WAR

I have been largely preoccupied in the last three weeks with the war in Israel. I have many friends there and my heart goes out to them. One of the blogs I read, Octogenarian, has two excellent posts about the war. I urge you to read them. A comment on this post includes an article written in 1968. Sadly, it is still relevant today.

ISRAEL’S PECULIAR POSITION
By Eric Hoffer, May 26, 1968

(In
1968 the LA times ran this article, written by Eric Hoffer, a former
longshoreman and non-Jewish American social philosopher. Born in 1902,
Hoffer died in 1983, after writing nine books and winning the
Presidential Medal of Freedom. Although written 38 years ago, the
following is as timely and applicable today as then )

The Jews
are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden
to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people
and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and
Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a
million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese –
and no one says a word about refugees.

But in the case of Israel
the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that
Israel must take back every single Arab.

Arnold Toynbee calls
the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by
the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate
peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace.
Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.

Other
nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should Israel be
defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June he would
have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to
save the Jews. No commitment to the Jews by any government, including
our own, is worth the paper it is written on.

There is a cry of
outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two
Negroes are executed in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no
one remonstrated with him. The Swedes, who are ready to break off
diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did
not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler
choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to
Norway.

The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it
will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at
this moment Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can
rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to
imagine what would have happened last summer had the Arabs and their
Russian backers won the war to realize how vital the survival of Israel
is to America and the West in general.

I have a premonition that
will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us.
Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us.

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