Somewhere on A1A...

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Sharansky on the new Anti-Semitism

Whereas the anti-Semitism of the past was directed towards individuals, at least part of the new anti-Semitism is directed towards Israel. Today’s anti-Semite is just as likely to deny the right of Israel to exist. In fact the new anti-Semite is likely to hide his old anti-Semitism under cover of anti-Israel rhetoric and/or holding Israel to different standards of conduct.

Mr. Sharansky's essay, particularly due to his position as Minister of Diaspora Affairs, is a must read. It should be no surprise that he argues for unity.

The double standard toward the Jewish individual is now directed to the Jewish collective and the denial attempts are mainly ridiculous. The Diaspora Jews who suffered violent physical and verbal assaults, who were discriminated for their affiliation to Israel, even if personally they had no such affiliation, were forced to recognize that the separation line between the Jewish people and the Jewish state was only in their minds. The entire Jewish nation was forced, once again, to remember that we are one nation with one destiny. No one can escape.

The historical alliance joining the Jews of Israel and the Diaspora has eroded greatly over the years. There are different issues on our respective agendas, internal processes have polarized our positions and sharpened our differences, tensions have sprung up and the alienation between us increased. In a somewhat absurd fashion, the war on anti-Semitism gives us a new opportunity to mend the rift. Our joint destiny is sometimes a heavy burden, but it also gives a lot of strength. Our power is in our unity, in mutual responsibility and in partnership. If we succeed in overcoming the alienation, if we manage to bring together the torn shreds of the Jewish nation and make them feel that we are brethren again - then we have a chance. We cannot miss this opportunity.


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