As we approach the beginning of the holiday of Passover, I am struck by the fact that that many of the lessons learned from the holiday still hold true today. It is very possible that the most significant lesson is that hatred towards the Jews is more often than not for the mere fact that we exist, not because of the actions we take.
What is so remarkable about the phenomenom of anti-Semitism is that when you look at it closely, it is rarely about the things Jews do wrong. This is an important point. I do not claim that the Jewish people are perfect by any means. Like any group we have some character traits that are appealing, some that are not. We have produced criminals like any other group of people. Yet the rampant growth of anti-Semitism is not generated by a reaction to a Bernie Madoff, someone who actually caused harm to many people, it is more likely because of the religious Jew living in Brooklyn or the West Bank. The reason for this has nothing to do with behavior. It has to do with growth.
When slavery began in Egypt the Pharoah rallied his people with the following words: ‘Behold the Children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply.'” But the Jewish people were not violent, they were not aggressive or ambitious, they were merely members of the Egyptian community that were growing and developing. They were actually more beneficial to Egypt than they were harmful. But despite the lack of reasoning behind this thinking, they were considered a threat. How were they more and mightier? They were a minority in Egypt. But in their structure and cohesiveness they were strong and productive. This was threatening to the Pharoah.
When we hear of Iran preaching the destruction of Israel, I always wonder how any reasonable person doesn’t ask themselves why Iran would care? Why would anyone care? Israel is a speck of land compared to the land surrounding it. Yet in its hard work and productivity, but most of all in its growth, it is considered a tremendous threat. The truth be told, most of those calling for Israel’s destruction won’t say, destroy Israel unless Israel gives the Palestinians anything they want, they clearly call for Israel’s demise regardless of what actions Israel does or doesn’t take. Ultimately it is for one simple and very sad reason. It is a Jewish nation.
On paper a two-state solution might work if Israel was at war with the United Nations. However, Israel’s enemies do not merely call on their departure from what they refer to as the “occupied territories”, Israel’s enemies call for its complete and total destruction. The Palestinian people, the people the world seems to want to believe is persecuted by Israel, are actually the pawns in a much more devious and cynical game. They are being used to create one of the most disgusting public relations farces in history.
For Israel, a prosperous and peaceful Palestine would be wonderful. But it’s not Israel that doesn’t want to see this happen, it’s those wishing to see the region rid of the Jewish people. The Muslims and Arabs in the region don’t need Israel’s land. They control over 99% of the territory in the Middle East. Yet somehow Israel is the cause of all the regions problems. Why? Just as it was in Egypt at the start of all the troubles, it is merely because it exists. “Come, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply.” In the end, that is what is really about. Not an occupation, not settlements, and not Benjamin Netanyahu. What it is really about is that not only are the Jews not going away, they are actually having the audacity to multiply. Something which was not acceptable to Pharoah, and not acceptable to the anti-Semite of today. One can only hope and pray that today’s anti-Semitic leaders see the same fate as the Egyptian ruler did so many years ago and that the Jewish people and all decent civilized people are allowed to live in the freedom so many have sacrificed so much to achieve.
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