This shabbat, the Community Synagogue of Monsey had a retreat at the Hudson Valley Spa, honoring Rabbi and Mrs Moses D. Tendler.I was asked to speak and chose the above as my topic.
I first reviewed the events of 1937,(almost on a daily basis) with all the anti-semitic actions of individuals, goverments ,such as France,Poland Roumania as well as the voices of the churches in Europe .
The key to understanding the differences is:
The reactions of the American Jewish Community which in 1937 was tepid,disorganized and impotent.Today we are if anything overorganized.We are accused of controlling the debate,the media and the Congress.We have proven the ability to galvanize hundreds of thousands on short notice to gather together in Washington.
AIPAC,pro-Israel PACS, backed by millions of Christian Zionists help in creaing a large majority of Americans who support the US-Israel relationship.
None of this diminishes the problems and dangers we face:
A nuclear Iran in the hand of an irrational fundamentalist.
The Asymetry of the antagonists.The West with its armies ,navies and air forces, and Islamic fundamendalists, with no uniforms but improvising with box cutters,fertilizer and determination, to destroy us.even if they have to commit suicide.
In addition, the battle to islamicize Europe is ongoing.Perhaps the election of Sarkozy is a step in the right direction.Here too the dangers are great.
While anti-semitism has always been part of the world scene,the New Anti-Semitism (progressive Jewish thought) that seeks to negate the right of Israel to exist,or to allow any sense of nationalism by Jews is the latest illness.These thoughts are primarily by Jewish so called intellectuals.They are out beating the drums showing that zionism is "insanity ...and compared to Nazism"
These groups are raising funds to spread the message of how we are preventing a discussion of the "occupation ..and the Apartheid State."
Despite all these and other problems,I see no real connection with '37.Nuclear weapons and oil have changed the ground rules.However we are strong as is Israel.There have been no further successful attacks on our soil since 9/11.We have the ability to cut off most funds from those that support terrorism.We can apply greater economic and political pressure on Iran etc ,holding out the military option if necessary.
Yes there are anti-semitic act by individuals in Europe, and American left wing professors encourage hate, but despite it all we are strong and proud and vigilant.
The final point is that we must believe in the guiding hand of G-d.