Sixty Years after a failed Hope and a realized Dream

On May 2, 1949, sixty years ago, the State of Israel was admitted to the United Nations.  These two creations of post-war mankind were, in many ways, intertwined.  The Holocaust, of course, has cast an inhuman shadow over every political impulse since the end of the Second World War.  It was not just the Jews of the world who said "Never again!" but it was also every decent soul who could grasp the enormity of what Hitler and his subordinate demons had done.  And it was not just those directly affected by the equally unthinkable horrors of the Second World War who said "Never again!" but it was every civilized soul on the planet.

In the aftermath of the Great War (which is what the First World War was, for many years, called), the idea of an international college of nations -- something bandied about by many good men before the war -- became profoundly serious.  In the aftermath of the Dreyfus Case, the pogroms of the last Romanovs, and the rise of racial theories in progressive European thought, the idea of a Jewish homeland also became something important to many good and decent people, and this emphatically included people who were not Jewish.

Jewish immigration to Palestine after the Great War was modulated, regulated, and inhibited by the imperial needs of London and the interest in placating the concerns of Arabs, who, like Jews and like Armenian Christians, had been the subjects of a hoary, creaking, malign Turkish rule for many years.  The League of Nations was rejected by the United States, hostile to the Soviet Union, and as soon as it needed to act, the League was ignored by Germany, Japan, and Italy.  It seemed as if these twin dreams that gained strength in the ashes of the Great War would be frustrations for future generations.

Then seventy years ago, the full horrors of Hell on Earth were inflicted on the nations of the world.  The Holocaust was six millions dead Jews and more.  The Second World War was the mass murder of Chinese, Jews, Poles, and Russians; the bombing of great cities into cinders; the hideous regime of medical experiments carried on by Nazi and Japanese doctors; the waste of incomprehensible amounts of wealth; the dislocation of hundreds of millions of lives -- all to no good purpose. 

Sane and sensible people in the late 1940s said that all the temporizing arguments against a Jewish homeland (a small sliver of Mediterranean coast) were hushed by the graves of six million innocent men, women, and children.  The doubts of the usefulness of an organization in which nations could talk instead of fight, was set aside in the six year carnage of a horrible global war.  Israel was granted statehood.  The United Nations was founded.  And sixty years ago, on May 2, 1949, those twin dreams were joined as Israel became a member of the United Nations.

Few nations and few peoples ever held such deep goodwill toward an international institution as Israel and the Jewish people held toward the new United Nations.  The pent up energy of all who suffered through six years of Nazi horror was released in pursuit of the sublime wish for international peace and goodwill in a world in which Israel was a nation. 

Wars bedeviled the new nation.  The new pronounced protector of peace, the United Nations, did nothing.   Israel trusted and supported the United Nations and its idea much more faithfully than the overwhelming majority of its members, yet, over time, and increasingly large majority of its members mocked the Israel and its founding idea.   One quarter of a century after Israel joined this reincarnation of the League of Nations, the General Assembly, by a wide majority, voted that Zionism -- the founding principle of Israel -- was a form of racism. 

Today, outside of America and a handful of western democracies, still support the idea of Israel.  Today, almost no morally serious persons views the United Nations as anything more than a mockery of the human conscience, a forum for angry people and wicked tyrannies to spew venom with impunity, and a perverse comic opera presented as serious drama. 

Yet, today Israel is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East (Lebanon has been, on and off, and Iraq is, God willing, for the future.)  Israel faces a world increasingly indifferent to its purpose and its life.  Yet the dream survives against all odds. 

And today, when the United Nations ought, if it had any function at all, to be throwing its whole weight behind the nonproliferation of nuclear weaponry in Iran and other nations led by angry and aggressive Hitler clones, this body intended to prevent war allows Ahmadinejad, one of those carbon copies of Hitler, a forum in Geneva (the very city where the old League of Nations used to meet) to preach his modern Nazism to the world.

The dream of a United Nations, one ironically trusted so fiercely by Israel and many Jews, has become an unholy nightmare.  The fond wish that a friendly club makes hateful governments less hateful is absolutely dead. The reliance of a people and a nation upon self-defense in the face of palpable hostility is very much alive. (Please, President Obama, take note.)

Placating those who hate us, apologizing for invented sins, surrendering sovereignty to gaggles of tyrannies -- these naïve desires for world popularity -- do not work unless the world itself wants peace,  seeks freedom, and embraces truth.  Nations like America and Israel will never survive as free democracies unless they resist evil.  No nation tried harder than Israel to simply be permitted to live.  No nation as been more magnanimous with aid and help than America.  And no two nations are as reviled in that dream gone bad, the United Nations, as Israel and America.   History instructs, if wise people will listen.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
On May 2, 1949, sixty years ago, the State of Israel was admitted to the United Nations.  These two creations of post-war mankind were, in many ways, intertwined.  The Holocaust, of course, has cast an inhuman shadow over every political impulse since the end of the Second World War.  It was not just the Jews of the world who said "Never again!" but it was also every decent soul who could grasp the enormity of what Hitler and his subordinate demons had done.  And it was not just those directly affected by the equally unthinkable horrors of the Second World War who said "Never again!" but it was every civilized soul on the planet.

In the aftermath of the Great War (which is what the First World War was, for many years, called), the idea of an international college of nations -- something bandied about by many good men before the war -- became profoundly serious.  In the aftermath of the Dreyfus Case, the pogroms of the last Romanovs, and the rise of racial theories in progressive European thought, the idea of a Jewish homeland also became something important to many good and decent people, and this emphatically included people who were not Jewish.

Jewish immigration to Palestine after the Great War was modulated, regulated, and inhibited by the imperial needs of London and the interest in placating the concerns of Arabs, who, like Jews and like Armenian Christians, had been the subjects of a hoary, creaking, malign Turkish rule for many years.  The League of Nations was rejected by the United States, hostile to the Soviet Union, and as soon as it needed to act, the League was ignored by Germany, Japan, and Italy.  It seemed as if these twin dreams that gained strength in the ashes of the Great War would be frustrations for future generations.

Then seventy years ago, the full horrors of Hell on Earth were inflicted on the nations of the world.  The Holocaust was six millions dead Jews and more.  The Second World War was the mass murder of Chinese, Jews, Poles, and Russians; the bombing of great cities into cinders; the hideous regime of medical experiments carried on by Nazi and Japanese doctors; the waste of incomprehensible amounts of wealth; the dislocation of hundreds of millions of lives -- all to no good purpose. 

Sane and sensible people in the late 1940s said that all the temporizing arguments against a Jewish homeland (a small sliver of Mediterranean coast) were hushed by the graves of six million innocent men, women, and children.  The doubts of the usefulness of an organization in which nations could talk instead of fight, was set aside in the six year carnage of a horrible global war.  Israel was granted statehood.  The United Nations was founded.  And sixty years ago, on May 2, 1949, those twin dreams were joined as Israel became a member of the United Nations.

Few nations and few peoples ever held such deep goodwill toward an international institution as Israel and the Jewish people held toward the new United Nations.  The pent up energy of all who suffered through six years of Nazi horror was released in pursuit of the sublime wish for international peace and goodwill in a world in which Israel was a nation. 

Wars bedeviled the new nation.  The new pronounced protector of peace, the United Nations, did nothing.   Israel trusted and supported the United Nations and its idea much more faithfully than the overwhelming majority of its members, yet, over time, and increasingly large majority of its members mocked the Israel and its founding idea.   One quarter of a century after Israel joined this reincarnation of the League of Nations, the General Assembly, by a wide majority, voted that Zionism -- the founding principle of Israel -- was a form of racism. 

Today, outside of America and a handful of western democracies, still support the idea of Israel.  Today, almost no morally serious persons views the United Nations as anything more than a mockery of the human conscience, a forum for angry people and wicked tyrannies to spew venom with impunity, and a perverse comic opera presented as serious drama. 

Yet, today Israel is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East (Lebanon has been, on and off, and Iraq is, God willing, for the future.)  Israel faces a world increasingly indifferent to its purpose and its life.  Yet the dream survives against all odds. 

And today, when the United Nations ought, if it had any function at all, to be throwing its whole weight behind the nonproliferation of nuclear weaponry in Iran and other nations led by angry and aggressive Hitler clones, this body intended to prevent war allows Ahmadinejad, one of those carbon copies of Hitler, a forum in Geneva (the very city where the old League of Nations used to meet) to preach his modern Nazism to the world.

The dream of a United Nations, one ironically trusted so fiercely by Israel and many Jews, has become an unholy nightmare.  The fond wish that a friendly club makes hateful governments less hateful is absolutely dead. The reliance of a people and a nation upon self-defense in the face of palpable hostility is very much alive. (Please, President Obama, take note.)

Placating those who hate us, apologizing for invented sins, surrendering sovereignty to gaggles of tyrannies -- these naïve desires for world popularity -- do not work unless the world itself wants peace,  seeks freedom, and embraces truth.  Nations like America and Israel will never survive as free democracies unless they resist evil.  No nation tried harder than Israel to simply be permitted to live.  No nation as been more magnanimous with aid and help than America.  And no two nations are as reviled in that dream gone bad, the United Nations, as Israel and America.   History instructs, if wise people will listen.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.