A friend from my community in Newton, Mass., recently posted to the shul’s chat list a link to an article on Aish.com. (Read it here.) It’s a piece by Pilar Rahola, a Spanish journalist, who takes the press and the world at large to task for condemning Israel through lies and distortions, and not condemning corruption, tyranny, and human rights violations in the radical Muslim world. Most of what she said was a rehash of things I’ve read and heard before. But one thing she said put the whole thing into new perspective for me:
…I am not Jewish. Ideologically I am left and by profession a journalist. Why am I not against Israel like my colleagues? Because as a non-Jew I have the historical responsibility to fight against Jewish hatred and currently against the hatred for their historic homeland, Israel. To fight against anti-Semitism is not the duty of the Jews; it is the duty of the non-Jews.
This statement is a large piece of why I am skeptical of interfaith dialogue, of hasbara (explaining Israel’s actions to the world), and why I try to pick and choose carefully which ridiculous claims and accusations leveled at Israel I expose and refute in this blog. It’s just not worth the emotional energy. The fact is that the world does not like the Jews. I have still not quite figured out why, despite having a theory. But if I were a bigot, a racist, a sexist, it would be because I had my mind made up about a certain sector of society, and nothing they said or did could change my mind–unless I were disposed to change it myself. Most people think with their hearts and not their heads, and the images that inform most people’s impressions of Israel come from journalists who know that soldiers battling peasants always makes soldiers (and the people they represent) look bad, especially when authority is routinely mistrusted and maligned in Western society. The reasons why the soldiers and the peasants are facing off don’t matter. It’s the image that appeals to people’s emotions that matters.
Rahola’s statement not only exposes the guilt of politically correct Western society for anti-Semitism (the one prejudice P.C. seems to think acceptable), but puts the responsibility for combatting it squarely on those same shoulders. If a dozen kids are having a scuffle on a playground, and it’s 11 kids beating up one other kid, the responsibility for making the 11 kids stop pounding away at him does not lie with the lone kid; it lies with the mob of 11. And as much satisfaction as those 11 likely get from beating the crap out of the one kid, and as little responsibility as they presumably feel for their own actions when acting as part of a group of like-minded individuals, what are the odds of the 11 kids waking up to the reality of the evil of their behavior? Yeah. Bupkes.
So while Rahola’s piece doesn’t actually cheer me up, it at least validates what I’ve always felt: that anti-Semitism was invented by non-Jews, is practiced (mostly) by non-Jews, and must be ended by them, too.
(Thanks to Karin for the link.)