowly, surely, irrevocably, methodically, step by step, the constraints are removed from the unacceptable — adjusting the population to the various forms of anti-Semitism, from rhetoric to parade floats to refusing to seriously address the issue, defending the perpetrators such as Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan, who called Jews “termites” to leftist media silence. Anti-Semitism is becoming mainstream. Jews are fleeing the ever increasing attacks in France, once home to the world’s third largest Jewish population. Prime Minister Theresa May laments that Jews may have no future in Great Britain as the Labor Party’s overtly anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn seeks increased power. American Jews seem oblivious to the tsunami of anti-Semitism engulfing Europe and poised to take America with the same intensity.
“We are safe here.” “We are a civilized, cultured country with laws that protect us.” So are Britain and France. So was Germany during the 1920s and early ’30s, when it was regarded the most advanced scientifically, culturally, and artistically — the home of Beethoven, Bach, Goethe, and Heine. German Jews were patriots; 100,000-plus served in the German army during WWI, 30,000 decorated for bravery, yet also murdered in gas chambers. Meanwhile, the uninformed American Jews embrace their ancestral ideology — a combined Progressivism, ultra-liberalism, neo-Marxism, and the Jewish “tikkun olam.” They ardently believe that the main threat to Jews today comes from the neo-Nazis and the KKK. While it is true that these groups exist, they constitute only a small percentage of the population.
There are leftist Jewish and non-Jewish groups who would disagree with these statistics. They choose to lump all Republican conservatives and anyone who disagrees with them into the category of right-wing hate-monger extremists. They ignore the real threat today that comes from an unholy red-green alliance — the Marxist left and Islam.
Using identity politics, victimhood, social justice, racism, anti-Zionism, and anti-Semitism, the radical left seeks power and control. The new doctrine of “intersectionality” allows leftists to affiliate with other groups they perceive as “oppressed.” This is why you see anti-Israel and anti-Semitic signs displayed by just about every radical-left group at demonstrations throughout the country. Therefore, Ferguson, Missouri activists’ placards read, “From Ferguson to Gaza, the struggle continues.” The vast majority of American Jews who accepted these policies are unable or unwilling to comprehend that their Progressive, liberal, neo-Marxist ideology now seeks to destroy the Jewish state and the Jewish people.
American Jewry is at a crossroads. The vast majority of American Jews will continue to cling to their familiar ancestral belief system; it’s all they know. To change now would be to deny everything their family members and they, themselves, have lived for. But before they bury their heads in the sand once again, they should at least hear these simple truths. When our enemies came for us during the Holocaust, they did not ask if we were Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, or secular Jews. Neither were they interested in any past service we rendered for the state. We were Jews. That was all that mattered. If history repeats itself, when our enemies come for us once again, they will not ask if we are Israelis or Zionists. They will not care if we marched in Selma, Alabama; protested against apartheid in South Africa; supported equal rights for women; advocated for the LBGTQ community; and campaigned for Hillary or Bernie. It will matter that we are Jews.
Today’s anti-Semitism, unleashed by the Left and Islamists, is so visceral, virulent, vile, vicious, and vitriolic that it can no longer be justified under the guise of anti-Zionism. In form, content, and message, it is exactly what was seen and heard during the heyday of the Third Reich. It is what made the Holocaust possible. What begins with a parade float in Belgium inevitably ends in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and Treblinka. This is the fate our enemies want for us. This is why Tehran’s Ayatollah Khamenei rejoices that more Jews are moving to Israel — for one grand target.
Meanwhile, most of the Jews will continue entrusting their safety to their religious and political leadership. They will continue to vote for, support, and finance the party and the ideology that will ultimately lead them to their own destruction and that of the state of Israel.
Vladimir Jabotinsky recognized that “[t]he Jew learns not by way of reason, but from catastrophe. He won’t buy an umbrella merely because he sees clouds in the sky. He waits until he is drenched and catches pneumonia.” History may yet prove that when it comes to the Jews, Jabotinsky was an optimist.
Caren Besner is a retired teacher who has written articles published by American Thinker, Sun-Sentinel, Jewish Journal, The Algemeiner, Jerusalem Post, IsraPost, The Jewish Voice, Independent Sentinel, San Diego Jewish World, The Times of Israel, Jewish Press, The Front Page, The Florida Veteran, Jootube, and The Moderate Voice.