Washington and Tel Aviv
On Tuesday, David Brooks wrote an op-ed in the NYT about Israel's technological success. In it he discusses Jews' success in the US and around the world, as well as in Israel. My biggest concern about American Jews is Israel. I worry that they are all conflicted and have at least some allegiance to Israel. Many probably put Israel's security above America's. In particular, I worry about Sen. Joe Lieberman. I often think the (I) after his name stands for Israel, rather than Independent. I am very grateful that Al Gore did not win the Presidency with Lieberman as his Vice President, and that McCain did not either.

Lieberman and his Jewish brethren have certainly supported a strong America, but I worry that they only do so because they see America as the main defender of Israel. If they had to choose between either America surviving or Israel surviving, they would choose Israel. Except for the Indians, everybody in America is from somewhere else: Britain, France, Africa, China, Mexico. But in almost every one of these cases they (or their ancestors) chose to leave that country to come to America. Jews, however, created their homeland, Israel, after they came here. They tend to look toward Israel with longing or at least great sympathy, while others tend to look back at their old homeland as a place they were happy to leave, although they may still have some sentimental attachment to it.

In addition, Jews do not assimilate well in the US. Because they look European, it would be easy for them to fit in as ordinary Americans, but they choose to maintain a Jewish identity, and not only through religion, but through culture, social life, etc. Exhibit number 1: the Holocaust. It has become a centerpiece of American life. There is a Holocaust Memorial on the Washington Mall, although almost none of the victims it memorializes were Americans. If anything, it is a monument critical of America for not doing more to end the Holocaust sooner. To me it is a symbol that the Jews hate the American gentiles because the gentiles were not more willing to die to save Jews. The monument does not say, "Thank you for saving the survivors among us." It says, "Look at all the Jews you callous Christians allowed to die." It doesn't quite say, "We hate you for not invading Europe earlier," but it's implied.

I ask why the Jews didn't do more to save themselves. The people who build the Holocaust Memorial are mainly Jews who ran away from Europe to the US, and left their parents, children, or siblings to die in the camps. Why didn't the Jews fight? Israel's success proves that Jews can fight successfully, but they weren't willing to do it in Europe. Six million Jews died so that Lloyd Blankfein could be CEO of Goldman Sachs and so that Joe Lieberman could be a Senator. I have no proof, but I suspect that even of the Holocaust survivors, a number of them survived because they cooperated with the Germans. Those who stood up against the Germans in the camps were more likely to die than those who cooperated. The few fighters who survived probably preferred just to get on with their lives after the war, but in some cases they were probably bought off by other Jews who said something like, "Don't spoil this for everybody who suffered so much."

My concern with the Jewish and Holocaust issue arose while I was serving in Poland during the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. It was all-Holocaust, all the time. I felt slighted because my father fought in World War II. It was the Allies who ended the War. If they hadn't, Hitler would probably have killed all the rest of the Jews left in Europe, i.e., those who didn't leave their families behind and run away to America. So, why not put in a word for those who actually fought the Nazis, rather than just eulogizing those who walked meekly into the death camps?

Now, after what they went through in World War II, you would think that Jews would one of the last groups to engage in genocide, aparthied, or other violations of human rights. But Israel has become one of the most offensive developed nations in the world because of its treatment of Palestinians and other gentiles. Israel's attitude may be much like America's was during the Indian wars, but that was a long time ago. Times have changed. But in any case, because of history, one would think that Israelis would be more sensitive to such concerns than anybody else. Instead, one would think they almost decided to emulate Hitler. When the UN gave Israel to the Jews, they should have bent over backwards to make peace with the Arabs living there. If the Arabs went to war, then the Jews should have made the peace as just as possible, but instead they just took more and more land in violation of international law.

So, back to Brooks' column. He says that Jews make up 0.2 percent of the world population, and 2 percent of the US population, but they win 20 to 30 percent of Nobel physics and medicine prizes, Ivy League college admissions, Academy Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, etc., not to mention being many of senior people on Wall Street and in government. But these are all the descendants of the people who ran away and left their relatives to die in the Holocaust. They have got to do something about Israel.

If Jews are ever going to be a great people again, they are going to have to create a great state. Currently their state of Israel is a blot on humanity. There's a saying that it's better to be feared than loved. But you can be both. America was pretty much both feared and loved for a generation or two after World War II. Israel should aspire to that model, rather than to whatever Nazi or Stalinist model that it is currently pursuing.

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