Dr. Guy Bechor
It is hard to believe that I write these words precisely on International Holocaust Day which is commemorated the world over, but alas, after 70 years again there is a need to ask: Is there still room for a Jewish existence in Europe? 65 years after the annihilation of the Jews of Europe, can Jews exist in the year 2009 as a proud Jewish community in that same continent with its terrible memory?
In the light of the past weeks, but not only, the answer, is negative.
A Jew can no longer exist in the European continent as a proud Jew, walk the street with Jewish characteristic features, with Jewish institutions which are not surrounded by policemen and guards, under lock and key, scared as a collective. Yes, who disregards all Jewish characteristic features and assimilates into society will exist, until he encounters unpleasantness with his colleagues at work, in school, in life.
I happened to visit and address in the past month, still before the Gaza campaign, several Jewish communities on the European continent, among others in Turkey, France and Britain, and with my own eyes I saw the squalor of Jewish existence. Yes, if you hide the Magen David, the special features of attire, and consent that the synagogues look like locked fortresses, like ghettoes, if you have to read and perhaps even experience threats in the streets, to hear about growing numbers of anti-Semitic incidents, then yes, there is a Jewish existence. Scared, embarrassed, docile.
But feeling safe in their countries? Not really.
Anti-Semitism is not at all linked to Israel, it is already a European phenomenon, where millions of Muslims overrunning the continent turn the conflict with Israel and the Jews into an axe to grind, in order to improve their hold on Europe. Their occupation of Europe. The economic world crisis is exploited to incite against the Jews, those investment houses the world benefited by for half a century, are now, when the are losing money, “the Jewish money still rules the world” as asserted surprisingly by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in south Africa. This trend is accelerating in the world, and has no connection whatever with Israel. Israel is the tool by which achievements are attained. Israel is the Jew of once upon a time.
When in turkey there are already people marking Jewish shops, so that locals will not buy there, what future have the children of three quarter of a million Jews living in Western Europe? You work for a country that will always remember that you are foreigners, After World War II you enriched countries, that now remove a quiet Jewish demonstration, in the Swedish Capital, only for fear of Muslim violence there. What kind of a future do you have on this continent, which is Islamizing more and more?
And what difference is there between 1939 and 2009? That today, in contrast to that time, there is a Jewish State, a prosperous state, rich, with a standard of living not much lower than that of Europe. The per capita GNP in Britain is $39,000 (data from the British “Economist”, December 2008), and in Israel $29,000 for the same month.
Leave the continent recalling with accelerated heart beat its anti-Semitism, which was moved aside for half a century, we in Israel need you. An addition of hundreds of thousand prospering Jews will make Israel strong forever. Let the illusions end of some Israeli Arabs who dream of demographically defeating the country, and the economic strength of Israel will become absolute. Those of you who will now come here will turn Israel not into one of the twenty wealthiest countries in the world, that has already been achieved, but to one of the ten wealthiest countries in the world.
You have a motherland, why would you consent to be second or third rate citizens?
Why be scared to show you are Jews? Why be attacked in Metro stations at night? That is the big difference. Not only for Israel will you come, but for your identity, for the future of your children. Think of them, and understand.
Jewish settlement always grew in periods of persecution of Jews, for this is the objective of Zionism, and thereby we return to the most simple ideological base of the Jewish National Movement: To serve as a home for persecuted Jews in the world.
You understand, contrary to what you have grown accustomed to hear in the world media: for you, the Jews of Europe, Israel is not the problem, it is the solution.
It is not easy “to make Aliyah”, but it is easier that ever before: Israel is a western, capitalist country, an important part of globalization, and at present this is called relocation. This is not longer the heavy emigration of parents. This is much easier.
You have no future in the old continent, whereas we are awaiting you here, in the new continent, with a world of opportunities: Technological, entrepreneurship, modern and exciting, you will not find anywhere else in the sick continent. America is here.
Your rescue will be ours, your success will be ours. We are your new world, Israel is the future.
Could it be that Dvorak meant us when he wrote about the “New World"? Of course! :)
(Translation from Hebrew: Michal Elata)
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