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Why do they hate the Jews?
By Charles A. Morse
Fox TV news correspondent Rita Cosby asked Yasser Arafat in a televised interview (12/28) whether there would be more suicide bombers sent into Israel. Rather than answering question directly, Arafat launched into a predictable litany of atrocity propaganda alleging that Israel is oppressive and threatening that "our people are still patient. But patience has limits." In other words, yes, there will be more suicide bombers attempting to blow up Israeli children and Holocaust survivors.
The Palestinian Authority news agency, in response to Israel's refusal to let Arafat into Bethlehem until his government stops sanctioning the assassins of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi quotes a resident of Bethlehem as saying "Jesus had suffered on the hands of the Jews and we and our president are now facing the same." Arafat, the terrorist who is able to turn on and off the mass murder spigot is comparing himself to Jesus of Nazareth whose ministry never condoned or employed terrorism. This is nothing more than the old and inflammatory slander that the Jews were responsible for the killing of Christ.
So, why do they hate the Jews to such a diabolical degree that they would, like their Nazi predecessors who conducted the Holocaust, conduct such hateful acts as the blowing up of innocent people because they happen to be Jews? Why would anyone, for example, machinegun a kindergarten in Maalot, Israel as if it were a military target and murder 25 toddlers? The broader question we are presented with is why have the Jews attracted such hatred going back to the days when the Pharaoh of Egypt, in the book of Exodus, ordered the murder of every Israelite first born.
Historically, Jews have been scapegoated during economic depressions, wars, or social unrest. A common scenario was when a ruling elite of a given nation, confronting a crisis, would spread conspiracy theories regarding the "alien" Jew to shift attention away from their own culpability. Individual Jews would curry favor with the same ruling elite in exchange for privileges and a degree of protection, a position that would backfire. This trend, along with a drive to conform and achieve acceptance in a sometimes dangerous world, could explain why so many Jews have associated themselves with an elitist left which seeks absolute power as an article of political faith.
In the Islamic world today Jews are blamed for every political, economic, and even personal problem. In the Fox interview, Arafat speaks of "those who are facing the starvation, facing the unemployment, facing this siege, facing the tragedy of their families - the poverty of their families. Some of them, they didn't find food to eat." Before Arafat and his government launched the intifada in Sept. 2000, investment capital was pouring in to the West Bank and Gaza from all over the world and Israel was working closely with the Palestinian Authority toward establishing a prosperous and peaceful Palestinian Arab State. In most of the rest of the Islamic world, populations are being conditioned with hateful propaganda against Jews by ruling elites who seek to divert attention away from their own totalitarian dictatorships and their own responsibility for the pervasive misery and poverty wracking their countries.
So why then do they hate the Jews? Perhaps the answer to this question is more spiritual than temporal. When one takes a moral stand, or is perceived to be taking a moral stand, one risks bringing calumny upon their heads by those who don't want to be reminded of moral responsibility. If you don't believe me, try expressing a strong moral conviction next time you attend a public or family gathering and see what the reaction is. Jews are perceived as having a moral mission because of the Torah which clearly articulates moral maxims and which is the cornerstone of the Jewish faith. Jews are not necessarily more moral than anyone else but this is irrelevant. The issue is that Jews believe, or are assumed to believe, that they were chosen by G-d to receive the Torah at Sinai, and because much of the rest of the world either believes this as well or resents the fact that Jews believe it, Jews are held to a higher moral standard than other nations. Believing, or being perceived to believe in a divine moral code, is both a blessing and a burden.
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