Anti-Semitism and Holocaust

9-11 and Anti-Semitism

By Rabbi Rafael G. Grossman - December 31, 2001

Anti-Semitism is a never-ending plague. Western Jews play make believe, fantasizing that Jew hatred is a thing of the past and the reasons for being despised no longer exist, especially now when most Jews can hardly be identified by appearance or manner. Far be it from me to shout "fire" in a packed theater, but since September 11, latent anti-Semitic fires are flaring.

In an article appearing in London´s Daily Telegraph, Petronella Wyatt, a non-Jewish British journalist, wrote, “Since September 11, anti-Semitism and its open expression has become respectable at London dinner tables.” Had Ms. Wyatt searched the Web, she would also have discovered hundreds of sites and links to vile anti-Semitism. It can also be heard from pulpits and read in many local, especially rural, newspapers across the United States. Arab propagandists ignited this hateful fire and stirred the otherwise latent, but pre-existent, age-old canard: Jews are to blame for anything that goes wrong.

Similarly, this column appears on many websites, each providing the reader an opportunity to respond. Since 9-11, I, like many other Jewish writers, institutions and organizations, am openly attacked on the Internet. The attacks, however are not about me, but about Jews. They claim that Israel is responsible for America´s war against terror and many even justify today´s heinous crimes and terrorism, as being the result of “Jews oppressing Arabs” and “Israel´s terror against the Palestinians.”

I refused to laugh when Arab spokespeople tried to blame the Mossad for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, although it was painfully laughable and absurd. Arab propagandists assured readers that on September 10 Rabbis called four thousand Jews who were employed at the World Trade Center, telling them not to report for work the next day. Rubbish! While most Americans recognize Arab propaganda for what is and will not permit their intelligence to be insulted, there are far too many willing to believe and repeat stupid lies. Although President George Bush´s great support for Israel at this time has helped both Israel and Jews the world over to rally against the vile words of the propagandists and Jew haters, the majority of American Jews still need an awakening. Anti-Semitism is out there.

Israel is the best response to anti-Semitism, but the Jewish state must be defended and supported in its war against terror. Arafat and other Palestinian leaders are the principal purveyors today for the spread of anti-Semitic libels, outbursts and violence. The Palestinian media continuously engages in Holocaust denial and other revisions of history (“There never was a Temple” and “Jews have no past in the land” and Hitler´s old shibboleth purporting that today´s Jews are Khazars, an old Crimean nation that embraced Judaism, non-existent for more than eight hundred years). The Arab war against Israel is principally another attempt to further Hitler´s “final solution,” the extermination of the Jewish people. As it did for Hitler, Jew hatred serves as a smoke-screen to conceal the corruption and decadence of Arab dictatorial leaders.

A recent edition of Newsweek devoted its cover story to the need for change in the Arab world. No Arab state, according to the author, offers freedom to its constituents. They are all governed by autocrats who, for the present, the essayist argues, are preferable to democratically-elected leaders. Were the masses free to choose leaders, they would elect Islamic fundamentalists who would revert to despotic rule. In essence, Newsweek argues that we are better off with the current dictators. What a sad story. Worse yet is western dependence upon demagogic leaders and enslaved masses in order to assure the flow of oil. All of which contributes to a more than forgiving attitude to anti-Semitism.

Thus, Jew-blaming again becomes the chicanery of evil people, a reminder of grave dangers lurking. Our singular hope, a gift of G-d, is that we are blessed with a free Jewish state, Israel.

Rabbi Grossman is the Chairman of the Board of Religious Zionists of America and a former President of the Rabbinical Council of America.

©2001 - Arutz Sheva

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