My non-Jewish colleagues are often surprised at my defence of the Jewish people and they ask why? My answer goes beyond my own roots to the medium of scholarship and integrity. The Jews are much maligned and I believe, unjustly so.
Two comments were made to me this week and I shall call them misunderstandings rather than malicious and derogatory statements. The first, was that all Jews are fascists. This was no doubt based on the perception that Jews are persecuting the Palestinian people. I will not go into the arguments relating to the Jewish- Palestine struggle as I have posted these elsewhere. However, I do take issue with the word “fascist”, which for Jewish people, who have endured so much pain at the hands of fascists, is a painful and unwarranted insult. Suffice to say, Israel is a democracy, fascists states are not.
The other issue pertains to the belief that because the Bible mentions the Jews as the Chosen People, Jews themselves think they are above the rest. Nothing could be further from the truth, the Chosen People statement has been grossly misinterpreted. The Jews were given the Torah and more laws than most could hope to abide by, 316 I recollect. The Jews made it their aim to spread goodness to others because God had been good to them. He liberated them from slavery. In history, this liberation is a direct result of the agreement with God. Notwithstanding, this agreement appears to have rendered Jews the victims of an intense jealousy and hatred and I have met many Jews who believe this is because they have sinned and not lived up to the Commandments. What a sad state of affairs! We all know the debilitating affects of a perceived failure. Jews are not the evil people they are made out to be in the rank propaganda and speech hate that prevails such accusations of being fascists and above others.
No nation has ever been hated more for being bestowed with a system of laws and justice than the Jewish nation. Yet, most Jews continue to give of themselves in ways that few know of or acknowledge because giving is an integral part of being Jewish. Concomitantly, in giving to its neighbours, Israel has found itself in a position of having to continually defend its borders against hostilities because any concessions have been treated with contempt by a population whose leaders serve their own interests. Jews are not hostile to Arabs, indeed Israeli Arabs appear to live better than those in Palestine.
It is public knowledge that some people want to see the end to the Jewish State and, in some cases, the Jewish people; this is nothing new. The Jews are survivors and I am sure that irritates some of Israels’ enemies, but those who protest against Israel and the Jews might consider some of the great Jewish minds and creators that have given much to the world. Jews have achieved in science, medicine, the arts and much more and the world has benefited.
It is a fact that those nations that embrace the Jewish intellect tend to thrive and they do so because next to God Jews value integrity, learning and giving. There are good and bad people in every race, nation, group and community, but to single out Jews as fascist and thinking themselves above the rest is anti-Semitic and racist.
I hope I have made my point!