Ze’ev Jabotinsky and the Belgium Terror Attack
Reflections on the necessity of a sharp and unpleasant confrontation.
(/sites/default/files/uploads/2014/05/kj.jpg)An Israeli married couple in their 50s from Tel Aviv, touring Belgium, were shot to death on Sunday in an anti-Semitic attack. And, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightfully noted, the attack is the result of “incessant incitement against Israel by different elements in the Middle East and Europe itself.” He affirmed: “There are elements in Europe that rush to condemn the construction of a flat in Jerusalem but who do not rush to condemn, or offer only a weak condemnation of the murder of Jews here or in Europe itself.”
Shamefully, Israel seeks only to live, and Muslim terrorists continue to kill innocent people.
And this terror attack is a repeat of past and recent history. In 2005, when Britain suffered a sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks, the Israeli government pointed to anti-Israeli media coverage as the culprit. The Diaspora Affairs cabinet member at the time, Natan Sharansky, stated, “years of hostile reporting and commentary about Israel…is now spilling into the streets.” A Sharansky adviser commented, “You can’t brainwash people for four years that Israel is an illegitimate country and that Israelis are like the Nazis and that Israelis are monsters and expect that nothing will happen to Jews.”
For every action there is a reaction.
When the world rampages against a Jewish State, what is the surprise that there are attacks against Jewish people? Today, however, unlike in years past, there is a Jewish state that protects Jewish rights all over the world. And a state which remembers Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who said:
We were not created in order to teach morals and manners to our enemies. Let them learn these things for themselves. We want to hit back at anybody who harms us. Whoever does not repay a blow by a blow is also incapable of repaying a good deed in kind. The Latin proverb says “of two evils choose the lesser.” When we are in a position where – through no fault of our own – physical force dominates, only one question can be asked: what is worse? To continue watching Jews being killed and the conviction grows that our lives are cheap, and among the whole world that we are spineless? … [T]he blackest of all characteristics is the tradition of the cheapness of Jewish blood, on the shedding of which there is no prohibition and for which you do not pay.
The Jew is everywhere in reach; he can be pointed out at any street corner; and he can be insulted or assaulted with only the minimum of risk, or with none at all. … [O]ne permanent assignment that is entrusted to each of us, old and young, men and women, educated and ignorant, as a group and as individuals; this assignment is the defense of our people’s honor …. It is always aimed at us, and we must respond. We must end this abuse of ourselves, at all costs. And it is very easy. They spit in our faces without fear, “in passing,” for no reason – not because our insulters are blessed with courage and want to pick a fight with us, but because this pleasure is so cheap for them: they will spit at us and go on their way, and nothing will happen. We must accustom them to the thought that from now on this pleasure will come at a hefty cost. A new commandment must enter our hearts: that even where there is only one Jew, the word “Zhid’“must not be heard without response.
Wise people will come and try to dissuade us - But it is not our purpose to win in every single incident. Our objective – to create about us the belief that a slur on our national feelings is no longer what it once was, a small diversion free of cost – but will rather, with an absolute certainty and a mathematical precision, result in a sharp and unpleasant confrontation.
Unfortunately, anti-Semitism continues – and a Jewish State is needed to continue to be strong.
As Ze’ev Jabotinsky noted: “It is not the anti-Semitism of men; it is, above all, the anti-Semitism of things, the inherent xenophobia of the body social or the body economic under which we suffer.”
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