Jonathan Rosen: Foreign Policy in Shadow of Holocaust
Jonathan Rosen is a veteran Israeli writer and translator.
Holocaust Remembrance Day presents Israelis with an opportunity to rise above their mundane pursuits and trivial concerns to honor the memory of the victims and survivors of the Nazi death machine. No less importantly, this day is an occasion for Israeli citizens, both as individuals and as members of broader communities, to reflect on the enduring mesh of personal, national and universal lessons that are to be drawn from the Holocaust.
As they revisit the harrowing accounts of the persecution, brutality and acts of murder that were committed by the Nazis and their collaborators, many Israelis naturally take comfort in the fact that they live in a Jewish country and are protected by the strongest military force in the region. After all, that is the primary Zionist lesson of the Holocaust: Jews will only be truly safe in a country of their own, with a powerful army of its own.
One of the central assumptions behind the original Zionist ideal was that the only way to eliminate the scourge of anti-Semitism would be to end the Jewish Diaspora by creating a Jewish state. The prospective Jewish state was envisioned as an entity that would allow Jews to lead a more "natural" life as individuals and as a people, and would remove them from the presence of the Gentiles, thus reducing hatred for Jews.
Regrettably, one has only to look at the spread of virulent anti-Semitism across the Arab world in recent years, a development that is particularly startling given the near complete absence of any Jewish population there in most cases, to see that that underlying assessment held by the Zionist visionaries was sadly mistaken. Anti- Semitic sentiment has deep cultural and religious roots in Europe and the Middle East, and the presence of actual Jews or the lack thereof has done little to change that sorry state of affairs...
comments powered by Disqus
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?
- Junípero Serra’s Missions Destroyed Entire Native Cultures. And Now He’s Going to Be a Saint.
- Isis destruction of Palmyra's Temple of Bel revealed in satellite images
- Two scholars from UT object to the Texas school's decision to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis
- A history professor explains why Americans are so prone to conspiracy theories
- Now Greg Grandin has come out with a study of Henry Kissinger
- Japanese historian upends the familiar narrative of WW 2 by taking a bottom up approach, focusing on fascism from the grassroots
- Holocaust-denying historian David Irving organises 'disgusting' £2,000-a-head holiday tours of former concentration camps and Hitler's HQ so people can 'make up their own mind about the truth'