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First the Jews, Then Everyone Else
by Alan Caruba
12 November 2003Star of David

There will be no peace in the world so long as Jews anywhere feel threatened with death for being Jews.


Let them be ashamed and affrighted forever; Yea, let them be abashed and perish; That they may know that it is Thou alone whose name is the Lord, The Most High over all the earth.
--Psalm 83.

The hatred of America and the West was frozen in time on 9-11 when the World Trade Center was destroyed and, along with it, the lives of more than 3,000 people. It was an act of barbarity that stunned Americans in much the way Pearl Harbor stunned an earlier generation to take up arms. At the end of the conflict in Europe in 1945, the network of concentration camps that deliberately murdered two-thirds of European Jewry again stunned the world.

The hatred of Jews has a long history that has expressed itself in the way words such as “pogroms” and “ghetto” have made their way into our language. Now “Holocaust” has become synonymous with all forms of genocide, but primarily that wreaked on the Jews.

A second Holocaust remains a threat against the Jews of Israel and that threat is fueled daily by the same fanatical Muslims that threaten America and the West.

We seem not to have learned that, when Jews anywhere are threatened with death, it is always a harbinger of death for all other groups of people. When Nazi Germany began its vilification of Jews, World War II followed. Barely more than a generation since that cataclysmic event in the midpoint of the last century, anti-Semitism has risen again in Europe and throughout the world. The anti-Semitism of the Middle East is so virulent that it inspires some Muslims to kill themselves in order to kill Jews and other perceived enemies of Islam. It inspired 9-11.

Only the very foolish would ignore this trend. The weapons of mass destruction created during and since the last world war can and will kill millions more if the evil spawned from anti-Semitism is not defeated.

Mortimer Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of US News and World Report, noted last year that, “From Kiev in the East to Bilbao and Barcalona in Spain, and Rome in the South, from Marseilles to Paris to Berlin in the West, the poison is at work. Somehow anti-Semitism in Europe has outdone every other ideology and prejudice in its power and durability. Facism came and went; Communism came and went, anti-Semitism came and stayed. And now it has been revitalized.” The European Union has contributed millions to the Palestinians by way of expressing its anti-Semitism as “anti-Zionism.”

Americans and Europeans assume our values regarding human dignity, justice, education, et cetera, come from the ancient societies of Greece and Rome. They do not. They come from Judaism.

Ancient Greece and Rome had no regard for human life and, like societies in other parts of the world, routinely engaged in infanticide, slavery, and the subjugation of women, among other practices that led to their downfall. They engaged in warfare on a continual basis. When Islam emerged in the seventh century A.D., it too embraced many of these practices and has existed in a constant state of war against all other religions. The great centers of Christianity were attacked and taken over by Muslims and that religion of more than a billion people barely exists where it first began.

Alone among the ancient cultures, societies, and empires, Israel -- the Jews -- stood in stark contrast. The Torah, commonly referred to as the “Old Testament” since the emergence of Christianity, requires the practice of justice, saying “You shall not commit a perversion of justice; you shall not favor the poor and you shall not honor the mighty; with righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.” This is the basis for the application of law in modern, Western nations.

Education, necessary for the practice of democracy, providing a literate population, was established first by Judaism that deemed it a requirement for every man, woman and child to be able to read the Torah. While only the elite members of Greek and Roman society were taught to read, Jews were the only people in the ancient world with a virtual one hundred percent rate of literacy. They bequeathed this legacy of education to the modern world.

Alone among all others of the ancient world, Israel did not wage wars of conquest on their neighbors, though they did practice self-defense when attacked. The sanctity of human life is central to Judaism because Jews believed then and now that all humans are created in the image of God. We now accept this as the norm, but even a brief perusal of history demonstrates that the slaughter and enslavement of conquered peoples was endemic to empire-building. In contrast, Jews extended the protection of human life to everyone from the newborn infant to the elderly. The Torah required Jews to love their neighbor and even the stranger in their midst.

Lastly, the emphasis on peace was and is so strong among Jews they routinely greet each other saying “Shalom,” the Hebrew word for peace. Jewish sages told Jews that the world and their personal lives depended upon three things; “by truth, by judgment (justice), and by peace.”

There has been no peace for the survivors of last century’s Holocaust who returned to their ancient homeland to reestablish Israel. Their most obvious enemies have been the millions of Muslims and their enmity, endemic to Islam, has been supported openly or silently by Europeans and others around the world. The appalling lie that Jews control the world was repeated this year by the former premier of Malaysia, evoking only a passing protest, if any, from the leaders of the world’s nations.

There will be no peace in the world so long as Jews anywhere feel threatened with death for being Jews. There will be no peace in the world so long as Christians, Hindus, and all other people of faith do not actively oppose anti-Semitism. But anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide and with it can only come the potential of an apocalypse undreamed by anyone.

The world was warned in the last century that, when Jews are martyred, no one is safe. There is precious little time left to heed that warning in the new century.

Alan Caruba is the author of
Warning Signs, published by Merril Press. His weekly commentaries are posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.

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