Historical Peek Into the Future
Vol: 30 Issue: 27 Saturday, March 27, 2004
Historical Peek Into the Future
By 1933, Adolph Hitler gave voice to sentiments deeply ingrained in a much wider culture than Germany. The patterns of economic, social, and personal persecution of European Jews were well established across Europe — that responsibility for the Holocaust rested mainly on Germany was because they were the first to put thoughts into action, not because they were the first to entertain those thoughts.
Once words became deeds, the Nazis had no shortage of volunteers across Europe to help them track down, transport, rob and ultimately shovel the bulk of European Jewry into ovens.
In 1933, 600,000 Jews lived in Germany: 20 percent were immigrants from Eastern Europe and 80 percent were German citizens. Many were descendants of Jews who had settled in Germany for nearly 2,000 years. They were socially integrated and participated in German intellectual, cultural, economic, and political life.
Among the first to feel the toe of the Nazi jackboot were the Jewish intellectuals. Once the Jewish perspective was removed from social discourse, it became much easier to paint a portrait of a ‘typical’ Jew without being inconvenienced by contradictory opinion.
Although the Holocaust is a topic I have studied at great length, I’ve never been able to fully absorb how the Holocaust could have been possible in the first place.
In my mind’s eye, those who participated in the butchery of the innocents –simply because they were Jews — aren’t people in the sense of people I’ve met or people I know. Although only a generation ahead of me, they remain a mystery to me.
But I know such people existed. History says so.
Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in January, 1933. By March, Dachau was open. By April, Jews were systematically barred from holding teaching seats at universities. Jewish shops and businesses became the target of organized boycotts. On May 10, the first book burnings were held, prompting Heinriche Heine’s prescient comment, “Whenever they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn people.”
After the Holocaust, the surviving Jews declared “never again” and made their way back to their ancestral homeland, signalling the resumption of the countdown to the 70th Week of Daniel.
The Germans apologized. The Europeans apologized. Israel forgave them.
[Except for Britain. Since they fought on the side of the Allies, they were never forced to face their complicity — but that is grist for another mill]
The anti-Semitism that gave rise to the Holocaust didn’t die off with the generation who perpetrated it — it just went underground, where it continued to bubble.
That there is a world-wide rise in anti-Semitism is beyond dispute. A reading of the anti-Israeli resolutions passed by the UN establish that beyond all doubt, including the increasing frequency with which they are now being passed.
Mona Baker, a University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology professor in England, admitted that she fired two professors specifically because they were Jews. Specifically, because they were Israeli Jews. When interviewed by the London Telegraph, Professor Baker admitted, “I deplore the Israeli state. Miriam [dismissed Professor Miriam Shlesinger] knew that was how I felt and that they would have to go because of the current situation.”
Baker asked Shlesinger and Professor Gideon Toury to resign after she signed on to a petition calling on academics world-wide to participate in a boycott of Israel. She fired the two Israeli professors as part of her participation in the boycott, or, as she put it, “my interpretation of what a boycott of Israel means”. She added: “Many people in Europe have signed a boycott against Israel. Israel has gone beyond just war crimes.”
Professor Baker, who refused to disclose where she was born, claimed that her actions were supported by a growing number of academics across Britain and in Germany.
The dismissals raised no public opposition from within British universities. American Professor Stephen Greenblatt of Harvard blasted British intellectuals while visiting to pick up an honorary degree from London University.
Greenblatt called Baker’s actions “repellent”, “dangerous” and “intellectually and morally bankrupt”.
Greenblatt described any policy of singling out a group for collective punishment as “grotesque”. He added: “Excluding scholars because of the passports that they carry or because of their skin color, religion or political party, corrupts the integrity of intellectual work.”
I found it interesting to note that when British academia did step up to the plate, they were careful to disassociate Baker’s actions from anti-Semitism, condemning the stifling of academic thought, without suggesting any repugnance at the anti-Semitism that prompted it.
Said Francis Robinson, a professor of history at London University; “”Whatever anyone feels about Israel, this is absolutely appalling. Certainly there are strong feelings, not often spoken but nevertheless strongly felt, shared by the majority of British liberal intellectuals about the problems with Israel. Nonetheless, this sounds dreadful. It runs counter to the very principles of academic freedom.”
How’s that for a condemnation of the practice of firing intellectuals simply because they are Israeli Jews? Although a majority of British intellectuals share Baker’s hatred of Israel, this “sounds” (note that it SOUNDS dreadful, not that it IS dreadful).
There are almost two hundred countries in the world body. Israel stands unique among them. Israelis are universally hated as ‘occupiers’ and ‘racist oppressors’ — even by members of the academic elite.
Nobody can argue that these shining lights of academic excellence don’t know that Israel’s ‘occupation’ is of land granted them in 1917 by the same authority that later drew the boundaries of Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait and Iraq.
If Israel is an occupation force within those boundaries, then the same status can be [and often is] argued by the Kurds of Iraq.
Except that when Saddam declared the British-drawn boundaries around Kuwait null and void, the world launched the Persian Gulf war on the grounds those borders were legitimate.
Neither are they ignorant of the terms of the Oslo Agreement, a desperate effort on behalf of Israel to ‘unoccupy’ the so-called Occupied Territories.
[The Israeli ‘occupation’ reminds me of the old story about the Roman soldier who called out that he had captured a handful of prisoners outside their perimeter. When told to bring them in, he replied, “they won’t let me.”]
These academics aren’t ignorant of the fact that since Oslo, Arafat has unilaterally, deliberately and systematically sabotaged every effort to end Israel’s unwilling occupation of the territory seized as a buffer zone after pushing back the invading Arab armines in 1967.
As to the charge of being racist, these brilliant and knowledgeable intellectuals must be able to follow Michael Melchior’s syllogism, offered at the UN Conference on Racism at the Durban Conference in South Africa.
There, Melchior pointed out Israel’s uniqueness was not a result of racism. Israelis, he noted, are ‘people of a particular birth, irrespective of religion, and people of a particular religion, irrespective of birth.’
To call democratic, multi-ethnic Israel, [Melchior noted Israel is a land in which one can hear 86 different languages spoken] ‘racist’ in a conflict in which its enemies consist of ethnic Arab dictatorships is to turn logic upside down.
Can these academic luminaries not know these things? Don’t they have books?
It is impossible for me to believe anyone could be so stupid, but I remind you that I have still never been able to see the generation of Europeans before me as fully human, either. So I admit an inability to see things from the perspective of the anti-Semite, although I try mightily.
I say all that to say that maybe some of these academics are that stupid, I just don’t see how.
But if they aren’t that stupid, then that leaves only one other explanation. They hate Israel because it consists of Jews who claim their birthright came by Divine Decree.
They hate that fact so much that they willingly reject the political decree that created the Jewish state [the Balfour Declaration – 1917] out of hand, while simultaneously defending the sanctity of the Arab borders issued by that same authority — the British Crown.’
They hate them because they are Jews.
In His Word, God explains the purpose of Bible prophecy. In Isaiah 43:9 He issues a challenge to the false gods of this world. “Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.”
The gist of the challenge is clear. God says, “Here is My evidence. I’ll tell you what will happen in advance. Who among your gods will do the same?”
Since the god of this world cannot prophecy, he cannot countenance the evidence of his impotence. God promised Jerusalem would be restored to the Jews — after two thousand years of pointing to the fact Jerusalem was not in Jewish hands as evidence of prophecy defeated, suddenly, Jerusalem proves the opposite.
After 2000 years of Jewish pogroms and Diaspora — evidence to the world that the Bible was not true — the Jewish state exists, as the Bible said it would.
The reaction from the god of this world is evident in the fury of his assault against the symbol of his eventual defeat.
The Bible identifies one of the principle signs of the final generation is the existence of a Jewish Israel restored to the Land of Promise. In that generation, the Bible says, Israel will be the most hated nation on the face of the earth.
Zechariah says the entire world will gather against Israel over Jerusalem in the closing hours of the last generation.
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” [Zechariah 12:2]
There is no natural explanation for the global anti-Semitism that is bubbling back to the surface of European political discourse.
Israel is a European-style democracy, the Arab states are repressive dictatorships.
Israel is an economic and financial powerhouse, the Arab states are Third World client states.
Judaism presents no discernible threat to the safety and stability of the Western world. Islam, the religion practiced by most Arab states, is directly responsible for the terror attacks that are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands.
The majority of Muslims may not be terrorists, but the majority of terrorists are still Muslim.
Even the politics of oil doesn’t adequately explain it. There are plenty of alternative oil sources. There are more untapped, but mapped and plotted oil reserves in Russia than in the entire Middle East.
The only explanation for anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism is the Bible. God said it would happen in the last days.
Defying recent history, common sense, logic and all political reality, we see exactly the picture outlined more than two thousand years before coming together before our eyes.
And it all came together in a single generation. The last generation. This generation.