Europe's Jewish Problem

Antipathy for Israel among Europeans is alarmingly increasing as campaigns of delegitimization and vilification spread across the world, fueled by Muslim propaganda and money, whetted by the hunger for oil. Even once-friendly European countries, those that helped establish the State of Israel and tried to assist Jews during the Holocaust, have become more hostile towards Israel. Europe's brief love affair with Israel seems over. Why?

In an important essay, Yoram Hazony, director of Jerusalem's Shalem Center and author of The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel's Soul, offers a compelling perspective:
The path of national self-determination ... lies beneath the nearly boundless disgust so many feel towards Israel, and especially toward anything having to do with Israel's attempts to defend itself. ... It is driven by the rapid advance of a new paradigm that understands Israel, and especially the independent Israeli use of force to defend itself, as illegitimate down to its foundations.

Still, this does not explain why the right to self-defense, sacrosanct and enshrined in national and international law, does not apply when it comes to Israel. 

For Europeans today, who did not experience the Holocaust, Israel is a constant reminder of their complicity and guilt in the genocide of Jews. They want to forget it; Israel can't.

Before and after World War II, the Soviet Union slaughtered, persecuted, and enslaved Jews in gulags, sponsored and trained Arab terrorists, and attempted to wipe out Judaism. Eventually, the barriers fell, Jews emigrated, and the USSR became the FSU.

Every time we force European leaders and dignitaries to go to Yad Vashem, we rub their noses in what they allowed -- a return to scenes of their crimes. We make them pay when they see how vibrant we are, and -- the ultimate snub, except for Russia -- with an army more powerful than their own!

Deliberately, methodically, Europe became Judenrein; instead, they have mosques and veils and sharia law to worry about.

Europe rid itself of most of its Jews -- some of them escaped and built a country, and now Israel has a more stable economy than its former hosts. What an indignity, that those whom you punished and persecuted for so long are still around to sing and dance before your sneer and scowl, and make you pay to see their heritage revealed in archeological sites.

For two thousand years, Europe threw out the Jews, or murdered them, or stole their property -- tried to crush their spirit -- and yet they came back even stronger. Jews are on the cutting edge of everything, while Europe can't seem to find the tools. It doesn't make sense.

Jews were supposed to be finished off in the ghettos, gas ovens, and slave labor prisons. That didn't work. OK, give them a state and let the Arabs, generously supplied by most of Europe's governments and corporations, finish them off. That didn't work, either.

OK, Oslo -- a diplomatic coup, still undecided, land-for-nothing. Welcome Iran to do the job, its nuclear reactors built by Russians, French, and Germans, financed by the ever-neutral Swiss. Well, maybe that will work.

Israel's success flaunts Europe's failure. And despite their economies going down the tubes, EU countries still have money to fund every Arab Palestinian hate group and rescue terrorists. Having used the most powerful forces in the world to eliminate the Jewish people, Europeans must feel frustrated by the audacity of Jews, who not only defend themselves, but also survive as Jews, forcing their leaders to salute a flag that bears a Jewish symbol and shake hands with Jewish generals. Instead of their traditional Jew-hatred, Europeans smile and slip cash to the Arabs to do their dirty work. Condemning Israel is easier than feeling shame. 

Jews in Israel are a traumatized people -- traumatized by the Holocaust and by constant Arab terrorism. We also traumatized by our own leaders, who, in the name of peace, emboldened our sworn enemies and exposed us to their murderous efforts. And many Israeli academics never miss an opportunity to condemn the country that pays their salaries. Israel's media often operate as propaganda machines for the Left. How Europeans must relish their bigotry when they see Israeli political cartoons, opinion pieces (as "news"), literature, and art that depict Israelis as vicious, Jews as despicable, and Judaism as worthless.

Ach, Europe, how you must shiver with humiliation when you need Israeli-produced technology, science, and medicine. What angst must overtake you when you must decide whether to boycott Israeli fruits and vegetables or enjoy them. 

Like a supposedly dispatched victim, Israel comes back to haunt Europe -- not only to confront it with its strength, but to do so ablaze with Jewishness. What an indignity for Europeans to see flourishing Jewish communities instead of piled corpses, bones of those buried in mass execution pits renewed in Israeli children.

Europe hates Jews, finally, because it hates itself; it knows what European civilization allowed, permitted, and condoned. "Never again" is the Jewish password; Europeans know it can be. 

The author is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem.