Published on 13 July 2015

With Jews’ power comes responsibility

It is becoming increasingly difficult for many in the Jewish community to maintain a sense of balance.

By Abraham H. Foxman, national Director of the Anti-Defamation League, published in the Washington Post July 10, 2015
At a time of the greatest resurgence of anti-Semitism since World War II, it is becoming increasingly difficult for many in the Jewish community to maintain a sense of balance and reasonableness. Exactly because the resurgence is taking place on the very continent where the murder of 6 million transpired, and because there are real current and future threats to Jews, a certain hysteria has surfaced.
Let’s step back a bit. The great tragedy of the Jewish people in the 1930s and 1940s was not only that a murderous party committed to the destruction of the Jewish people took over Germany and eventually most of Europe. It was also the fact that at that most perilous of times, Jews were powerless. They had no army, they had no significant political influence and they had no place to go.
Indeed, the history of anti-Semitism in Europe for 2,000 years, culminating in the great disaster of the Holocaust, was all about phantasmagoric fantasies about Jews. Blood-libel charges; scapegoating for the Black Plague; accusations of attempts to control society and the world, as reflected in the fraudulent conspiracy manifesto of “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” — none of these assaults against the Jewish people bore any relationship to reality.
The old joke about the Jew who preferred the Nazi newspapers to the legitimate ones, because all the Nazis talked about were how powerful Jews were, spoke volumes. Jews never experienced a day of real power.
Thereafter came the main lesson for Jews from the Holocaust: We can’t afford to be powerless ever again.
And so things have changed. First, there is a Jewish state. It has a strong military that proves every day the wisdom of not being powerless. There would be no Israel today without the power of the Israel Defense Forces. There also would be no possibility of peace with the Arab world without the IDF. As was proved with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, only the realization that Israel cannot be destroyed opens the possibility of peace... Read more.