Millennial Jews Are Ignoring Their History
Many months ago, I wrote an essay for PolicyMic in which I defended the aggressive actions taken by Israel in defense of its sovereignty. The piece was lambasted. Since then, I submitted numerous comments in support of Israel and against Iran, and once again, many commentators criticized my opinions. Surprisingly, a large number of dissenters appeared to be Jewish.
I was stunned. In fact, I was dumbfounded that millennial Jews were not totally supportive of the Jewish State, Zionism, and the mission of Israel to protect itself from Iranian aggression and Palestinian terrorism.
Last weekend, Jews around the world celebrated Passover. During annual ceremonial dinners known as Seders, the older generation is obligated to tell their young ones the story of the Jewish exodus from tyranny in ancient Egypt. One of the morals of the words spoken at the Seder is that Jews are in jeopardy to this day, and they should be diligent about impending danger.
Inspired by the Seder, I scanned the Internet trying to find a list of atrocities against Jews that would account for their paranoia, or should I say the paranoia of older Jews. I found a trove of information, but none as concise as a chronological Wikipedia listing. The deadly events were frequent, beginning long before the birth of Jesus Christ and extending into the 21st Century.
I researched Yasser Arafat, the infamous killer of Jews during the past several decades, and found a recapitulation of his attacks on Jews. How such a thug and murderer could be awarded the Nobel Prize will forever be a mystery to me. Arafat was a terrorist and never wanted to make peace with Israel. By the way, Arafat won the Peace Prize.
In fact, in 2000, at the Camp David summit hosted by Bill Clinton, “Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Arafat all that he had ever publicly demanded.” The proposal included the following:
1. The creation of a Palestinian state.
2. 96% of the West Bank and Gaza.
3. 4% of Israel adjacent to Gaza
4. 75% of the Old City of Jerusalem.
5. Five neighborhoods in east Jerusalem.
6. Right of return for 50,000 Palestinians.
Arafat stormed out of the meeting because his personal mission includes nothing short of the annihilation of Israel. In September 2000, Arafat launched an Intifada during which 1,102 Israelis and 3,000 Palestinians were killed through September 2004.
Of course, before Arafat was the Holocaust during which six million Jews were murdered effectively wiping out most of the middle class Jews in Europe. Nazi-sponsored anti-Semitism enabled Adolf Hitler to motivate Germany; in essence he blamed all the problems of post World War I Germany on a religious and cultural group.
And today, Arab leaders are still calling for the end of Israel and the killing of its citizens. No wonder older Jews are so supportive of Israel and Zionism.
But, what about the millennials? It appears that these Jews eschew Israel based upon a devaluation of historical events. The persecution of Jews since the beginning of time, I would think, would be good reason for caution and maintenance of a religious sanctuary. Continued anti-Semitism should give all Jews, young and old, some pause about their security.
As I rehashed all that has happened in history, I have the feeling that millennial Jews do not appreciate the plight of their ancestors. They do not seemed moved by the blood that has been shed by those that came before them.
Perhaps, millennial Jews should refer to the sources listed in this essay and consider how many Jews were murdered only because they were Jews. They should reread the history of Israel and the atrocities perpetrated against Israelis by the Palestinians and other Arabs.
I am concerned that Jewish paranoia will wane over time as the stories of past abuses are forgotten or diluted. This could result in unfortunate events for Jews as history has proven so many times in the past.