Anti-Semitism: The Suicidal Passion

(Weekly Standard) Ruth R. Wisse - "What if Arabs had recognized the State of Israel in 1948?" asks Abdulateef Al-Mulhim in a recent column in Arab News: "Would the Arab world have been more stable, more democratic, and more advanced?" His affirmative answer emphasizes how much better off the Palestinians and their fellow Arabs, as well as non-Arab Muslims, would have been had some Arab leaders not used the Palestinians "for their own agenda to suppress their own people and to stay in power." Arab leaders did not oppose Israel because it displaced the Palestinians; they displaced Palestinian Arabs in order to sustain opposition to Israel, creating a refugee time bomb. At Arab insistence, the UN cultivated a network of refugee institutions and an industry of welfare workers with a stake in maintaining refugee dependency, feeding the grievance of generations by insisting on their "right" of return - as if the Displaced Persons at the end of World War II had been continually maintained as such in the heart of Europe. Shutting down UNRWA is the only way to begin repairing the lives of Palestinian Arabs. In the current political climate, it hardly matters whether one is among the prosecutors or defenders of Israel, as long as Israel is in the dock. Many well-meaning people fail to appreciate that the prosecution prevails once it makes Israel the defendant. Some ask naively, "But aren't we allowed to criticize Israel?" or even boast that Israel is being held to a "higher standard," ignoring that the war against the Jews is won by charging them with the crimes being committed against them. The point of the "trial" is to keep Jews at its center. Yet the early benefits of organizing politics against the Jews are inevitably outweighed by the ruin that overtakes its practitioners. Why inevitably? Because anti-Semitism attributes real problems to a phony cause. Putting off problems tends to compound them. Strategies of blame may temporarily camouflage corruption, channel dissatisfaction, and redirect aggression, but societies that resort to them collapse under the weight of their negativity. Palestinians - once considered the ablest Arabs - are now in strong competition with Germans of the last century in the sweepstakes of self-destruction. The writer is professor of Yiddish literature and comparative literature at Harvard.

2011-11-22 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive