|ISRAEL'S PECULIAR POSITION
by Eric Hoffer (LA Times 5/26/68)
|SPECIAL EXCLUSIVE MESSAGE FROM JERUSALEM'S MAYOR
To: "Friends of Jews in Judea Samaria Gaza" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear [Jewish paper editor]:
I am writing to urge you to reprint this op-ed by the late American social philosopher and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom Eric Hoffer. It appeared in the Los Angeles Times 34 years ago, on May 26, 1968. When I was just shown this piece,
I was struck by how what was true in 1968, resonates so forcefully today. As one who experienced, first hand, the Six Day War,
I am touched by Hoffer's deep empathy for our profound isolation then. And as Mayor of Jerusalem in 2002, I am astounded
by the near universal condemnation with which Operation Defensive Shield was met. We are isolated. We in Jerusalem and in Israel carry on despite the horrible toll from terrorism and homicide bombings - going from funeral to shiva house all too often. Hoffer understood "as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us." Tragically, we saw on September 11th, how prophetic his words proved to be.
I believe Hoffer's piece can provide strength and encouragement to Jews and supporters of Israel who may feel overwhelmed by
the barrage of anti-Israel coverage. It shows that yes, the whole world can be wrong about Israel. It can also serve as a call to Jews to continue to do their utmost in support of Israel.
The woman who has the rights to the article has given Media Watch International her permission to reprint the letter. If you have any copyright questions, please contact MWI Director Sharon Tzur, at 212-245-0128.
La plus ca change, la plus c'est la meme chose - how ironic that a French expression so aptly captures the current anti-Israel and anti-Semitic climate in May 2002. I hope you will choose to reprint this classic piece.
Mayor of Jerusalem
|The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchmen, Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese and no one says a word about refugees.
But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every
Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover. But should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews. No commit-ment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on.
There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Negroes are executed in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him. The Swedes, who are ready to break off diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore,
and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.
The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.
I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the holocaust will be upon us.
[Eva's Note: According to the Holy Scriptures, Israel will not perish off the earth. All nations will be judged by G-D Himself
for their treatment towards Israel. G-D is not a man that He should lie!]