What’s happening in the world is far from the antiquated ‘the world vs the Jews’ paradigm. ‘Us’ and ‘them’ doesn’t work anymore. We – Jews, Christians, Muslims and every other grouping of peaceful persons – need new categories to understand the violence.
Beheadings in the desert, terror in major cities of the East and the West, racial and police shootings, mass shootings, an ax rampage in Germany and perhaps one thing – only – is clear: no part of the world is safe.
The New York Times wrote that Israelis can teach France a few things about getting used to terror. But it’s Israel and the Jews who must now confront a radical new truth: The unique existential threat against Jews in the past is gone. Crazies hate us, but they hate everybody else too. In the past the world betrayed Jews; in the present, governments and cultural norms support them. It is dishonoring the dead of Orlando, Istanbul, Nice and Baghdad to claim that Jews are more targeted than anyone else right now.
Ironically, Israeli leaders regularly help Jews realize this. Prime Minister Netanyahu loves to conflate ISIS with Palestinian terror, to justify why Israel must occupy Palestinians in perpetuity. But ISIS aims at everyone. If we’re all in the same crosshairs, Jewish persecution does not make us chosen.
This will be a terrible blow for some people. Many Israelis and Jews are steeped in the notion that violence against them is unique. It’s understandable given our past but it does no favors to our understanding of the present. I have heard Jews refer to the Hyper-Cacher anti-Jewish attack in Paris as if there was no massacre of French journalists two days before. Israelis count every body lost to the conflict, but far more Palestinians are killed daily and in each new war. Jewish self-perception is clouding Jewish vision.
What’s happening in the world at present is far from both the parochial old “Islam against the Jews” and “the world against the Jews.” The empty fallacy of Islam against the West can be laid to rest as well. Terror in the name of “Islam” kills far more co-religionists than non-Muslim Westerners: most terror attacks take place in Muslim and Arab countries, and the victims of ISIS-related violence in Iraq alone and the Muslim victims of al-Qaeda before that dwarf those groups’ attacks on Westerners. And as Amira...Read More