Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If the Jews had acted like Palestinians

What If Jews Had Followed the Palestinian Path?

Postwar Jewish refugees left everything they had in Europe-no 'right of
return' requested.


It is doubtful that there has ever been a more miserable human refuse than
Jewish survivors after World War II. Starving, emaciated, stateless-they
were not welcomed back by countries where they had lived for generations as
assimilated and educated citizens. Germany was no place to return to and in
Kielce, Poland, 40 Jews who survived the Holocaust were killed in a pogrom
one year after the war ended. The European Jew, circa 1945, quickly went
from victim to international refugee disaster.

Yet within a very brief time, this epic calamity disappeared, so much so
that few people today even remember the period. How did this happen in an
era when Palestinian refugees have continued to be stateless for

In 1945, there were hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors living in DP
Camps (displaced persons) across Europe. They were fed and clothed by Jewish
and international relief organizations. Had the world's Jewish population
played this situation as the Arabs and Palestinians have, everything would
look very different today.

To begin with, the Jews would all still be living in these DP camps, only
now the camps would have become squalid ghettos throughout Europe. The
refugees would continue to be fed and clothed by a committee similar to
UNRWA-the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in
the Near East (paid for mostly by the United States since 1948). Blessed
with one of the world's highest birth rates, they would now number in the
many millions. And 66 years later, new generations, fed on a mixture of hate
and lies against the Europeans, would now seethe with anger.

Sometime in the early 1960s, the Jewish leadership of these refugee camps,
having been trained in Moscow to wreak havoc on the West (as Yasser Arafat
was) would have started to employ terrorism to shake down governments.
Airplane hijackings in the 1970s would have been followed by passenger
killings. There would have been attacks on high-profile targets as well-say,
the German or Polish Olympic teams.

By the 1990s, the real mayhem would have begun. Raised on victimhood and
used as cannon fodder by corrupt leaders, a generation of younger Jews would
be blowing up buses, restaurants and themselves. The billions of dollars
extorted from various governments would not have gone to the inhabitants of
the camps. The money would be in the Swiss bank accounts of the refugees'
famous and flamboyant leaders and their lackies.

So now it's the present, generations past the end of World War II, and the
festering Jewish refugee problem throughout Europe has absolutely no end in
sight. The worst part of this story would be the wasted lives of millions of
human beings in the camps-inventions not invented, illnesses not cured,
high-tech startups not started up, symphonies and books not written-a real
cultural and spiritual desert.

None of this happened, of course. Instead, the Jewish refugees returned to
their ancestral homeland. They left everything they had in Europe and turned
their backs on the Continent-no "right of return" requested. They were
welcomed by the 650,000 Jewish residents of Israel.

An additional 700,000 Jewish refugees flooded into the new state from Arab
lands after they were summarily kicked out. Again losing everything after
generations in one place; again welcomed in their new home.

In Israel, they did it all the hard way. They built a new country from
scratch with roads, housing and schools. They created agricultural
collectives to feed their people. They created a successful economy without
domestic oil, and they built one of the world's most vibrant democracies in
a region sadly devoid of free thought.

Yes, the Israelis did all this with the financial assistance of Jews around
the world and others who helped get them on their feet so they could take
care of themselves. These outsiders did not ignore them, or demean them, or
use them as pawns in their own political schemes-as the Arab nations have
done with the Palestinians.

I imagine the argument will be made that while the Jews may have achieved
all this, they did not have their land stolen from them. This is, of course,
a canard, another convenient lie. They did lose property all over Europe and
the Mideast. And there was never an independent Palestine run by Palestinian
Arabs. Ever. Jews and Arabs lived in this area controlled first by the Turks
and then by the British. The U.N. offered the two-state solution that we
hear so much about in 1947. The problem then, and now, is that it was
accepted by only one party, Israel. No doubt, the situation of Arab
residents of the Middle East back then may have been difficult, but it is
incomprehensible that their lot was worse than that of the Jews at the end
of World War II.

We don't hear about any of this because giving human beings hope and purpose
doesn't make great copy. Squalor, victimhood and terror are always more
exciting. Perhaps in the end, the greatest crime of the Jews was that they
quietly created something from nothing. And in the process, they transformed

Golda Meir is credited with having said that if the Jews had not fought back
against the Arab armies and had been destroyed in 1948, they would have
received the most beautiful eulogies throughout the world. Instead, they
chose to stand their ground and defend themselves. And in winning, they
received the world's condemnation. Meir said she would take the condemnation
over the eulogies.

Mr. Kozak is the author of "LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis
LeMay" (Regnery, 2009).

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Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

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