The Global Assault on Israel's Jewishness

In 1944, shortly after the liberation of Paris, the French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre began writing a searing analysis of anti-Semites and anti-Semitism.  He completed his essay in 1946.

Given the context of the times -- the wrenching and accumulating evidence of the Holocaust, the destruction of one third of world Jewry by Hitler's Final Solution -- one might have assumed that Sartre would focus entirely on how centuries of persecution of Jews in Europe culminated in this ultimate horror.

But Sartre did not.  Instead, he came up with two very distinct types of anti-Semitism and anti-Semites, warning the world, and especially Jews, of their equally destructive agendas.

The traditional or classical anti-Semite, nurtured by Christian teachings and morphing into the Hitlerian type, creates and preserves the Jew so as to justify his aim to destroy him, he wrote.

But alongside this particular type of anti-Semitism, Sartre gave equal weight to the Enlightened Democrat (today's leftist liberal), who aims to protect and save the Jew by stripping him of his Jewishness and coaxing him into the ranks of universal brotherhood.

Sartre's depiction of the second type of anti-Semite is alive and well today -- in Israel and elsewhere -- among self-described "peace" activists who are staging an all-out assault on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's insistence that there can be no Middle East peace without recognition of Israel as a "Jewish" state.  And, with Israel pondering legislation to require applicants for citizenship to pledge allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish" nation, they vehemently denounce such moves as downright "fascist."

Yet, these shrill attacks are mounted by self-proclaimed supporters of Israel.  But as liberal secularists, they want an Israel formally stripped of its Jewishness.  In fact, that's their prescription for the survival of the state.  Let Israel just morph into another liberal democracy and jettison its Yiddishkeit and the world will embrace it.

Not too long ago, nobody blinked when the Balfour Declaration posited creation of a "Jewish homeland" in Palestine.  Or, in 1947, when the United Nations voted for a two-state partition plan that would encompass a "Jewish state" and an "Arab state."

But today, it's become downright heresy in fashionable liberal circles to suggest that Israel should thrive and survive as a "Jewish" nation.

Sartre, who diagnosed this phenomenon amidst the ashes of the Holocaust must be smiling in his grave.
In 1944, shortly after the liberation of Paris, the French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre began writing a searing analysis of anti-Semites and anti-Semitism.  He completed his essay in 1946.

Given the context of the times -- the wrenching and accumulating evidence of the Holocaust, the destruction of one third of world Jewry by Hitler's Final Solution -- one might have assumed that Sartre would focus entirely on how centuries of persecution of Jews in Europe culminated in this ultimate horror.

But Sartre did not.  Instead, he came up with two very distinct types of anti-Semitism and anti-Semites, warning the world, and especially Jews, of their equally destructive agendas.

The traditional or classical anti-Semite, nurtured by Christian teachings and morphing into the Hitlerian type, creates and preserves the Jew so as to justify his aim to destroy him, he wrote.

But alongside this particular type of anti-Semitism, Sartre gave equal weight to the Enlightened Democrat (today's leftist liberal), who aims to protect and save the Jew by stripping him of his Jewishness and coaxing him into the ranks of universal brotherhood.

Sartre's depiction of the second type of anti-Semite is alive and well today -- in Israel and elsewhere -- among self-described "peace" activists who are staging an all-out assault on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's insistence that there can be no Middle East peace without recognition of Israel as a "Jewish" state.  And, with Israel pondering legislation to require applicants for citizenship to pledge allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish" nation, they vehemently denounce such moves as downright "fascist."

Yet, these shrill attacks are mounted by self-proclaimed supporters of Israel.  But as liberal secularists, they want an Israel formally stripped of its Jewishness.  In fact, that's their prescription for the survival of the state.  Let Israel just morph into another liberal democracy and jettison its Yiddishkeit and the world will embrace it.

Not too long ago, nobody blinked when the Balfour Declaration posited creation of a "Jewish homeland" in Palestine.  Or, in 1947, when the United Nations voted for a two-state partition plan that would encompass a "Jewish state" and an "Arab state."

But today, it's become downright heresy in fashionable liberal circles to suggest that Israel should thrive and survive as a "Jewish" nation.

Sartre, who diagnosed this phenomenon amidst the ashes of the Holocaust must be smiling in his grave.

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