Tidbits From Israel
By Ron Jager
Global ant-Semitism is rapidly approaching a critical mass, creating not only a strategic threat to the Jewish people but to the very fabric of Jewish life in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The idea of a critical mass has its origins in nuclear terminology. In a nuclear reactor, critical mass is simply the combination of all the ingredients necessary to maintain a chain reaction of fission (atom-splitting). When critical mass is achieved, no more outside help is necessary to induce fission, for the reactor then supplies itself with all it needs. Critical mass can also be used to describe social issues and changes in civilizations. When it is claimed that an idea or movement has reached critical mass, we are saying that no further outside input is needed in order for the idea or movement to sustain itself or grow, for it now has a life of its own. In Hitler’s Germany, a critical mass of anti-Semitism was reached among the German people, ultimately resulting in the horror of the Holocaust.
The established opinion is that the 9/11 terror attack brought about a greater understanding of the dangers of global anti-Semitism and raised international awareness of terrorism. Instead, it fostered a tsunami of anti-Semitism, leading in recent years to the global efforts to demonize and de-legitimize Israel and unleashing the wave of anti-Semitic terror washing the major cities of the European continent. This has facilitated the acceptance of an entirely biased and false narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict as unchallengeable fact. In the Western media, Western governments, and NGOs, Israel is singled out and denied the basic right to defend herself against Islamic terror and the worldwide effort to demonize and de-legitimize her very existence. Anti-Israel and anti-Semitism have become intertwined and symbiotic, creating a unified global anti-Semitism that targets Jews through the prism of the Arab-Israel conflict—blurring any distinction between Jew and Israel.
As global anti-Semitism rapidly reaches its critical mass, it seems rather odd that during this period we have more organizations, groups, and movements representing the interests of the Jewish people. Despite the vast resources of all the major Jewish organizations in the world and the availability of social media and the internet to counter the anti-Semitic narrative, the net result of all this effort has been daily anti-Semitic attacks in the streets of Europe, and an increase in anti-Semitic terror against Jews and Jewish institutions. A quick review of the past weeks shows the following:
• Nazi Sympathizer Rushes Field at World Cup, FIFA Does Nothing
Report: Eyewitnesses say neo-Nazi displaying anti-Semitic insignia at Germany-Ghana game stopped by infielder, not security.
• Fans of the British soccer team, Tottenham Hotspurs, who use the term “yid” will not be arrested, British police said.
• An 83-year-old German man was assaulted while participating in a rally on Friday in Hamburg to raise awareness for the three abducted Israeli yeshiva students. When the victim’s daughter tried to help her father, she was also kicked by the counter-demonstrators, according to the report.
• In the third disturbing incident from the French capital last week, JTA reports that a Jewish teenager was attacked with an electric Taser by a group of teens at the Place de la République square in Paris. One of the teens, all of whom fled after a passerby intervened, was reportedly also carrying a club. The victim was wearing a yarmulke and tzitzit when he was targeted—just as the two teens chased by a man with an ax last Wednesday, as well as the two teens sprayed with tear gas this weekend, were wearing yarmulkes.
• In May, a Jewish woman with a baby was attacked at a Paris bus station by a man who shouted “dirty Jewess” at her.
• In March, a Jewish teacher leaving a kosher restaurant in Paris had his nose broken by a group of assailants who also drew a swastika on his chest.
• One week earlier in March, an Israeli man was attacked with a stun gun outside a Paris synagogue,
• A week before that in March, a 28-year-old Jewish man was beaten on the Paris metro to chants of “Jew, we are going to lay into you, you have no country.”
As more and more groups represent the interests of the world Jewry and Israel, acts of anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and anti-Israeli rhetoric have mushroomed and have become an existential threat, creating a frightening reality on the streets of Europe, resulting in a majority of European Jewry seriously considering packing their bags and leaving the European continent. The proliferation of countless Jewish groups and organizations, which multiplied alongside the escalating level of anti-Semitic attacks, can only show us that the established Jewish organizational establishments have been unable to understand, either conceptually or operationally, the threat of global anti-Semitism and have been primarily preoccupied with creating new programs of “hasbara” and “public diplomacy.” Many of these programs represent different and competing agendas, and have turned this challenge into their own career advancement instead of implementing effective strategies to make the world a better place for Jews and Israel. Sociologist Robert K. Merton coined the term “the law of unintended consequences.” The worse things get for Jews and Israel, the greater the opportunities are for new positions within the Jewish advocacy field.
To combat the global anti-Semitic critical mass that is rapidly becoming self-sustainable, we in the Jewish world must understand that the response cannot be provided by organized Jewish philanthropy exclusively. Only a nation state, like the State of Israel, has the resources and capabilities to combat the global wave of anti-Semitism flooding the shores of the Jewish world. v
Ron Jager is a 25-year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, where he served as a field mental-health officer and as commander of the central psychiatric military clinic for reserve soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty in 2005, he has been providing consultancy services to NGOs, implementing psychological trauma treatment programs in Israel. Ron currently serves as a strategic adviser to the chief foreign envoy of Judea and Samaria. To contact him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ronjager.com.