October 05, 2006

The Pope's message for Jewry - ignore it at our own peril

An excerpt from Caroline Glick's The Pope's message for Jewry:

While Benedict's specific message was to his fellow Christians, the Jewish people should take heed of his general message for ourselves. Today, the Jewish people, in Israel and throughout the world find ourselves under attack from all quarters. The rise of anti-Semitism globally, and particularly in the Islamic world, finds us in a period of grave self-doubt. Like the Europeans, our ability to defend ourselves against the swelling ranks of our haters, is dependent our ability as a people and as individual Jews to embrace our identity as Jews.

Commenting on the nature of this surge of Jew hatred, the great (non-Jewish) Canadian pundit, Mark Steyn wrote last month in the National Review, "The oldest hatred didn't get that way without the ability to adapt. Jews are hated for what they are — so, at any moment in history, whatever they are is what they're hated for. For centuries in Europe, they were hated for being rootless-cosmopolitan types. Now there are no rootless European Jews to hate, so they're hated for being an illegitimate Middle Eastern nation-state. If the Zionist Entity were destroyed and the survivors forced to become perpetual cruise-line stewards plying the Caribbean, they'd be hated for that, too."

We tell ourselves we are hated because we are too strong — or because we are too weak. We are hated because we are too religious — or we are hated because we are not religious enough. We are hated because we insist on defending Israel — or we are hated because we are willing to compromise on Israel.Yet, as Steyn wisely notes, we are not hated because of what we do, we are hated because we are Jews. In light of this, the best way to defend ourselves, the best way to safeguard our freedom and our heritage is to embrace and celebrate our identity as Jews. As Elie Wiesel once explained to me, the key to defending ourselves is to never allow our haters to tell us who we are. "Hatred only defines only the haters," he said.
Like I've written here before - Who are our enemies to dictate to Jews who we are, where we should live, what our borders are, what offends us, and where we belong? There is no law on earth that requires the Jewish people to accept the revision of their history nor their own demise merely because our Muslim enemies say we should. Stand proudly, fellow Jew. We earned it, we deserve it.