Jeremy Corbyn infamously said that Jews don’t get irony. But watching what’s happened in the world lately, it’s the antisemites who lack this particular attribute.
There are calls for jihad in London, and Jews are hunted in the cafes of LA. They’re taunted on the streets of NY and beaten in the car parks of Toronto. They’re harassed in Miami and cursed in Belgium – all in the name of freeing Palestine. And I am left baffled and bemused.
I find myself wondering, do the lunkheads in London who drive through Jewish neighbourhoods calling for the rape of Jewish women from the windows of cars draped in Palestinian flags think that this convoy will cause IDF soldiers to cower in Jerusalem? Does the bigoted German who dreams of a Judenrein Palestine think that an Israeli town empties each time he kicks a Jew in the tuchus as he waits for the train?
I know, of course, that antisemites are, on average, as sharp as marbles, yet I can’t help wondering how the minds of the brave, brave freedom fighters in Los Angeles calculate. Do they imagine that every sushi platter upturned on an LA sidewalk sprouts an orchard in Jaffa? Or perhaps every time a Persian Jew sports a black eye, the stock of an Israeli startup plummets?
I’m super curious, because I’ve seen hundreds and thousands of shares and RTs of Bella and Gigi Hadid’s posts and, let’s be honest, that incredible role model Mia Khalifa did hit us hard with her “My Nazi wine is older than your Apartheid state” tweet. So I quickly checked the news, but the Azrieli towers and the walls of Jerusalem were still standing, baruch Hashem.
What, exactly, do they expect will happen here when the righteous hordes in Belgium scream “from the river to the sea”, and the woke crowds of Cali chant “free, free Palestine”?
From my perch here in the Judean Hills, this country is thriving and — I kid you not — may even have a government, and one that’s maybe not headed by Bibi!
As a third generation Holocaust survivor, a Jew who knows her history, and an Israeli by choice, I can tell you what does happen when Jews are harassed, when they are made to feel unwelcome, when they no longer feel safe in the countries in which they live.
From the time of Pharaoh, when the Jews were turned into slaves for fear that they had become too numerous, to the Dreyfus affair that exposed the rampant antisemitism in French society, to the Farhoud in Baghdad, a pogrom which saw hundreds of Jews slaughtered by their neighbours, to the families who’ve decided to make aliya from New York after seeing Jews attacked on 47th street — the Jews come home.
Clearly, antisemites are stupid, but how truly stupid must you be to not know the difference between an IDF soldier and a British Jew who has his tea with milk, thank you very much?
I’ve spent the past weeks feeling terrible for Jews around the world, at the violence, intimidation and social media onslaught they’ve suffered. It’s ironic – there’s that word again – that we were the ones under fire from Hamas but we feared more for family and friends across the world. Seeing synagogues covered in swastikas in Arizona, Rutgers University apologise for condemning antisemitism, and comedians spewing on about a conflict they know nothing about was shocking.
Which brings me to perhaps the most ironic thing of all. If the antisemites truly want to see the end of the Jews (their obvious life goal), all they need to do is leave us alone. We Jews are excellent at destroying ourselves.
The more comfortable we are in a host country, the more we assimilate. The more at ease we feel, the less we feel the need for a home of our own. Without an outside enemy to worry about, we turn on ourselves. It’s the external threat that brings us together.
So, danke, Mr. & Ms. Antisemite. Shukran and merci to you all. You have proven the need for Zionism, for a Jewish homeland where we alone determine our fate, where we aren’t beholden to the whims of Jew haters nor at the mercy of Instagram influencers, ignorant comedians, woke politicians or Nazi wine drinking porn stars.
Truly, we couldn’t have asked for more.