Michael Medved writes an interesting article on the question of “why anti-Semitism.”
The establishment of the modern Jewish state wasn’t a cause of Jew hatred, but a response to Jew hatred—not only in Europe, but throughout the Islamic world where some 800,000 Middle Eastern and North African Jews were driven from their ancient communities and found new homes in Israel. None of Israel’s eight major wars has been about a Jewish lust for new territory. All of them have been about a beleaguered nation’s ceaseless attempts to make its citizens secure from murderous attack in the distinctly limited area of their ancestral homeland. Every Arab child in Lebanon, in Gaza, and in the West Bank could sleep sweet, undisturbed slumber as soon as tomorrow night if the adults once-and-for-all gave up their long-standing project of driving the Jews out of the Middle East.
Contrary to anti-Semitic presumptions, Israel has never demanded special privileges of any kind, but yearns (and bleeds) only for the same rights other nations enjoy: to live undisturbed beside its neighbors without unceasing attack by terrorists, militias and, occasionally, major armies. Montenegro, the newest member of the family of nations after a referendum this year, won independence and worldwide recognition despite the fact that more than 45% of the electorate opposed bringing the nation into existence, and only a bare majority claims Montenegran (as opposed to Serbian) nationality. More than 80% of the residents of Israel are Jewish, and they have fought tenaciously for their nationhood for nearly sixty years. The desire for peaceful borders and acceptance from fanatical neighbors hardly amounts to an Israeli demand of privileged status, but the refusal to grant that recognition reflects the classical attitude of the anti-Semite: that Jews indeed deserve different treatment from all other nations on earth but in a negative, hostile and, ultimately murderous sense.
Read the whole thing.