Entries in the 'New Publications' Category

“Is Macron the European Moses?” (The Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Is Macron the European Moses?

Stability and safety are not synonyms of today’s Europe. A possible terror motive behind the tram attack in the Netherlands where three people died; a Brussels “bomb threat” that was a false alarm but increased the tension near the European Union’s headquarters, forcing evacuation of the building; rampant anti-Semitism and Neo-Nazism across Europe—these are headlines of the European reality these days.

What kind of leadership is needed to fix the continent’s burning problems?

On the socio-political spectrum, after the Gilets Jaunes’ (Yellow Vests’) protest disintegrated France’s capital into a state of anarchy, authorities threatened that such demonstrations could be banned if they turn violent again. As a result of the ongoing turbulence and the failure to contain it, Paris police chief headquarters have been sacked. Within the four months since the movement started opposing fuel tax rises, protests against what is considered the elitist policies of President Emmanuel Macron have already degenerated into riots and vandalism.

Most likely in an effort to try to flip the mounting pressure he is experiencing, President Macron aims at positioning himself as Europe’s leader by advancing the ideal of a unified continent under the catchphrase of the “European Renaissance.” His proposal on how to achieve this lofty goal was recently published in 28 leading newspapers across Europe.

In an open letter to Europeans, he writes that “never since the second world war has Europe been so essential. Yet never has Europe been in such danger.” He suggests the establishment of a European agency to protect democracy in order to combat the phenomenon of fascism on the continent, and a border police force and joint refugee agency for all EU countries in order to improve citizens’ social rights and to facilitate trade among EU members. In addition to these measures, and as part of the push toward unification, Macron criticizes Britain’s Brexit decision to leave the EU.

I happen to differ with the position Macron has taken. Misconstruing the desire for resistance against the social disintegration of Europe as an awakening renaissance of a united Europe, is likely to do more harm than good. Why? It is because, as the sages of Kabbalah have said, “The dispersion of the wicked is good for them and good for the world.” Mishna (Sanhedrin 71b.) The wicked, according to the wisdom of Kabbalah, are actually a group of people who let the egoistic nature controlling them to continue separating them. In other words, the European Union is only a cover for a false unity.

As long as the Europeans do not first restrain and balance their egoism—individual benefit at expense of others—it will be impossible for them to live together in peace, as the hundreds of bloody battles and wars that have plagued them throughout history attest. Without powerful countries like Russia and the United States, and the continents of Africa and the Middle East to put pressure on the European continent from every direction, Europeans would have devoured each other long ago. Those external challenges somehow have forced them into some form of loose unity.

However, Macron’s call for unification amounts to no more than a ploy for economic and political gain. Within this call, I fail to see any modern-day Moses on the verge of leading his people to a stable and safe social order. On the contrary, egoism, as the force behind all of society’s imbalances, increasingly grows among leaders and people in general, not only in Europe but all over the world. At the same time, human society emerges as a global and integral system binding together nations, economies and cultures. Consequently, problems in Europe, America and Asia hold the same common root: narrow and cruel egoism. The solution also remains the same: a method to transcend this egoism through a form of education made to solve specifically this problem. Macron doesn’t possess this.

Until such an educational plan is implemented, those European voices that insist on toughening the laws against criminals who endanger internal European security are correct. Moreover, anyone showing hatred, incitement or violence toward others should be expelled. The liberal approach, which believes that it is possible to assimilate every immigrant through broad-mindedness, is perceived by many immigrants as a weakness that can be taken advantage of. The growing collection of immigrants from diverse nations and cultures is a recipe for increasing agitation unless a proper absorption process is found.

An effective integration process would not necessitate erasing each immigrant’s cultural uniqueness. Instead, each new arrival and European citizen alike would be taught how to unite on a common ground above their differences.

How can the EU be turned into a truly unified block? It can be achieved first of all through a shift of perspective. “Europe As One Family” should be the slogan emblazoned upon the continental flag. This is the spirit of progress that needs to blow in a truly united Europe. If Macron and world leaders want to gain great respect and leave a lasting legacy, they must establish an educational system that will unify all European citizens. They must inculcate such a spirit of unity that would lift everyone up to the feeling that there is no difference between a German or a Spaniard; a Christian or a Muslim; a native or an immigrant. We are all born naked and buried naked, so it is our common humanity that should unite us above all else.

Why Is Purim Important Today? (The Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Why Is Purim Important Today?

The Purim holiday is especially relevant in today’s world. In the theater of our current reality, the curtain rises and the performance begins with entry of the full cast of characters, the heroes and villains, and the intricate plot unfolds. Just like the Purim story’s scenario in Shushan, the Jewish people today face special times when great forces of separation operate to tear us apart. The events described in The Scroll of Esther hint at the corrections we have to go through as a people to overcome the threats looming over us. Our own survival depends on the realization of these corrections.

Let’s look at the characters behind the costumes:

Haman is represented by the resurgence of Nazism, hatred from the left toward Jews and Israel, and extreme voices from both sides of the spectrum that call for our destruction.

Mordechai is the story’s representative of good. However, try as he might to be a positive force, he’s powerless to do so by himself. He needs to first gather and unite the far-flung Jews, and by doing so, Mordechai invalidates the decree of the wicked Haman, to eradicate all the Jews. “There is a certain people, scattered and dispersed,” Haman says to King Ahasuerus, contending that the Jews failed to uphold the king’s laws, which discredited their purpose for existence in the king’s eyes.

At this point, a question arises: Why did Haman connect the Jews’ dispersion to their disobeying the king’s laws? Haman understood that the principle by which the Jewish nation came into being was unity. Such a state of unity was achieved through the correction of egoism—exploitation of others for our own sake—to a state of love and bestowal. Purim symbolizes the end of this process of correction.

The Jews became sanctioned as a nation when they agreed to unite “as one man with one heart.” Their dispersion was synonymous with their disunity, which meant that they failed to live up to what established them as a nation to begin with. This is what Haman emphasized to King Ahasuerus.

While “dispersed,” Queen Esther could be of no service to the Jews because they were breaching the king’s law. When they united, however, they reestablished themselves as a nation, exactly as King Ahasuerus commanded, making Haman’s claim fall short. For this reason, Esther relays to Mordechai: “You want me to go to the king and beg for your lives? Don’t just sit there at the king’s gate; go, gather the Jews!”

Purim provides us with the happy-ending example where the Jewish people understand their role and purpose, and take responsibility to realize the king’s law: uniting above their differences and thereby securing their survival. The opposite end was clearly exemplified by the tragic events in the middle of last century that revealed what an escalation of Jewish hatred coupled with Jewish denial of that hatred and failure to do anything about it could lead to.

What is the unity we Jews must reach now? It does not mean that we need to physically gather in Israel or anywhere else, just as the Jews in the Purim story didn’t need to leave the 127 provinces in which they lived to physically unite in Shushan.

Uniting means that we must mentally and emotionally support each other in seeking a common agreement to be there for each other, “as one man with one heart,” above any differences between us. Moreover, uniting also means that, by our efforts to find our common unifying point, we will become conduits of unity to the rest of humanity, as is written, to become “a light unto nations.”

In other words, the dispersion and disunity between our hearts spreads dispersion and disunity to the world, and its opposite is also true—our unification spreads unification. Unity is the unfulfilled expectation that humanity currently has of the Jews. While it is difficult for both non-Jews and Jews to pinpoint or verbalize this feeling, it lurks behind all anti-Semitic sentiment.

From the doubt and fear in the face of utter destruction to the elation and euphoria after everything works out in the end, the story and meaning of Purim encompasses one of the greatest ever resolution of opposites.

We Jews hold the keys to both possible outcomes: the choice to remain disunited, which has devastating consequences, or the choice to unite, which brings about the elated state Purim symbolizes.

Every time that we Jews were threatened with extermination, it was our commitment to unity that allowed us to prevail and survive. Today, Jews must remember this history and set a positive example for everyone. This is the very action that will bring our people and the whole world closer to peace, balance and boundless joy.

Happy Purim to all!

“Dems Vote on Anti-Hate Resolution: We’ve Seen Better Days” (Times of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Dems Vote on Anti-Hate Resolution: We’ve Seen Better Days

Thirty days to the elections in Israel, Israelis are so entrenched in their daily fix of political and cultural bashing, that they barely notice the global resurgence of anti-Semitism.

A giant parade in Belgium featured floats of two Hasidic Jews reaching out for money with money bags behind them. In the U.S., the Democratic Party softened its condemnation of anti-Semitism and made do with a lukewarm announcement, pledging to “combat hate of all kinds.” The next day a fan of the Berlin Union football team caused an outrage by tweeting that Israeli footballer Almog Cohen should be sent “to the chamber.”

However, the fact that headlines are increasingly drawing attention to the Jews is welcome, because all of us must begin to ask some serious questions about the root of anti-Semitism and the connection between the Jews and the rest of the world.

Let us briefly recount the birth story of the Jewish people: Some 3,800 years ago, in ancient Babylon, a priest named Abraham traveled to the various the tribes and clans who lived there. Amidst the growing human ego, he was looking for individuals who were willing to choose unity above all differences.

Thus, Abraham assembled a group of representatives from the cradle of civilization and turned them into a model of global unity. They learned how to discover the deeper binding force of nature, which connects human beings above all their differences.

Over time, that group left Babylon and grew in scale to the proportions of a nation. As long as they maintained their unity, they also radiated it to the rest of humanity. Or in other words, they were being a “light unto the nations.”

However, the human ego continued to grow out of control and ultimately led to division and conflict among the Jewish nation, just as it did among the rest of the world.

And so, Jews have forgotten their destiny. We have forgotten that if we abandon the unifying force that guides us, we no longer serve our purpose in the world, and invite hatred against us. As Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag, “Baal HaSulam” wrote, we have forgotten that “the Israeli nation had been established as a kind of gateway, by which the sparks of purity will flow onto all of mankind across the world, until they develop and come to understand the pleasantness and serenity of love of others.”

If we do not rekindle the same kind of connection that has established our nationhood, and has been dormant for some 2,000 years, anti-Semitism will never stop.

The major difference between today and the 1930s is that it was only the Führer of Nazi Germany who openly pushed for the extermination of the Jews. From now on, manifestations of hatred towards Jews will multiply everywhere in the world. It will transcend geography, culture, religion and language. Anti-Semitism will not distinguish between a Republican and a Democratic Jew, a religious Jew or a secular Jew, an Ashkenazi Jew or a Sephardic Jew.

It is also a mistake to think of the State of Israel as a place of refuge. As things will escalate, it will be easier for the world to push the Jews to a place where they can isolate and sanction them.

The only place of refuge is our connection. Just as it was in Abraham’s tent: unity, love, caring and mutual responsibility put us in contact with the binding force of nature itself, so we can share with the rest of mankind. This is the only way to fulfill our true role in the world, and stop the growing waves of hatred towards us.
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Kabbalah For The People №39 (in Hebrew)

The 39th issue of the newspaper Kabbalah La’Am (Kabbalah for the People), was published in Hebrew. You will find many interesting articles in it: how to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, which is literally engulfing the whole world today; how to learn to love, not to hate; and, of course, articles dedicated to the upcoming holidays: 8th of March and Purim. The newspaper is distributed free in all Israel’s cities.

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“House Resolution Against Anti-Semitism, Hatred: A Band-Aid Solution” (The Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “House Resolution Against Anti-Semitism, Hatred: A Band-Aid Solution

Anti-Semitism has become a problem on different levels in America. Repeated anti-Semitic tropes by Rep. Ilhan Omar, suggesting American Jews’ dual-loyalty to Israel and the US, prompted the US House resolution that denounces anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. However, it will be a finger-in-the-dike fix until the Jewish people realize what is in our ability to do: to treat the core of the problem—a lack of unity among the Jewish people—and implement its solution—a method that can unite us above our differences, enabling the world at large to follow suit.

As I expressed in my previous article, “Anti-Semitism in Mainstream American Politics,” there is no fine line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Criticism against Israel is the new façade masking Jew hatred. Rep. Omar’s recent insinuation that Israel demands “allegiance” from American lawmakers is another link in a chain of accusations suggesting Jewish money is pulling the strings behind US politics, and that Israel has “hypnotized the world.”

How should we respond when we’re increasingly blamed for all kinds of problems in the world?

From Abraham’s Tent to the US House

The House resolution, which passed after an intense partisan debate, states that “accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel or to the Jewish community than to the United States constitutes anti-Semitism because it suggests that Jewish citizens cannot be patriotic Americans and trusted neighbors.” It also condemns “anti-Semitism” and “anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities.”

The problem with such statements is that they are useless and will fail to prevent any future flaring of hatred since they fail to address the root of the hatred. Moreover, such a resolution also lacks a model that can be followed in order to transform society into a place of acceptance and harmony. In short, there needs to be an accurate diagnosis of the root of anti-Semitism, and a realization of the method to solve it.

Where can we find such a diagnosis and method?

In ancient Babylon, a group gathered under Abraham’s tent to rise above their egoism, i.e. self concern on account of others. They build the foundation of the Jewish nation by studying and implementing a method of connection upon themselves, bringing them to the attainment of unity above the egoistic division piercing society.

This nation also became the first and only nation in history built solely on the basis of love of others, instead of geographical proximity or biological affinity. This remains the uniqueness of the Jewish nation till today: a critical mass of people from all walks of life who attained and lived by unifying themselves above all forms of egoism and division that surfaced.

That is the kind of role model the world needs. Moreover, the world expects such an example from the Jewish people: world leaders, societies and nations, and literally every person on the planet, has a subconscious expectation on the Jewish people to bring a positive example of uniting above egoism.

Anti-Semitism is the world’s way of telling us to unite above our differences, to become a replicable model of unity for the world to follow, bringing about a peaceful and harmonious existence above hatred, bigotry and division. In the words of the sage King Solomon, “Hate stirs strife, and love covers all crimes” (Prov 10:12).

Today, we’re out of options. We live in a time of rapidly mounting pressure against Jews worldwide, and we can succeed only with the aid of a method that unites us over hatred. Otherwise, we will suffer the consequences of the increasing hatred swallowing us. The method of connection is our Jewish heritage, and it is our duty to bequeath it onto humanity. It is our role and the purpose of our existence as a people. Its implementation is our safety net, our insurance for a pleasant life and for the world’s embrace.
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My Articles In The Media, February 2019

In English:

BlogActiv:

The Root of the BDS Boycotts of Israel

The Times of Israel:

The Root of the BDS Boycotts of Israel
Anti-Semitism in Mainstream American Politics
A Month of Jew-Hatred
Spacecraft to the moon – check. Oscar – check. Anti-Semitism – check.

Newsmax:

Anti-Semitism an Ominous Presence in US Politics

JewishBoston:

The Root of the BDS Boycotts of Israel
Anti-Semitism in Mainstream American Politics

Linkedin Article:

What is love?
A Month of Jew-Hatred
Spacecraft to the moon – check. Oscar – check. Anti-Semitism – check.

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“An Open Letter To Jared Kushner: Unity, The Ultimate Peace Deal“ (Times of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “An Open Letter to Jared Kushner: Unity, the Ultimate Peace Deal

Dear Jared,

I share your concern over the decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Needless to say, people around the globe feel that finding a solution to this conflict is long overdue. If there is world consensus about the urgent need to put an end to this struggle, one must ask why, generation after generation, the state of affairs in this region only seems to worsen.

So many countries throughout history, and particularly so many US administrations, have invested futile efforts in trying to mediate what is considered the most complex and controversial conflict in the world. Former US proposals were based on the core idea of “land for peace” as a kind of trade deal, but no such scheme will work, because territorial border issues are not at the root of the problem.

As apprehended from your recent media interview in Abu Dhabi, the US peace plan for the region will include not only a significant economic proposal, but also a “very detailed” political plan “about establishing borders and resolving final-status issues.” If that is the main focus for working out a lasting peace deal, it is destined to fail from the very beginning. Allow me to explain why…

Splitting the land will not help, as it has failed in the past with the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and in multiple offers from Israel to withdraw from the territories conquered in the Six Day War in exchange for peace. All such offers have been consistently rejected. The stark reality is the impossibility of negotiating a viable peace agreement with a regime controlled by those who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

The truth of the matter is that the lasting solution to this conflict cannot be predicated upon acceptance from any parties outside the people of Israel. Peace among Jews must come first, and peace with our neighbors will follow naturally and smoothly afterward. This is because the fundamental cause of the conflict is our division, our lack of unity as one Jewish people. No state, religious, economic, or social plan will help until we connect into one diverse, yet amalgamated body.

Lasting peace is possible and achievable, but its realization is conditional upon the connection of all Jews in Israel and around the world into one people, unified above our differences. The most fertile area for the application of US and world pressure is on the Israeli government, to demand that they enact an aggressive program to repair the breakage in Israel’s social fabric.

It has become crucial for us, the Jews, to recognize our hatred and alienation from each other as preventing any positive future.

As it is written, “we are commanded in each generation to strengthen the unity among us so our enemies do not rule over us” (Rabbi Eliyahu Ki Tov, The Book of Consciousness).

The importance of Jewish unity, not only for our own people but for all humanity, was also stressed by Rav Avraham Yizhak HaCohen Kook (the Raiah):

“In Israel is the secret to the unity of the world.” 

According to our sages, the people of Israel must reestablish the unity which they lost some 2,000 years ago. We must therefore first become aware of a method of correction prescribed in the sources, a method from which we have become detached. When we unite, we will become an example for humanity and fulfill our role of being “a light unto nations.”

When the correction of Israel radiates outwardly to the rest of the world, the second phase of the plan will be able to be effortlessly realized: the correction of humanity.

Thus, “when the Children of Israel are complemented with the complete reason, the fountains of intelligence and knowledge shall flow beyond the borders of Israel. They will water all the nations of the world, as it is written” (Isaiah 11).

Therefore, I urge you to base the US plan for resolving final status issues for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in applying pressure on the State of Israel to actualize the originally-intended purpose of the people of Israel, and to heal the fractures first and foremost within Israel itself. The ultimate plan for a lasting peace in the Middle East and beyond must require Jews to acknowledge their underpinnings, how we became the people of Israel, and to reenact the principles and purpose upon which the Jewish nation was founded. Only after we internalize the eternal spiritual ideals and foundations of Israel and unite among ourselves, will we be able to pave the way to peace with our neighbors and the world. This is the key to any viable plan for the Middle East, one capable of securing a bright future and a peaceful coexistence.

Wishing you all success,
Dr. Michael Laitman

“International Women’s Day 2019: Nature’s Recipe for Gender-Balance”(Thrive Global)

Thrive Global published my new article: “International Women’s Day 2019: Nature’s Recipe for Gender-Balance

“The human is the inclusion of male and female, and the world cannot be built, if male and female are not both present” (The Book of Zohar).

International Women’s Day is upon us again, and this year’s keyword is “balance” – the idea is to drive gender-balance across the world.

The aspiration behind wanting to create balance is good and correct. It comes from a genuine desire to find wholeness, completion and perfection in the interaction between the men and women of the world. But what is gender-balance? How do we determine where the balance is? If we look for it through our own eyes – whether as a man or woman – we’ll only see things partially and incorrectly.

When it comes to balance, we need to see things from nature’s point of view.

There are two opposite forces working throughout all of nature and they manifest through various forces, actions and beings: plus and minus, protons and electrons, heat and cold, ebb and flow, inhaling and exhaling. Or in our case – male and female.

If we try to eliminate or disregard the differences between any instances of nature’s two opposite forces, then we’re attempting to meddle with nature. Trying to turn a plus into a minus will ultimately cause trouble, even when we can’t see it in the short run.

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, men and women can only complete each other when the purpose of their relationship is to discover the deeper force of nature that binds them together. As it is written, “man, woman, and the divine presence between them.”

The deeper binding force of nature is one. It is not masculine or feminine, not a plus or a minus. It’s the only true oneness there is. Men and women need each other to rise slightly above the human ego, and discover that force together. To do so, they each need to activate their unique attributes and complete each other. So instead of focusing on how men or women can rise separately, we need to be thinking of rising together.

It’s no coincidence that the drive to find new balance between the genders has become so prominent in our time. Humans are evolving to find a higher experience of life, and this is why we have a yearning for a greater sense of wholeness. But harmony can only emerge when opposite forces complement each other.

The difference between male and female is not a “gender difference.” It is an infinite gap that stems from the very nature of creation. We don’t need to be the same. We need to stay different, and learn how to complete each other.

— Published on March 3, 2019

“Anti-Semitism An Ominous Presence In US Politics” (Newsmax)

My article in Newsmax: “Anti-Semitism an Ominous Presence in US Politics

How many times do freshman lawmakers from the Democratic Party need to apologize for anti-Semitic remarks until we understand what truly lies in their hearts and minds toward Israel and the Jews?

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar allegation that the Jewish lobby and money are buying American politicians seems to be only the tip of the iceberg of a larger anti-Semitic problem of a vociferous and growing radical wing against Israel within U.S. Congress and political circles.

Only after a strong condemnation and ear pulling from her own party, Rep. Omar stepped back from her comments, sort of. It was certainly not the first time she sparked controversy with inflammatory remarks. Back in 2012 she tweeted that Israel had “hypnotized the world,” among other accusations during her political career.

Meanwhile, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., a firm supporter of Israel’s boycott, has been busy taking pictures with a pro-Hezbollah activist and accusing American Jews of “dual loyalty.” Both lawmakers have been warned by Republicans that “actions” will be taken if their incitement against the Jewish nation continues.

Extreme Minds Think Alike

Jew-hatred appears to reach consensus regardless which side of the coin the anti-Semites belong to. Holocaust denier and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has weighed in on this controversy, aligning with Omar’s conspiratory views toward Jews.

He didn’t miss the opportunity to add more fuel to the anti-Semitic flame. Since Jews, Israel, are blamed for anything and everything in the world, this time Duke brought Trump’s wall to the public discourse, no less, demanding Israel pay for it.

One of the ways the nations of the world blame the Jews is by stating that Jews control the world and all evil comes from us. By saying so, they imply that changing the world for good depends on the Jewish people.

From Nature’s perspective, meaning the inner forces that operate our world, this is, in fact, what we are destined to provide humanity. This is also the underlying reason for the growing hatred and demands toward us if we fail to fulfill this mission.

Jewish thinker Rav Yitzhak HaCohen Kook made this principle clear on his seminal work Orot [Lights]: “The construction of the world, which is currently crumpled by the dreadful storms of a blood-filled sword, requires the construction of the Israeli nation. The construction of the nation and the revealing of its spirit are one and the same, and it is one with the construction of the world, which is crumpling in anticipation for a force full of unity and sublimity, and all that is in the soul of the Assembly of Israel.”

An Outcry Against Israel Is An Outcry Against All Jews

There is no fine line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

Simply put, there is no line; they are the same. It is just easier and more comfortable for anti-Semites to hide their true colors under virulent criticism against Israel. When the Jewish nation is attacked from all sides, it is clear that we are the only ones we can rely on. Our good future depends solely on our unity.

Our nation was forged precisely through that unity, when individuals of different descents pledged to be “as one man with one heart.” Once our ancestors made that vow, they were tasked with passing unity on to the rest of the world, thereby becoming “a light unto nations.” When Jews disassociate from one another — and thereby abandon their commitment to humanity—they cease to be a light unto nations, and in so doing, invoke hatred toward them.

As it is written in “The Book of Zohar,” “Because they are of one heart and one mind … they will not fail in doing that which they purport to do, and there is no one who can stop them.” Our sages also stated, “Although the bodies of the whole of Israel are divided, their souls are a single unity at the root. . . . This is why Israel are commanded to unity of the hearts, as it is written, ‘And Israel encamped there,’ in singular form, which means that they were corresponding below, meaning they had unity” (Rabbi David Solomon Eibenschutz, in “Willows of the Brook”).

Unity above differences is the true commodity of the State of Israel and what Jews in general have to offer the world, because this is our foundation as a people. We possess the method for bringing people together. Once we reach this unity, it will reverberate around the world to neutralize anti-Semitism. As the Midrash Rabbah writes in “Song of Songs,” “Israel bring light to the world.”

“Anti-Semitism In Mainstream American Politics” (The Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Anti-Semitism in Mainstream American Politics

How many times do freshman lawmakers from the Democratic Party need to apologize for anti-Semitic remarks until we understand what truly lies in their hearts and minds toward Israel and the Jews? Rep. Ilhan Omar’s allegation that the Jewish lobby and money are buying American politicians seems to be only the tip of the iceberg of a larger anti-Semitic problem of a vociferous and growing radical wing against Israel within US Congress and political circles.

Only after a strong condemnation and ear pulling from her own party, Rep. Omar stepped back from her comments, sort of. It was certainly not the first time she sparked controversy with inflammatory remarks. Back in 2012 she tweeted that Israel had “hypnotized the world,” among other accusations during her political career. Meanwhile, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), a firm supporter of Israel’s boycott, has been busy taking pictures with a pro-Hezbollah activist and accusing American Jews of “dual loyalty.” Both lawmakers have been warned by Republicans that “actions” will be taken if their incitement against the Jewish nation continues.

Extreme Minds Think Alike

Jew-hatred appears to reach consensus regardless which side of the coin the anti-Semites belong to. Holocaust denier and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has weighed in on this controversy, aligning with Omar’s conspiratory views toward Jews. He didn’t miss the opportunity to add more fuel to the anti-Semitic flame. Since Jews, Israel, are blamed for anything and everything in the world, this time Duke brought Trump’s wall to the public discourse, no less, demanding Israel pay for it.

One of the ways the nations of the world blame the Jews is by stating that Jews control the world and all evil comes from us. By saying so, they imply that changing the world for good depends on the Jewish people. From Nature’s perspective, meaning the inner forces that operate our world, this is, in fact, what we are destined to provide humanity. This is also the underlying reason for the growing hatred and demands toward us if we fail to fulfill this mission.

Jewish thinker Rav Yitzhak HaCohen Kook made this principle clear on his seminal work Orot [Lights]: “The construction of the world, which is currently crumpled by the dreadful storms of a blood-filled sword, requires the construction of the Israeli nation. The construction of the nation and the revealing of its spirit are one and the same, and it is one with the construction of the world, which is crumpling in anticipation for a force full of unity and sublimity, and all that is in the soul of the Assembly of Israel.”

An Outcry Against Israel Is An Outcry Against All Jews

There is no fine line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Simply put, there is no line; they are the same. It is just easier and more comfortable for anti-Semites to hide their true colors under virulent criticism against Israel. When the Jewish nation is attacked from all sides, it is clear that we are the only ones we can rely on. Our good future depends solely on our unity.

Our nation was forged precisely through that unity, when individuals of different descents pledged to be “as one man with one heart.” Once our ancestors made that vow, they were tasked with passing unity on to the rest of the world, thereby becoming “a light unto nations.” When Jews disassociate from one another—and thereby abandon their commitment to humanity—they cease to be a light unto nations, and in so doing, invoke hatred toward them.

As it is written in The Book of Zohar, “Because they are of one heart and one mind … they will not fail in doing that which they purport to do, and there is no one who can stop them.” Our sages also stated, “Although the bodies of the whole of Israel are divided, their souls are a single unity at the root. …This is why Israel are commanded to unity of the hearts, as it is written, ‘And Israel encamped there,’ in singular form, which means that they were corresponding below, meaning they had unity” (Rabbi David Solomon Eibenschutz, Willows of the Brook).

Unity above differences is the true commodity of the State of Israel and what Jews in general have to offer the world, because this is our foundation as a people. We possess the method for bringing people together. Once we reach this unity, it will reverberate around the world to neutralize anti-Semitism. As the Midrash Rabbah writes in Song of Songs, “Israel bring light to the world.”
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