Full disclosure: I am not a Jew. I am a practicing Christian, non-evangelical, from a background of tolerant Protestantism. I read eclectically, am well educated, and consider myself an intellectual. And I stand with the Jews.
Many historians date the beginning of the Holocaust to November 9th, 1938. On that date the Nazi government launched a pogrom against the Jews, killing hundreds and arresting many more. Synagogues were torched, Jewish shops and homes were looted and destroyed, and Jews were shipped off to concentration camps. That night of major violence came to be known as Kristallnacht, in reference to the shattered glass found on the sidewalks in front of Jewish businesses all over Germany. A few days later new laws were passed by the Nazi government, effectively banning all economic activity by Jews and removing what few civil rights remained to them. It was a big step down the road that led through the gates of Auschwitz and Treblinka to the Final Solution.
Does the West stand on the threshold of a new Kristallnacht? The alarming spread of anti-Semitism across the globe is ominous evidence of a new cycle of hatred.
- When Jewish students are attacked on an American university campus by protesters screaming “Hitler was right!”;
- when the prime minister of Iran says, “…the use of a single atomic bomb has the power to destroy Israel completely, while it will only cause partial damage to the Islamic world”;
- when synagogues are burned in Belgium and European Jews are afraid to wear the yarmulke openly;
- when The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is made into a television drama in Egypt and sold openly on Wal-Mart’s website;
- when Jews are fleeing anti-Semitism in France to settle in Israel;
- when the world does not rise up in outrage against these evils;
– then it is time to prepare for a new and more widespread Kristallnacht.
Anti-Semitism is virtually everywhere, even in such formerly safe havens of the Anglosphere as the USA and Australia. Around the world, but especially in the Middle East, countries which once boasted large and vibrant Jewish communities are now emptying themselves of Jews. Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq once were homes for Jews. Now there are virtually none; they have left their homes and their cultural roots to resettle in Israel or America. There had been Jews in Yemen since at least the second century, taking on many of the cultural characteristics of the Muslims around them and contributing to the civilization of Yemen while retaining their Jewish identity; now they are gone.
The “World Community”, as exemplified by the UN, regards violence against Jews to be of no importance. The UN passes dozens of resolutions condemning Israel, the most notorious being Resolution 3379 (1975), which declared that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” All Israeli actions towards the Palestinians are censured, including the building of a wall to protect innocent Israelis against suicide attacks. But in all the years of the UN’s existence, not one resolution has been passed against those who have promised to annihilate the “Zionist entity”.
Anti-Semitism was already established on the nationalistic Right. More alarming are the notably virulent strains now reappearing on the Left. During Hitler’s time, many of the Old Bolsheviks were Jews; Bolshevism was considered “revolutionary Jewish politics” and was reviled as such on the Right. But in the Soviet Union persecution of Jews flared sporadically and the purging of “rootless cosmopolitans” was the duty of the Party. Now, with the euphemistic equation Zionism=Racism, the very existence of Israel has been called into question. An anti-Zionist might say, “I am only against Zionism, not against the Jews,” but that is merely a new and disingenuous cover for Jew-hatred.
The mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv is the dream of the enemies of Zionism.
In their reaction to conservatives by those on the Left, a new term has developed: “Neoconservative” is a code word for “Jew”. A neocon who supports Israel is thus an agent of the Zionists. I am, in fact, one of their unwitting dupes as I write this, since I stand with the Jews.
Is the rich and fertile culture of “The West” even conceivable without the Jews? In every enterprise open to them Jews excel. They are over-represented in the highest reaches of the arts and sciences, and in the academy; despite historical obstacles and discrimination, they are to be found among the greatest mathematicians and physicists, composers and musicians, historians and novelists. Examine the masthead of a magazine, the credits for a movie, or the members of a university faculty, to see the contributions of the Jews.
Beyond those achievements, the greatest gift of the Jews to Western Civilization has been the Law. The Jews brought us the idea that a man stands accountable before his Creator, Who will sit in judgment over him; that the Law is just and eternal, and that obedience to it is a moral and righteous act. Christianity, especially as developed by Saint Paul, was responsible for the spread of this new idea of law and the individual throughout the West. Still, it is in essence a Jewish idea. Christ’s revolutionary message urged a return to the Law as originally understood by the Patriarchs. In its earliest years the gate to Christian conversion opened onto Judaism first. And today a Christian views the just society as a fulfillment of the Law, the Jewish Law of which Christianty is a New Covenant.
So while the halls of justice in Christendom may accord with the architecture of the Greeks, and may boast inscriptions in Latin, the justice handed down within them is the justice of the Hebrews. I stand with the Jews.
The Laws of the Jews form the moral and ethical core of Western Civilization. Without them we would be a hollow culture, subject to the whims of polytheism and prone to the fads of nihilism. They are the backbone of what makes us civilized; we repeal them at our own peril.
Whether or not it is 1933 (or 1936, or 1938) all over again, it is time for the West to make a stand. Before the shards of glass cover the pavement in front of Jewish businesses in the new Kristallnacht; before laws are passed restricting the rights of Jews; before whole families are shot and bulldozed into mass graves; before the mushroom cloud rises over Tel Aviv — Western Civilization must stand up and be counted. We must say, with the Jews, “Never Again.”
I stand with the Jews.