Once Again, Jews are Left to Save Themselves

Once Again, Jews are Left to Save Themselves

© David Burton 2024

An Israeli ME-109

     For more than three thousand years, Judaism and the Jewish people have survived in spite of insurmountable obstacles, repression, countless ruthless enemies, and various forms of hatred and animosity. But, should this possibly be rephrased to read: For more than three thousand years, Judaism and the Jewish people have survived BECAUSE OF insurmountable obstacles, repression, countless ruthless enemies, and various forms of hatred and animosity.

     While the goal of today’s anti-Semitism is to destroy Judaism, eliminate the State of Israel, and exterminate the Jewish people, anti-Semitism may well have just the opposite results – it may reinforce Judaism as a religion, contribute to the strengthening of the State of Israel and the return to Judaism of many non-practicing Jews. Unfortunately Jews are best at sticking together when there are anti-Semites chasing them.[1]

     As violent attacks against Israel continue from extremist Muslims in and around the Jewish nation and as anti-Semitic attacks mount against Jews around the world, nearly every Jewish person in the world has become aware of the dangers posed. It doesn’t matter who the person is, where they come from, or what is their level of observance. Being Jewish has been enough to unite Jews in a common growing concern. There is the emerging understanding that, as Jews, we are all in this together. As too many German Jews found out during the Holocaust, being a good German, but being Jewish, offered no safety.

     History is replete with the seeming rebirth of spiritual Judaism after some national catastrophe. “Three of the most tragic periods of the Jewish people were: after the destruction of the first Temple, after the destruction of the second Temple and in the Middle Ages following the Crusades. How fascinating that in each of these three periods there was a phenomenal growth in the development of the Oral Tradition {of Judaism}. After the destruction of the first Temple lived the Men of the Great Assembly who added many rabbinic injunctions and institutions. After the second Temple came the writing of the Mishnah and Talmud, and in the Middle Ages {came the scholars} who added detailed commentaries on the earlier texts. That same pattern has been repeated in the post-Holocaust era in which there has been explosive growth in Torah learning and publication of Judaica.” (Ref. 2)

     Today, as the second decade of the 21st century comes to an end, American Jews are faced with an increasing existential crisis: the rise of American anti-Semitism. As a consequence, American Jews and “quasi-Jews” are having to face up to the question of what it means to be a Jew “and who gets counted as a member of the tribe because people who never thought about their Judaism before are now constantly reminded of it by anti-Semites.
     “It is a sad contrast, the difference between the Jewish mood of 20 years ago and today. There is a renewed sense of solidarity and purpose among Jews of all denominations in light of the threat of anti-Semitism coming from outside.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 3)

     Because of the revival of anti-Semitism here in the United States and elsewhere, many American “cultural Jews” – those who had been counted as lost to Judaism - are renewing their connection to Judaism. Jews are now standing up to be counted.[3] Here in America as, elsewhere, anti-Semitism is causing a “return to Judaism” as more and more Jews come to the realization that only by uniting can they defeat this virulent and irrational hatred of anything Jewish!

Lessons from the Bible

     The Old Testament presents us with several examples of adversity turning into triumph for the Jewish people. In the earliest example of national anti-Semitism, Egypt, under its leader, Pharaoh, enslaved the descendants of the Hebrew Patriarch, Jacob and “set over taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens . . . And they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; in all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigour.” (Exodus I, 13) Pharaoh even went so far as to order the murder of all Jewish male babies in an attempt at genocide.

     But, from the slavery and anti-Semitism of ancient Egypt, under the leadership of Moses, emerged a unified and powerful nation that conquered and settled the Promised Land, that stretched from the shores of the Mediterranean to Rivers of Babylon. The Exodus from Egypt has been celebrated ever since in the Jewish holiday of Passover.

     In remembrance of another instance of oppression, followed by the redemption and reinvigoration of Judaism, Jews celebrate the holiday of Chanukah (dedication). This holiday commemorates the victory of the priestly Hasmonean family under the leadership of Judah the Maccabee over Greek conquerors who had defiled the Holy Temple and were attempting to replace the Jewish religion with Greek paganism. With this victory, religious Judaism was revived in the Land of Israel. “The heroism of the Maccabees in liberating their country from foreign domination became a source of inspiration . . .” (Ref. 4)

     One other event recounted in the Bible that describes a potential tragedy being turned into a defeat of anti-Semitism occurs in the Scroll of Esther, where the story of the Jewish holiday of Purim (lots) is presented. Described by some as the father of ant-Semitism, Haman endeavored to murder all the Jews in ancient Persia but was defeated through the efforts of Jewish Queen Esther and her cousin, Mordechai. “The festival of Purim offers Jews a powerful lesson, teaching them not to despair even when dangers are most threatening and persecution most cruel. Its festivities cheered the Jews in his darkest moments and assured him that deliverance was at hand.” (Ref. 4)

After the Destruction of the First Temple, the Jews Returned Stronger Than Ever to the Promised Land

     Tragedy descended upon the Israelites in 586 BCE with the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple, along with the exile of the Twelve Tribes to Babylon, but the Jews survived, returned to the Land of Israel, rebuilt the Holy Temple and regained their position as a powerful nation in the region.[5]

     Following the exile to Babylon, it “was certainly not a given that they would not disappear from the world, that there would be a return to Zion and that the Jews would flourish as a people and create a religion that has survived for thousands of years.
     “In ancient days, it was common for a conquered people to cease to exist. If carried to a foreign land, they would usually simply assimilate into that culture. The defeat of a nation and the destruction of its cultic center was often considered to be the defeat of the god of that nation by the superior gods of the conqueror.
     “That, of course, could not be the case with Israel – for the simple reason that Israelites were convinced their God was the only God, and could not be defeated.
      - - -
     “It was this belief that kept them from assimilating into Babylonian culture and religion. On a positive note, all the prophets had predicted that the God of Israel would never abandon the people, but would bring them back. They therefore never lost hope.
      - - -
     “By the time groups of exiles returned to Jerusalem, first in 538 BCE and then more substantially with Ezra in 458 BCE, some 130 years after the destruction, they brought with them important changes in Judaism that had developed and changed the religion of Israel in substantial ways – all the while retaining the core of basic beliefs that had existed previously . . .” (Ref. 5)

     The Jewish ancestors were fortunate to have been able to take the steps needed to survive in new conditions and to triumph over adversity. Will today’s anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, anti-Israel movements once again produce the same result as have all the hardships inflicted upon the Jews throughout the centuries - a stronger and more vibrant Judaism?

Anti-Semitism and Pogroms Resulted in Return of Jews to Palestine

     In the late 19th century, the rise of religious and racist anti-Semitism led to a resurgence of pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, shattering promises of equality and tolerance. This virulent anti-Semitism and the associated pogroms led to the exodus of Jews from Eastern Europe and the growth in immigration to Palestine, the first “Aliyah’s”, which resulted in the beginnings of the modern State of Israel.[6] Here, the result of anti-Semitism and the attendant pogroms, was the return to the land of the forefathers and the establishment of the foundations of the State of Israel.

French Anti-Semitism and the Dreyfus Affair Led to the Zionist Movement

     Another major contributor to the establishment of the modern State of Israel was the strong anti-Semitism raging in France at the end of the 19th century as epitomized by the Dreyfus affair.

     Theodore Herzl experienced anti-Semitism while studying at the University of Vienna in the 1880s.
     In 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was falsely accused and convicted of treason. Mobs shouted “Death to the Jews” in France, the home of the French Revolution and the emancipation of the Jews. Herzl became convinced that the Jews needed a country of their own.
     Herzl concluded that anti-Semitism was a stable and immutable factor, which assimilation would not solve, and which was futile to combat. Despite ridicule from Jewish leaders, he published The Jewish State in 1896. Herzl claimed that the Jews could gain acceptance in the world only if they stopped being an anomaly among nations. He asserted that the scattered Jews are one people. Their plight could be transformed into a positive force by the establishment of a Jewish state guaranteed in international law by the consent of the great powers.
     Herzl proposed to collect funds from Jews around the world by a company which would work toward settling Jews in Palestine and establishing a state. Eventually this idea was transformed into the Zionist Organization, the Jewish National Fund and other organizations. Herzl's novel, Old New Land, published in 1902, pictured a Jewish social utopia in Palestine. It would be a pluralist, technologically advanced, secular society with equality for Arabs. It became a symbol of the Zionist vision in the Land of Israel. Israel today conforms to that vision!
     Herzl's ideas found mass support from the poor Jews of Eastern Europe and Russia. At Basle, the Zionist movement resolved to " establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law.”
     Herzl did something many considered to be impossible: he created a movement that unified not only the splintered Zionist groups, but much of the Jewish people, overcoming the opposition of assimilationists and reactionary religious leaders, as well as the indifference and aloofness of magnates. He got the secular, socialist, capitalist and religious Zionists to sit together in one hall and to bind themselves together into a single organization for a common purpose. Herzl's work made possible what others had only dreamed about. He was the midwife of a movement that was to fulfill the age-old impossible dream of the Jews, to be a free people once again in their own country. All this came about as a result of the anti-Semitism that became evident in the travesty of the Captain Alfred Dreyfus trial.[7]

Extreme Nazi Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust Sped Up the Establishment of the Modern State of Israel

     The murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust was an enormous disaster for the Jewish people. But, as so frequently in the past, this catastrophe led to a resurgence in the life of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There can be little doubt that global sympathy over the Holocaust helped to speed up the establishment of the Modern State of Israel in 1948.

     “Most Jews in the diaspora, who had previously been opposed to Zionism or largely indifferent toward it, were convinced of the need for Jewish statehood upon learning about the near-annihilation of European Jewry and the desperate plight of those who managed to survive. In the wake of the Holocaust, Zionism became the dominant ideology across the Jewish world. The Holocaust seemed to vindicate the Zionist argument that Jews needed a state of their own to protect, rescue, and shelter them from their enemies. This led many Diaspora Jews, especially those in the United States, to become vocal and energetic advocates for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. American Jews also provided much-needed money and arms to Jews in Palestine to help them develop and defend such a state.
     “The mass mobilization of American Jewry in support of Jewish statehood after World War II undoubtedly played a role in persuading the U.S. government to support the partition of Palestine in the pivotal UN vote in November 1947, and then to immediately recognize the State of Israel after it was declared.” (Ref. 8)

Modern Soviet Union Anti-Semitism Resulted in a Flood of High Technology Elite to Israel

     In the twenty-first century, Israel has become a center of innovation, second in absolute achievement only to the United States, and on a per-capita basis dwarfing the contributions of all other nations, America included. To a large extent, this emergence as a technological powerhouse has been the result of immigration by highly skilled Jews and “make believe Jews” from the former Soviet Union.

     Escaping the centuries-old hostility of Russia toward its Jewish guests, the exodus flood-gates were opened at the end of the 20th century when the collapse of the Soviet started. In the late 1980s and the 1990s, the USSR “finally agreed to a frontal lobotomy of its economy. Under Gorbachev, it released the bulk of the Soviet Jews, who had continued, despite constant oppression, to supply many of the technical skills that kept the USSR afloat as a superpower.
     “The influx of Soviet Jews into Israel represented a 25 percent population increase in ten years, a tsunami of new arrivals that would be equivalent to the entire population of France being accepted into the United States. Largely barred in the USSR from owning land or businesses, many of these Jews had honed their minds into keen instruments of algorithmic science, engineering, and mathematics. Most had wanted to come to America but were diverted to Israel by an agreement between Israel and the United States. Few knew Hebrew or saw a need for it. At best, they were ambivalent Zionists. But many were ferociously smart, fervently anti-Communist, and disdainful of their new country’s bizarre commitment to a socialist ethos that punished achievement.
       - - -
     “. . . Today, immigrants from the former Soviet Union constitute fully half of Israel’s high-tech workers.” (Ref. 9) Today, these former Russians have helped turn Israel into the “Start-Up Nation” that has become the technological wonder of the world. The persistent pogroms and anti-Semitism of Mother Russia contributed significantly to this mass flight of talent to Israel.

Will 21st Century Anti-Semitism Revitalize Judaism?

     In one sign that the growing problem of anti-Semitism is causing Jews around the world to come together, the Jewish Agency for Israel in Jerusalem announced that it “will fight against anti-Semitism and bring together Jews in the Diaspora, plus build bridges between Israel and the Diaspora as part of its new operating model.
      - - -
     “According to the strategic plan, The Jewish Agency will work to ensure the safety of Jewish communities around the world and fight against rising anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. The organization also will focus on encouraging Aliyah {emigrating to Israel}, assisting those making aliyah by choice and conducting clandestine emergency aliyah operations.
     “The Jewish Agency also will commit to working to heal rifts between all Jewish people by reinforcing the affinity of world Jews towards each other and the State of Israel, and bridging the gaps between world Jewry and Israel. It also will represent the different voices of global Jews to Israeli policymakers and within Israeli society, while ensuring the involvement of world Jewry in shaping the face of Israeli society.” (Ref. 10)

     The Jewish Agency for Israel is the largest Jewish nonprofit organization in the world. It was established in 1929 as the operative branch of the World Zionist Organization. Its mission is to "ensure that every Jewish person feels an unbreakable bond to one another and to Israel no matter where they live in the world, so that they can continue to play their critical role in our ongoing Jewish story." (Ref. 11)

     The Agency is best known as the primary organization fostering the immigration ("Aliyah") and absorption of Jews and their families from the Jewish diaspora into Israel. Since 1948 the Jewish Agency for Israel has brought 3 million immigrants to Israel, and offers them transitional housing in "absorption centers" throughout the country.
     The Jewish Agency played a central role in the founding and the development of the State of Israel. David Ben-Gurion served as the Chairman of its Executive Committee from 1935, and in this capacity on May 14, 1948 he proclaimed independence for the State of Israel. In the years before and after the founding of the state, the Jewish Agency oversaw the establishment of about 1,000 towns and villages in Mandate Palestine. It serves as the main link between Israel and Jewish communities around the world.
     By law, the Jewish Agency is a semi-governmental organization, but it does not receive core funding from the Israeli government. The Jewish Agency is funded by the Jewish Federations of North America, major Jewish communities and federations, and foundations and donors from Israel and around the world.[11]

     To many Jews, faith in God sustains them in the face of seemingly eternal anti-Semitism. According to the well-known statement from the ancient text of the Passover Haggadah, the rabbis emphasize that, in every generation, the Jewish people have faced anti-Semitism: “for not just one has risen up against us to destroy us, but in every single generation they rise up against us to destroy us, and the Holy One, Blessed be He, delivers us from their hand.(Ref. 12)

     As a sign that the outrageous spurt of anti-Semitism in America and around the world is reuniting Jews and bringing together Jews and non-Jews, we read the following.

     “They came from Boston, Philadelphia and even from Cleveland.
     “On Jan. 5, [2024] they converged on Cadman Plaza Park in downtown Brooklyn to publicly proclaim that even in the face of an unprecedented number of violent attacks in the past two weeks, Jews are here, united and not going anywhere.
     “The crowd of 25,000 was overwhelmingly comprised of people who appeared to be liberal Jews, although there were Chabadniks {orthodox Jews} waving ‘ Moshiach’ {Messiah} flags too.
     “The march, titled ‘No Hate, No Fear,’ began in lower Manhattan and the group walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to to the park. Cobbled together over just a few days by UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (NYJCRC), additional sponsors included the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee and the New York Board of Rabbis, along with dozens of smaller Jewish organizations and synagogues.
      - - -
     “Referring to the daily attacks against Charedi Jews in Brooklyn, in Monsey N.Y. and in Jersey City, N.J., {one speaker} said, ‘Make no mistake, I may not being wearing a black coat or black hat but these are my Jewish brothers and sisters. These are members of my family…..whether you’re Satmar or Chasidic, Conservative, Reform, Jews of color or Jews by choice, we are all a Jewish people.’
     “Leaders of many faiths and ethnic communities came to show support, as did elected officials. . .” (Ref. 13)

     For many years, “Jewish lay and religious leaders voiced a fear that an end to anti-Semitism would further erode the tenuous connection young people had to Judaism. Ironically, the rise in Jewish activism in response to {today’s growing} anti-Semitism could be an opportunity to find a place for them.
     “. . . while our institutions are hashing out the same arguments, American Jews are faced with an altogether different existential crisis: the rise of American anti-Semitism. Now is the perfect time to truly reckon with what it means to be a Jew and who gets counted as a member of the tribe because people who never thought about their Judaism before are now constantly reminded of it by anti-Semites.
    ”It is a sad contrast, the difference between the Jewish mood of 20 years ago and today. There is a renewed sense of solidarity and purpose among Jews of all denominations in light of the threat of anti-Semitism coming from outside.
     “Yet even though they were wrong about an end to anti-Semitism, the {Jewish leaders} of two decades ago were right in turning the discussion to how to embrace more Jews who acknowledge only a tenuous connection to Judaism. . .” (Ref. 3) Today’s anti-Semitism is providing the impetus for reconnecting many lapsed Jews with their religion and their brethren.

     President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party are just the latest in a long line of closet Anti-Semites to desert the Jewish people and the Jewish nation in a time of existential danger. In 2024, Biden and the Democrats found themselves in a tough spot. Their far-left base was enraged over their ostensible support of Israel. Instead of acting with integrity despite the electoral cost and standing by a loyal ally in its time of need, the Biden regime made a series of moves to betray Israel and give aid and comfort to its enemies. In March of 2024, Biden and his Democratic administration was mulling over a step that would constitute the biggest betrayal of all and would hand victory to the Hamas jihad terror group. For the unprincipled Biden regime apparatchiks, it was all about winning in November.
     The New York Sun reported in late March 2024 that Old Joe and his henchmen were “reportedly considering leaving Israel short of the armaments it needs to fight Hamas.” The threat was made if Israel would not comply in writing to National Security Memorandum 20.
     The memorandum was not exactly a venerable cornerstone of American foreign policy. It was only a few weeks old, dating from 8 February. It sought, among other things, to “prevent arms transfers that risk facilitating or otherwise contributing to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law.”
     Given the fact that Biden issued the memorandum during a time when Israel was being falsely accused of massive human rights violations and when the Biden regime was under heavy pressure to betray Israel or face a massive loss of votes from Muslims and their allies in November, this memorandum had the look of a trap that was being laid and was about to be sprung.
     Israel was faced with a new rule the Biden regime just made up, that arms sales could only go to nations that respected “international humanitarian law.” Israel does respect this law; independent observers have dubbed the IDF “the most moral army in the world.” Irrespective of the facts, the international outrage, however, was growing against the Jewish state. Anti-Semitism had become endemic throughout the world. The victim had become the wrongdoer.
     The terror group Hamas eagerly fueled that outrage, fabricating casualty numbers before a world that was all too eager to be fooled, and even preposterously claimed that Israel was conducting a “genocide.”
     Meanwhile, Old Joe’s new rule was being applied selectively. The Sun notes that “In reality, arms are sold to foes and allies alike in all five continents, with little notice of rights violations. Mr. Biden urged Congress last month to approve the sale of F-16s to Turkey, even as it massacres Kurds in Iraq and Syria.”
     This was just the latest in a growing series of indications that the Biden regime was abandoning Israel and pulling for a Hamas victory.
     After threats from Nihad Awad of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Anti-Semitic Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Gaza City) to withhold the Muslim vote if the Biden regime didn’t betray Israel, the regime began doing just that, step by step, in slow motion, sending $100 million to Gaza and $10 billion to Hamas’ financiers, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and putting ever-increasing pressure on the Netanyahu government to surrender to the terrorists that had been attacking that nation for more than seven decades.
     Aside from the monstrous immorality of supporting the forces that really do want to commit the genocide that Israel is falsely accused of committing, this is short-sighted in the extreme.
     What do Biden regime apparatchiks think will happen if Hamas defeats Israel and survives this war? Do they think that the Islamic jihadis will be so overflowing with gratitude to the U.S. that they won’t ever strike Americans or U.S. interests? They’re in for a rude surprise! [14]

     As we have seen, throughout history, catastrophes, reversals, and calamities have been overcome by the Jews. Indeed, these horrific events have actually resulted in the strengthening of the Jewish people and the Jewish religion. Today, the Jewish people are faced with a world full of anti-Semites and with those who wish for nothing more than the elimination of the State of Israel. But, as so many times before, the question to be addressed is “Will Today’s Growing Anti-Semitism Save Judaism?” Will this Anti-Semitism cause Judaism to be reconstituted and will the Jews of all persuasions unite to defeat the common enemy? As has been repeatedly shown, history is not on the sides of the enemies of the Jewish people!

  1. Belief After the Holocaust, Nissan Dovid Dubov, Cabad.org, Accessed 1 January 2020.
  2. Anti-Semitism is strengthening the Jewish identity of young people. Why haven’t our organizations embraced them?, Howard Lovy, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 2 July 2019.
  3. A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice, Rabbi Isaac Klein, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1979, 1992.
  4. Tradition Today: From tragedy to triumph, Reuven Hammer, The Jerusalem Post, 24 July, 2014.
  5. Zionism: “The Return to Zion”, Jewish Virtual Library, Accessed 31 December 2019.
  6. Zionism and Israel – Biographies - Theodor Herzl, zionism-israel.com, Accessed 8 January 2020.
  7. Was Israel created because of the Holocaust?, medium.com, 18 May 18 2019.
  8. How market capitalism saved the Jewish state, George Gilder, city-journal.org, Summer 2009.
  9. Jewish Agency To Fight Anti-Semitism, Bring Jews Together Under New Operating Model, Vos Iz Neias?,
    27 October 2019.
  10. "2018 Jewish Agency Performance Report"., The Jewish Agency for Israel, Accessed 23 October 2019.
  11. The Spiritual Significance of Anti-Semitism, Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler, Breaking Israel News, 9 November 2018.
  12. ‘Not Going Anywhere’ Jews March in Brooklyn to Express Solidarity Against Anti-Semitism, Debra Nussbaum Cohen, Jewish Journal, 5 January 2020.
  13. The Biden regime’s latest move to stab Israel in the back, Robert Spencer, World Israel News, 22 March 2024.


  2 May 2024 {ARTICLE 621; ISRAEL_89}    
Go back to the top of the page