Ron grew up in the South Bronx of New York, making Aliyah in 1980. Served for 25 years in the IDF as a Mental Health Field Officer in operational units. Prior to retiring was Commander of the Central Psychiatric Clinic for Reserve Solders at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring has been involved in strategic consultancy to NGO's and communities in the Gaza Envelope on resiliency projects to assist first responders and communities. Ron has written numerous articles for outlets in Israel and abroad focusing on Israel and the Jewish world.
It’s called “Redemptive Anti-Semitism”
Over the past weeks and months, we have witnessed a transformation of what we knew as the classic type of anti-Semitism, the “gentlemen’s agreement” type of bigotry and discrimination against Jews; residential restrictions, academic restrictions, cultural restrictions, and employment restrictions. In the old days, someone who hated Jews more than was necessary was defined as a true anti-Semite. American Jews did not condone it, but lived with it and even thrived. For the past century America has been a “safe haven” for American Jews enabling the Jewish community to reach the highest pinnacles of almost all fields of endeavor. Yet with the continuing civil unrest and daily anti-Semitic attacks reaching epidemic proportions, an updated understanding of how the old or classical anti-Semitism has evolved into the new anti-Semitism namely, “Redemptive Anti-Semitism”.
As we move back to the future, and as Jews are hunted down and attacked violently in broad daylight on the streets of Beverly Hills and Manhattan, all you have to do to understand this new phenomenon is listen to the declarative pronouncements made by these barbaric mobs of American Muslims and Afro-Americans as they viciously attack American Jews arbitrarily; they want these Jews to die and they want to annihilate the Jewish community as a whole. These vicious barbarians want to “kill the Jews” with their own bare hands and show their actions to the world through social media.
A relatively unknown historical manifestation links together the radical anti-Semitism of the Nazi ideology and the modern day Jew hatred by radical American Muslims and radicalized Afro-Americans. This common bond of “purifying” humanity of any Jewish presence promoted and upheld by radical Islam and the Nazi ideology now spans over a nine decade old period. We can no longer deny the nearly identical ideological and doctrinal models used by the Nazis and modern day radical Muslims and radicalized Afro-Americans who promote the killing of American Jews and demand the total annihilation of the State of Israel. The common thread unifying the desire for the total destruction of Jews is shared by both radical American Muslims alongside radicalized Afro-Americans and Nazi ideology. The Nazi ideology spoke of “redemptive anti-Semitism”, namely a form of anti-Semitism that explains all in the world by offering a form of “redemption” by exterminating and purifying humanity of the Jews. Islamic religious and political leaders broadcast daily sermons of incitement to murder Jews promising heaven and redemption for those that carry out this call to rid the world of Jews. This past week, Palestinian Islamic Scholar Mraweh Nassar stated: ‘Humanity Will Not Thrive until the Jewish Nation Is ANNIHILATED,’ Quoting Hadith, ‘Fight the Jews, KILL THEM!’ Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar told Sky News this week in an interview that Israel does not have a right to exist. Asked if the State of Israel has the right to exist, he replied, "No. Why?
Redemptive anti-Semitism” is a theory expounded by the Holocaust historian Professor Saul Friedländer. He maintains that Nazi anti-Semitism was distinctive for being “redemptive anti-Semitism”, namely a form of anti-Semitism that could explain all in the world and offer a form of “redemption” for the anti-Semitic. Friedländer is talking about a specifically Nazi aspect of anti-Semitism. That's the belief in a racial hierarchy, with "the Jews" at the bottom. It holds that everything wrong with the world, and everything wrong with people, is a result of the malign influence of "the Jews." In his book The Years of Persecution, he explains: Whereas ordinary racial anti-Semitism is one element within a wider racist worldview, in “redemptive anti-Semitism” the struggle against the Jews is the dominant aspect of a worldview in which other racist themes are but secondary appendages. According to this idea, exterminating the Jews will prevent them from corrupting the world any further and will allow it and its peoples to be redeemed and purified. Friedlander’s use of the term liberation from Jews began with the expulsion of Jews from their homes and communities and ends with their physical annihilation.
The connection between modern day Islam and the Nazi regime in Germany runs deeper, as the Nazis did their best to support through finance and advice the embryonic radical Islamic movements in British ruled Egypt and Iraq through the late 1930s and early 1940s. Their aim was to destabilize British rule in these strategically critical colonies. A key player was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, implicated in a 1941 coup attempt in Baghdad. Al-Husseini was extensively involved in anti-British and anti-Jewish Palestinian unrest during the 1920s and 1930s according to historical records. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini met covertly with representatives of the Nazi SS intelligence arm during the late 1930s, and not coincidently with Otto Adolf Eichmann, who was a German-Austrian Nazi SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) and one of the major implementers of the Holocaust’s systematic annihilation and extermination of European Jewry. Eichmann played a central role in the deportation of over 1.5 million Jews from all over Europe to killing camps and killing sites in occupied Poland and in parts of the occupied Soviet Union.
With the British Mandate intelligence services becoming aware of Al-Husseini’s clandestine activities, he fled to Germany for the remainder of World War II, remaining active as a propagandist and recruiter of Balkan Muslims into the Waffen SS Handschar and Kama Divisions, used extensively in the latter part of the war, as German manpower available for combat divisions declined. An interesting footnote to Al-Husseini’s family lineage; Yasser Arafat, the deceased leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, an organization that was dedicated to the murdering of Jews and the destruction of the State of Israel, was a first nephew of Al-Husseini. The shift of “redemptive antisemitism” from Nazi Germany to parts of the Arab world during and after World War II, is not merely a supplementary feature of modern radical Islam, but lies instead at its ideological core and is an antecedent of a modern manifestation of “redemptive anti-Semitism”. With the proliferation and its exportation and re-introduction into Western societies, “redemptive anti-Semitism” has become rampant among Muslim Americans and radicalized Afro-Americans.
Social media tweets and comments such as “As long as there is Jewish life in the world, peace is not possible.” have become the new norm and “redemptive anti-Semitism” will continue to empower American Muslims and Afro-Americans to continue their crusade to free humanity as they understand it. Liberal and progressive Jewish organizations need to vocalize their expectation that the Biden administration and the Department of Justice take immediate legal and prosecutorial action to stop the snowball effect of “redemptive anti-Semitism.
There is no Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world, but there is a widespread global anti-Jewish conspiracy based on the principles of “redemptive anti-Semitism”. It starts with the Jews but it does not end with the Jews. The first airplane that was hijacked was an Israeli airplane, and today at every airport at every country in the world, we now we line up for security checks, so the world should be concerned. The danger of dismissing the inherent threat of “redemptive anti-Semitism” lies in its danger for the whole world.
Co-existence 2.0, what was will no longer be
For the past few days, gangs of Israeli Arab rioters have roamed the streets of the City of Lod (a mixed city of both Jewish and Arab residents), physically attacking Jewish bystanders, damaging property belonging to Jews including the burning of a Synagogue and pelting vehicles with rocks. We are not talking solely of hooligans, but of Arabs who lived in the same buildings as Jewish families, helping each other and enjoying friendly and neighborly relations. Israelis could not help recalling the Hebron massacre of 1929, when Arab mobs murdered and tortured the Jews with whom they had lived peacefully for years.
This brazen violent behavior by Arab rioters spread to other Israeli Arab localities throughout Israel. All this while Israel is responding to a massive missile attack of over 1000 missiles on southern and central Israel by the Palestinian terror organization Hamas. Although Israel is in the midst of a major military response to the missile attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Arab rioters have been continuing their nightly rioting in seeming support for the missile attacks on Israel,
It is fairly certain that the aftermath of the violent and treasonous behavior of so many of Israel’s Arab minority will spell the end of Jewish Arab coexistence as we know it.
The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, who has made support for Jewish Arab coexistence a central part of his Presidency and enjoyed across the board support of Israel’s Arab minority, launched a scathing attack today on Israeli Arab leaders, following a night of violent unrest in many of Israel's mixed Jewish-Arab cities. "The silence of the Arab leadership about these disturbances is shameful, giving support to terrorism and rioting and encouraging the rupture of the society in which we live and in which we will continue to live once all this has passed," the president said in a statement.
President Rivlin made his comments in the wake of serious disturbances in several Israeli towns and cities, including Lod in the center and Acre, on its northern Mediterranean coast. President Rivlin denounced "bloodthirsty Arab mobs" after rioting by Arab-Israelis spread across Israel following lethal exchanges of rocket fire and airstrikes over the Gaza border. "The sight of the pogrom in Lod and the disturbances across the country by an incited and bloodthirsty Arab mob, injuring people, damaging property, and even attacking sacred Jewish spaces is unforgivable. Tearing down the Israeli flag by Arab rioters and replacing it with the Palestinian flag is a brutal assault on shared existence in the State of Israel."
The sudden outburst of street violence by Israeli Arab rioters surprised the general Jewish population but in actuality, the writing has been on the wall for some time, we just refused to acknowledge the basic facts of Islamic radicalization. In most Western countries, this blindness towards Islamic radicalization is widespread and is not just a problem for Israel. Israeli Arabs also feel resentment, frustration, and inferiority at their inability to retrieve what they unwarrantedly consider theirs, including Jerusalem. As Muslims, Israeli Arabs cannot remain indifferent to the enflamed anti-Israeli arguments advanced by radical Islam all around them here in Israel and from the Islamic countries surrounding Israel.
Despite the full integration of Israel’s Arab citizens into Israeli society enjoying the full benefits of a free and democratic society, working in every sphere, and despite the great economic prosperity that Israel has given to all of her citizens including Israeli Arabs; the Israeli Arabs cannot free themselves of the self-imposed belief that they are being deprived of the accepted norms of equality from Israel’s Jewish majority, coupled with the hostility and suspicion of their Palestinian Arab neighbors for being so well integrated into Israeli society. For many of the younger generation among Israeli Arabs, Islamization was the way out from this suffocating dilemma. This became the vehicle from which the younger generation could escape their historical failures to retrieve what they see as holy Muslim land.
Radicalization became the only true option that allowed this young Muslim generation to express their preferred Palestinian identity and see themselves as the vanguard of Palestinian rights in the future. Many of Israel’s Muslim religious leaders received their training and indoctrination abroad among Islamic fundamentalists at Islamic institutions of higher learning, and have for years been delivering radical sermons in mosques, schools and social gatherings. The resulting radicalization and violent rioting we have witnessed over the past week is the end result of this process among young Israeli Arabs.
The current atmosphere of insurrection coupled with nightly street violence should raise a red flag concerning the pervasive misconception that Israeli Arabs are loyal to Israel, because clearly they are not. They can no longer have it both ways. Every year, while Israel celebrates Independence Day, the Israeli Arabs commemorate the Nakbah (the Arab term for catastrophe), that’s their way of rejecting the State of Israel. The time has come to not ignore this refusal to recognize the establishment of the State of Israel.
Israeli Arabs, we must realize, will always automatically side with their Palestinian neighbors in any confrontation with Israel even when the Palestinian side declares war on Israel and sends thousands of rockets and missiles into Israel causing widespread damage and disruption of life, not to mention those killed and wounded. Israeli Arabs see themselves as Palestinian Arabs and not as Israelis despite full democratic rights that they willingly accept and enjoy. The potential manifestation of the rejection of being Israeli creates the potential for rebellion, insubordination, and outright violence, rage and hostility. The end result is anti-Israeli rhetoric and what we have seen in recent days.
In the past years coexistence has been a hot commodity and highly popular among liberal and progressive NGO’s and donors and has enabled Israeli Arabs to enjoy the benefits of lavishly funded coexistence programs. It seems that these programs have only contributed to the radicalization of Israel’s Arab population rather than balance civic responsibility with ethnic affiliation. Coexistence cannot be a one-way street that empowers Israeli Arabs to reject their Israeli identity and identify with the enemies of Israel even as Hamas, the Palestinian Arab terror organization, is firing thousands of missiles into southern and central Israel.
Those that refuse true coexistence, should simply be shown the door, what was will not be.
Palestinian Arabs will lose Jerusalem too
Palestinian factions have come out with a public call to escalate the latest Jerusalem ‘intifada’. Over the past week Jewish Jerusalemites have been attacked on the light rail, on the streets, and in the Old City for no other reason than their being Jews going about their daily business. Alongside the uptick in street violence in Jerusalem, Hamas, the sister terror organization, fired from the Gaza Strip no less than 40 missiles and rockets on Jewish communities located in the Gaza envelope surrounding the Gaza Strip. Hamas has urged terror groups to remain ready to fire additional rocket salvos into Israel: "We call on the masses everywhere to organize activities of support for this uprising," to “escalate the uprising in Jerusalem” and to form a “unified leadership for popular resistance” against Israel.
To their detriment, the Palestinian Arabs and their leaders seem to have a short memory and never learn from past experience. At the conclusion of Israel’s War of Independence, instigated by a coordinated and massive four front attack on Israel, the Palestinian Arabs lost the Negev and the Galilee regions. The 1967 Six Day War, also instigated by a coordinated Arab declaration of war, ended with the Palestinian Arabs losing all of Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights (Ramat HaGolan), and East Jerusalem. The 1st and 2nd Intifada instigated by Arafat and the Palestinian Authority after the Oslo Agreement concluded with Israel retaking a measure of control of most of the land it had given over to Palestinian Arab sovereignty.
During the past week, Jerusalem has been at the center of a renewed Palestinian Arab terror campaign against Jews; stone throwing, violent demonstrations, attacking Jews on the street and light rail, and putting all of these events on social media so as to convey visceral hatred of Israel. Learning nothing from their own historical experience, and repeating the same destructive expression of hatred and rejection of anything Jewish, the Palestinian Arabs will eventually lose all Arab rights in Jerusalem just as they lost control of lands they held in the past.
Despite the horrors of radical Islam, it is Israel exclusively that lives under a microscope with the events in Jerusalem scrutinized by the nations of the world. The Biden administration came out with a public call for “both sides” to show restraint. Russia invades and occupies Crimea, Nigeria enslaves, China oppresses, Pakistan rapes, Iraq slaughters, North Korea starves, Iran nuclearizes, Syria massacres, Afghanistan tortures, ISIS beheads, and yet Israel remains the sole state put under the magnifying glass by the morally bankrupt and hypocritical nations of the world.
What the nations of the not so “enlightened “ world fail to note is that the Palestinian Authority and its sister Hamas terror organization are actively supporting the street violence in Jerusalem, for the same reason thousands of missiles have rained down on Israeli cities over the years - even though it created more destruction for Palestinian Arabs in Gaza. Their goal is keep the Palestinian Arabs focused on “resistance” - a synonym for endless war that won’t be solved by Israeli territorial concessions or greater sensitivity for the Muslims' desire to deny Jewish rights in Jerusalem. What we do simply does not matter to them and it will never sink in that they are facing the Jewish nation and the Jewish people, We are here to stay.
For countless centuries, our ancestors have been praying to return home to Zion. For those of us born in the generation that did in fact return home to Israel, we can only cherish and uphold the immense blessing that we feel for being part of this amazing historical and almost biblical period.
In 1947, Israel accepted the "two-state solution" declared by the United Nations, focusing her efforts on moving ahead, never looking back. Since then, Israel has made a desert bloom. We have built roads, schools, hospitals, universities and great cities. Despite the many wars Israel has had to fight, the people of Israel have never stopped looking forward. Israel has shown time and time again its willingness to make painful sacrifices for the sake of a genuine and enduring peace with its Arab neighbors.
Israeli Arabs including Jerusalem’s Arab residents have infinitely more human rights in Israel than Jews ever had in any Arab nation, or that Arabs have in any Muslim nation in the Middle East today. Not surprisingly, these fundamental freedoms seem to be always overlooked by the very Palestinian and Israeli Arabs who enjoy and benefit from their democratic rights in Israel. The hearts and minds of the Palestinian Arabs continue to be overwhelmingly "occupied" with Jew-hatred. This is the true narrative about the so-called “occupation”.
Once again a new generation of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs who live in Jerusalem, are expressing their hatred of Jews to further that same futile aim and in the name of this ancient hatred. Though many of Israel’s enemies promote the notion that the violence is caused by Jewish actions, the latest street terror campaign, if it continues, will be very much like every other episode in the Palestinian Arab’s hundred-year war against Zionism. They lose and we march on forward.
Those who wish the Palestinian Arabs well should urge them to try to shake off this rejectionist mindset, and stop acting like the great whales that continue ramming the shore, again and again until they die; Jerusalem’s Palestinian Arabs will in the very soon future lose it all; and that includes losing Jerusalem.
Historical legend tells the story that Napoleon Bonaparte visited a synagogue in Russia on the eve of the Fast of Tisha B'Av. Noticing the lamentations and expressions of mourning of the Jews, who sat on the floor with minimum candlelight, Napoleon asked his advisors: "Why are the Jews weeping and mourning?" It was explained to Napoleon that they are mourning for the destruction of their Temple. Napoleon asked when this Temple was destroyed. Informed that it had occurred 1700 years earlier, Napoleon said that if these people are still mourning their Temple so deeply after 1700 years, they will be restored to their land and their Temple rebuilt.
What Napoleon understood at a glance about the Jewish nation, the Palestinian Arabs will never be willing or able to comprehend. For the past three quarters of a century since the Peel Commission which recommended the partition of the land between the Jews and the Arabs, the Arabs have consistently rejected any possibility of compromise or willingness to live alongside a Jewish state. The latest street terror campaign by the Palestinian Arabs will be just another passing episode, a blip on the road of Jewish emancipation and the continued building of the Jewish State.
Holocaust Remembrance Day back-to-back with Independence Day in Israel
The days following Pesach are always an emotionally charged period in Israel. From celebrating the redemption of the Jewish nation during Pesach, we move on to Yom Hashoah, Israel’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. We then move on to Yom Hazikaron when Israelis pay tribute to the country’s fallen soldiers during a solemn day of mourning. On this official Memorial Day, Israel also mourns the loss of civilians who were killed as a result of terrorism. For most of us in Israel, this time period encompasses the price that we pay for being Jews, then and now.
To date; 23,816 soldiers have died since the establishment of the State of Israel. On this day, we commemorate each and every one of them. We witness how a whole country ceases to work and remembers those who have given their life to defend the State of Israel.
Yet, as evening approaches, and the sun begins to set once again, the country undergoes a transformation. The streets are suddenly filled with people celebrating Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. The celebrations continue into the night and the following day.
Making the switch so suddenly has always seem to me as odd. Have we forgotten that but moments before, our hearts were heavy with grief for the family and friends that we lost, and continue to lose every year?
Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut are purposely back-to-back for a purpose. The celebrations of Independence Day (Yom Haatzmaut) are incomplete by themselves. We celebrate these two events with the acute awareness that without the incredible sacrifice of those we have lost, there would be no State of Israel. Yom Hazikaron gives our Yom Haatzmaut meaning and perspective. We are forced to confront and remember the terrible price we have had to pay for our existence as a Jewish state, and because of this price, we value that freedom all the more intensely.
Yom Haatzmaut also gives Yom Hashoah a greater meaning than ever before. We in Israel are defending and dying on the front lines on behalf of every Jew in the world. For the Jews of the diaspora, Israel has become a very real safe haven for every Jew and essentially come home, only because he is a Jew. This is the very opposite of the not-so-distant past when entrance to a safe haven was denied only because one was a Jew.
Unfortunately, historical events as earth-shattering and history-ending as they seem at the time, they can eventually fade from the forefront of public consciousness and become just a lingering memory.
When Holocaust survivors will no longer be around, and when there is no more opportunity to let children and educators hear firsthand testimony of the Holocaust, will the Holocaust be just another event studied in world history classes? With all of the effort that has gone into recording testimonies of the Holocaust be enough to preserve historical memory in terms of the magnitude and uniqueness of the Holocaust? At the recent ceremony, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke passionately about the failure of today’s democracies to learn the lessons of the Holocaust. In doing so, he directly compared appeasement of the Nazis with contemporary efforts to engage Iran and its nuclear threat via diplomacy.
However, it is likely that much of what passes for liberal and enlightened opinion in both Europe and the United States will dismiss these analogies between the Shoah and the modern day existential threat that Iran poses for the future security of the State of Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu is absolutely right when he points out that talk about the horrors of the Holocaust and vowing “never again” is meaningless when it is bound by policies that essentially empower those who not only deny the reality of the Shoah but also seek the means to perpetrate a new one.
Iran is not Germany, but on a day when the lessons of history should be uppermost in our minds, the burden of proof lies with those defending appeasement of a government that seeks to complete the work Hitler started, not with those lamenting this disgraceful attempt to make a devil’s bargain with a violent hate-filled theocratic regime. We are unable to escape the modern day interconnectedness between Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Haatzmaut.
In Israel, Jews are a sovereign power and enjoy the dignity of Jewish self-government: they are keepers of their own land, speakers of their own language, and shapers of their own national destiny. The old-world problems of the Jews—living in segregated conditions, burdened by humiliating legal restrictions, often impoverished and dispirited—are no longer Jewish problems in the modern State of Israel.
The message of the Passover Haggada, the event that began this period of Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut is that there are no shortcuts to freedom. To gain and keep it, you have to be willing to fight for it. You must be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
As Eric Cohen has written: “In this light, the sheer existence of modern Israel is an incredible fact and to some nothing short of a miracle. That from a few fragile settlements, and out of the ashes of the Holocaust, it has in only a few decades become the center of the Jewish people is one of the greatest political achievements in human history. This new Jewish civilization has created a permanent fighting force to defend itself. It survives through military strength, but hardly through that alone. Its real strength resides in the spirit of its people, one of the most optimistic, enterprising, and resilient citizenries on earth.”