Why Jews Should Worry
By Dennis Prager, April 12, 2002 Jewish Week
With all the attention paid to how Muslims and Arabs in America feel about the Islamic terrorists' attacks on America, it may come as somewhat of surprise to learn about another anxious group of Americans -Jews.
All Americans are worried about the America hatred among groups who do not value human life. But Jews who know their history have additional fears. We Jews have reasons to worry because a significant part of humanity has a hatred of us indistinguishable in kind and intensity from that of the Nazis.
The most cursory acquaintance with the Arab press and fundamentalist mosque discourse around the world makes it clear that millions of Arabs and Muslims loathe Jews and many want Jews dead. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of Muslims and Arabs who want the one tiny country Jews have ever called their own eliminated from the map. Protests that the Arab/Muslim hostility is directed only at Israeli occupation of that even tinier area known as the West Bank have no basis in reality. The Arab/Muslim world sought Israel's destruction before Israel occupied an inch of the West Bank.
We Jews have reasons to worry because the last time a civilization declared such hatred against Jews, what ensued was the most organized and monumental evil in history, the Holocaust. We hoped that Nazi-type hatred would never reappear. But it has. In fact, in two ways, Arab/Muslim anti-Semitism is more frightening.
First, while both Nazi and the Arab/Muslim anti-Semites have used closed societies with their controlled press to promote horrific lies about Jews, the Nazis hid their murder of Jews from the German public. They did not have confidence that enough Germans would support the murder of Jewish men, women and children. The Arab/Muslim anti-Semites, however, have no such problem. Those who kill Jews in Israel are public celebrities.
On the West Bank, a Palestinian university in Nablus has been putting on an exhibition celebrating the Palestinian suicide bombing of a family pizza restaurant in Israel. The exhibition consisted of a replica of the Sbarro's restaurant complete with Hebrew inscriptions. Inside the exhibit, replicas of human body parts and pizza slices were strewn. Pictures published on the Internet showed Palestinians waiting in line to see the exhibit. In Nazi Germany, there were no public exhibits of Einsatzgruppen (Nazi mobile Jew-killing units) or gas chambers.
The second more frightening aspect of Arab/Muslim Jew-hatred is that many of these haters do not value their own lives. Nazis did.
We Jews have reasons to worry because no libels against Jews are too awful or too incredible in much of the Arab/Muslim world. That is why the father of Mohammed Atta, suspected ringleader of the Sept. 11th attacks, could tell Newsweek that his son was kidnapped by Israelis and that it was Israelis posing as Arab Muslims who actually attacked America. He could say this because he and millions of other Muslims (not only in the Arab world) believe it, as well as the notion that no Jews died in the World Trade Center because they were alerted in advance.
Americans may recall the flap over then-First Lady Hillary Clinton listening to the wife of Yasir Arafat state that Israel was poisoning Palestinian water supplies. Like the Nazis, many Arab/Muslim societies attribute to Jews virtually all evils, including, for example, deliberately spreading AIDS in the Arab world.
We Jews have reasons to worry because the West ignores this Jew-hatred. One reason is that Third World evil is rarely taken seriously among Western elites. A second reason is the psychological and political need of Westerners to believe that Islamic societies are, with the exception of "a few extremists," tolerant societies. And the third reason is that Arab/Muslim anti-Semitism is dismissed as a temporary phenomenon that will disappear when Israelis and Palestinians make peace. But this belief inverts reality. The lack of peace between the Jewish state and its neighbors is not the cause of Arab anti-Semitism, it is the result of that anti-Semitism. Since 1948, there has been one reason for the Arab-Israeli conflict - the Arab/Muslim world rejects the concept of a Jewish (or any non-Muslim) state in its midst.
We Jews have reasons to worry because while much of the Muslim world - over a billion strong stretching from the Atlantic through Asia to the Pacific - hates us, Europe and Japan do not defend us. Instead they defend their business deals with Saddam Hussein and with Iran's medieval theocracy.
We Jews have reasons to worry because the Islamic terrorists who blow up Jews are not on the list of terrorist organizations our government is fighting. There are political reasons that account for omitting terror groups that target Jews, but whatever those reasons, how can a Jew not worry about this omission? If America, the most philo-Semitic country in the world, will not regard terrorists who murder Jews as worthy of fighting - even though these terrorists share sponsors and philosophy with anti-American terror groups - no nation will.
As I write this article, my 8-year-old son is playing next to me with his Nintendo. While he is painfully aware of the attacks on America, he remains blissfully unaware that a substantial percentage of humanity would like to see him dead. One day, unfortunately, he will know this. Unless the good people of the world finally learn the great lesson of anti-Semitism - that Jew-haters hate all that is good, that they target Jews first but never Jews alone, and that Jew-haters must therefore be fought - one day he may in fact be hurt. That is why at least one Jewish father worries today.