The Times of Israel published my new article “Anti-Semitism Was on Lockdown; Now It’s Back”
A few days ago, The New York Times wrote in relation to Secretary of State Pompeo’s visit to Israel that there is a “thinly veiled allusion to a bone of contention between Israel and the United States” regarding China. The aftermath of COVID-19 will be horrendous to the Jews and to Israel.
If last year saw a record number of anti-Semitic incidents around the world, this year, the anger and anguish from the stress caused by the pandemic will turn against Israel and the Jews.
It is no coincidence that Israel is finding itself stuck against its will between China and the US and is being asked to choose which side it wants to be on. The two superpowers attribute to Israel power that its people don’t feel they have. Does it really matter what a tiny country like Israel decides? Clearly, it does to China and America.
One way or the other, the pressure on Israel and the Jews the world over will grow—politically, socially, economically, and in the military sense. One way or the other, the only right choice Israel can make is for its own people to unite among themselves.
Currently, when Israelis and Jews alike are setting new records of internal hatred every single day, the world is setting new records of Israel-hatred and Jew-hatred. As I have shown in my books, Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour, and The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, there is a clear correlation between internal solidarity, or lack thereof, within the people of Israel, and the intensification or decrease of anti-Semitism.
Unity is the key to solving all of Israel’s problems. Unity is also the key to solving the world’s problems, but the world is looking at Israel for example. Before Israel begins to unite, neither will the world. This is why as long as Israel sets an example of internal bickering and hatred, it will get the exact same attitude from the world. When its people change their attitude toward each other, the world will change its attitude toward them.
American Jewry in Deep Trouble
The state of the Jews in the US has never been worse. Many on both sides of the political map are suspicious of them and blame them for many, if not all of America’s numerous plights.
The coronavirus disease did not help the state of American Jewry, and many Americans blame Jews for either bringing or spreading the pandemic in the country. History is plagued with Jews being blamed for transmitting diseases, and the consequences of these libels have always been catastrophic. Now, it seems, we’re headed for another such libel. But this time, there will be nowhere to run as the pandemic has impacted the entire world, as will the anti-Semitic feelings that it stirs.
In fact, despite the existence of Israel, the state of the Jews today is in many ways worse than it was prior to World War II. Israel is not self-sufficient and can easily be placed on internationally imposed quarantine. The Jews all over the world are feeling the intensification of anti-Semitism in their countries, and there seems to be nowhere to go.
In the late 1930s, the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe were all diplomatic in their disinclination to take in Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria. When the wave we’re seeing now becomes as bad as it was in Germany, these countries will be just as active as the Nazis in their efforts to expel the Jews from their midst.
We may think that there is no connection between COVID-19 and anti-Semitism, but there is indeed. It is not only that anti-Semites blame the plague on the Jews. The virus showed us that we are all in one boat. As NY Governor Andrew Cuomo put it, “An infection anywhere is an infection everywhere.” This means that only joint action can defeat the virus. But instead of sharing resources and information in joint efforts, international tensions are growing as countries vie for anything from PPE to creating a vaccine. And in the end, the Jews will be blamed for creating the virus, spreading it, and cashing in on people’s suffering. It is already happening. When these rumors take root, they can become a cataclysmic point in our history.