This has received a lot of attention on the web, but it’s still worth sharing:
It is doubtful that there has ever been a more miserable human refuse than Jewish survivors after World War II. Starving, emaciated, stateless—they were not welcomed back by countries where they had lived for generations as assimilated and educated citizens. Germany was no place to return to and in Kielce, Poland, 40 Jews who survived the Holocaust were killed in a pogrom one year after the war ended. The European Jew, circa 1945, quickly went from victim to international refugee disaster.
Yet within a very brief time, this epic calamity disappeared, so much so that few people today even remember the period. How did this happen in an era when Palestinian refugees have continued to be stateless for generations?
I believed the Jewish refugees were called “displaced persons”, and the miserable condition of their existence cannot be exaggerated.
The author imagines these camps fostering generations of angry, stateless Jewish refugees. But of course he has to imagine—because it didn’t happen.
Instead, the Jewish refugees returned to their ancestral homeland. They left everything they had in Europe and turned their backs on the Continent—no “right of return” requested. They were welcomed by the 650,000 Jewish residents of Israel.
An additional 700,000 Jewish refugees flooded into the new state from Arab lands after they were summarily kicked out. Again losing everything after generations in one place; again welcomed in their new home.
Get that? The Jews of Europe and the Jews of Araby were left penniless and stateless after the war, but they didn’t stay that way. In a fair world, the miracle that is Israel, risen like a phoenix from the ashes of Jewish existence in the 1930s and 40s, would be celebrated in story and song around the world, instead of only in Israel. Who knows better than Israel that we do not live in that world?
I imagine the argument will be made that while the Jews may have achieved all this, they did not have their land stolen from them. This is, of course, a canard, another convenient lie. They did lose property all over Europe and the Mideast. And there was never an independent Palestine run by Palestinian Arabs. Ever. Jews and Arabs lived in this area controlled first by the Turks and then by the British. The U.N. offered the two-state solution that we hear so much about in 1947. The problem then, and now, is that it was accepted by only one party, Israel.
And then, this point—which I should have known was too good to be made by me alone:
We don’t hear about any of this because giving human beings hope and purpose doesn’t make great copy. Squalor, victimhood and terror are always more exciting. Perhaps in the end, the greatest crime of the Jews was that they quietly created something from nothing. And in the process, they transformed themselves.
Golda Meir is credited with having said that if the Jews had not fought back against the Arab armies and had been destroyed in 1948, they would have received the most beautiful eulogies throughout the world. Instead, they chose to stand their ground and defend themselves. And in winning, they received the world’s condemnation. Meir said she would take the condemnation over the eulogies.
As I have written to my own distraction, the world has reserved the role of Victim for the Jews. Whenever the Jew plays against type, the reviews are excoriating. But give the Jew his or her “natural” position as object of oppression and derision, and the house erupts in applause.
[Bleep] that, I say. That’s a mug’s game.