Monday, January 9, 2012

My Friend, Victor Sharpe

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By Victor Sharpe

On the eve of the Second World War, Chaim Weizmann, who was to become Israel’s first president, wrote the following about the persecutions taking place in Nazi Germany:

It would require the eloquence of a Jeremiah to picture the horrors, the human anguish, of this new Destruction and of a new book of Lamentations to depict the present plight of Israel among the nations.

But even his heart breaking words were to fall indescribably short in face of the immensity of the German Nazi crime.
Several decades earlier, Max Nordau, one of the most noted European philosophers of the 19th century, and supporter of Theodore Herzl, once told the great conservative Zionist leader and Jewish patriot, Vladimir Jabotinsky, that:

the Jew learns not by way of reason but from catastrophes. He won’t buy an umbrella merely because he sees clouds in the sky. He waits until he is drenched and catches pneumonia. 

This prescient observation foreshadowed the many anti-Jewish pogroms that followed in the bloodiest of all centuries: the 20th century. It also led, inexorably, to the swallowing up of the Jews of Europe by the calamitous German Nazi juggernaut as it rolled over them in its genocidal embrace of enforced ghettoes, roving killing squads (the einsatzgruppen), the death camps, the gas chambers, and the starvation and horrors that forever will darken the face of Europe.

Before the Second World War broke out on September 3, 1939, Jabotinsky repeatedly warned the leaders of the Jewish communities what lay in store for them. He begged them to defend themselves and endeavor to send as many people as possible to safety amongst their fellow Jews in British Mandatory Palestine. This was before the British Government slammed shut the gates of Mandatory Palestine to the desperate Jews fleeing German Nazi genocide.

Both Max Nordau and Theodore Herzl had warned the Jews that their future lay not in Europe but in a re-born Jewish state, hopefully arising in the ancestral and Biblical homeland, then known as Palestine and suffering under a 400 year old Turkish Ottoman occupation, stagnation and shameful neglect.

In his epic book on the life of Jabotinsky, Shmuel Katz quoted in his monumental book, The Lone Wolf, from the great man’s article, “Rattling off the Doloys,” in which he condemned the leaders of the Jewish communities and the assimilationists, the liberals of their day, who refused to consider leaving Europe even as the ground was beginning to burn under their feet. In July 1939 he warned them that by not immediately making plans for a mass evacuation from Eastern Europe it would mean their destruction and those of the Jewish masses. He pleaded with them thus:

And I tell you, my dear colleagues, that this means going forward to destruction. D-E-S-T-R-U-C-T-I-O-N. Learn the word by heart; and God grant that I am mistaken. If such words as treachery are being flung around, I regard every one as a traitor who helps to obscure the urgency of the most urgent of all the problems besetting the Jews in Eastern Europe.

And he referred to latent anti-Semitism as the sleeping “beast” which soon will again awaken and show itsself among the Jews with redoubled appetite. He added:

May God protect His people from a thousandth part of the pleasures the beast is promising himself in his brief sleep.

His appeals fell on mostly deaf ears and he was accused of being an alarmist. Again the same self-imposed folly as marks liberal Jews today. After all, these leaders countered, how could a civilized nation like Germany do such terrible things? It was unthinkable. And the result was the unthinkable: The Holocaust and the almost total destruction of European Jewry.

In the early decades of the 20th century, Jabotinsky saw his dreams of a secure Jewish State in the lands both west and east of the Jordan River eroded by many of his fellow Jewish leaders in the Zionist movement. Again in their folly, they preferred to ignore, or shrug off, the steady betrayal of the Balfour Declaration by successive British politicians.

They preferred passivity and a reluctance to confront His Majesty’s Government even as it diluted its obligations to the League of Nations mandate for Palestine, which instructed Great Britain as the Mandatory power to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish National Home on both sides of the Jordan River. 

Jabotinsky died from a massive heart attack - but also from a broken heart - at a Betar youth camp near the town of Hunter in New York State in 1940. It is no wonder that his profound disappointment at the way Britain reneged on its promises to the Jewish people, and the way many of his own colleagues let him down over many years, led him to sum it all up in the Latin phrase:

homo homini lupus - man to his fellow man is a wolf.

He is buried next to Theodore Herzl on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion. But his life’s work on behalf of the ever persecuted Jewish masses was undone by far too many of his Jewish and Zionist contemporaries.

Jabotinsky, who almost single handedly created the Jewish Legion - which fought heroically and helped liberate the geographical territory of Palestine from the Turkish yoke and did far more than the idealized Lawrence of Arabia ever did - forever was forced to fight those of his colleagues who were faint of heart or obscurantist.

Elias Gilner, the author of War and Hope, The history of the Jewish Legion, described Jabotinsky’s Herculean efforts as follows:

He had reached the soul of his people; he had overcome the stolidity and short-sightedness of small men in high places; he had defeated the myopic Zionist “friends” and prevaricating assimilationist foes. He had triumphed.

But, as the above shows, his triumph was fleeting.

As a young man in 1903, Vladimir Jabotinsky had witnessed the Kishinev pogrom in Russia and immediately after helped organize one of the first Jewish self-defense groups. The following year, the crew of the Russian warship, Potemkin, mutinied in the Black Sea off Odessa. 

Jabotinsky warned that yet another pogrom would follow, but his words were scorned by the Russian Jewish leadership and, sure enough, a pogrom broke out. In the following year, 1905, an abortive revolt, precursor to the later 1917 Russian Revolution, took place.

Now fast-forward one hundred and seven years to 2012 and to what Jabotinsky would see if he was able to miraculously return to life. The State of Israel, despite often suffering from the same “shortsightedness of small men in high places” has nevertheless created wondrous achievements since its 1948 rebirth in its ancestral and Biblical homeland. 

But acts so antithetical to all that Jabotinsky stood for continue unabated. Successive Israeli Governments expel Jewish villagers and townsfolk from ancestral territory. They have done it in both Gaza and throughout Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank). In Gaza, their homes, farms, schools and even their cemeteries, where many victims of Arab terror had been buried, were given away to the ever hostile Muslim Arabs; the same ones who call themselves Palestinians but who are a fraudulent and invented people.  

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who now lies in a coma, created this plan, which he called “disengagement.” He felt that by arbitrarily retreating from areas of the Land of Israel he would reduce or even end international pressures for further withdrawals. But the United States Administration under George Bush and now under Barack Hussein Obama, as well as the international community, jumped upon this concept of retreat and predictably demanded further withdrawals without end. 

President Bush, despite claims by Prime Ministers Sharon and Olmert that the President recognized Israel’s communities across the green line, such as Ma’aleh Adumim and Ariel, instead expected Israel to make additional withdrawals and, under President Obama, the demand is for Israel to return to the 1949 armistice lines - described by former Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, as the Auschwitz borders. This threat still hangs over Israel; poised like some damoclean sword.

Sharon thus opened a monstrous can of worms and set in motion an unholy precedent. The discredited idea of, “land for peace,” whereby Israel always gives away land but never receives peace, was bad enough, but now “disengagementbecame a euphemism for all that Jabotinsky fought against in his lifetime. Add to it that other infernal euphemism – “Two State Solution” – and you have perhaps the makings of a second installment of Nazi Germany’s euphemism it used to describe its extermination of the Jews: The Final Solution.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader and Holocaust denier, embraced by Presidents Bush and Obama as a “man of peace,” has no intention of ending the appalling anti-Jewish incitement broadcast by his Palestinian Authority controlled media: In itself a broken Palestinian obligation under the Oslo Accords.

Abbas will continue to press for the UN’s acceptance of a state called Palestine with its capital in Jerusalem. If he succeeds, with the willing and squalid connivance of an ever anti-Israel United Nations, the city will be divided again and - for the first time in history - Arabs and the Islamic world may yet celebrate Jerusalem as the capital of an Arab state.

Abbas will still call for Israel to be flooded with millions of descendants of those 550,000 Arabs who were urged to leave by their corrupt leadership in the 1948 Arab-Israel war even as the Arab world was brutally expelling their much larger Jewish populations, estimated at 850,000, who had lived in those lands for millennia before Islam. The entire world knows that if Israel succumbs to an influx of hostile Arabs it will mark the end of the one and only sovereign Jewish state - what the fifty seven Muslim states and so many other nations in the world relish. 

Endless concessions to the late Yasser Arafat were greeted by him and by all Arabs as signs of Israeli weakness. Doing the same with Abbas is no different, but merely reveals the absence of logic by far too many Israeli politicians, liberals and leftists one and all, and follows the dreary and myopic tradition exemplified by the “short-sightedness of small men in high places.”

In a depressing way, Max Nordau was right about many of his fellow Jews. The present Israeli government, like the leaders of European Jewry before them who spurned and derided the impassioned and desperate pleas of Jabotinsky, the Jewish “Garibaldi,” is in danger of again ignoring the heavy rain clouds that augur a deluge and may, instead, wait until Israel is drenched and catches pneumonia.

But I fear that the world today, especially with Barack Hussein Obama as President and Commander in Chief of the United States, will repeat what happened to the isolated Jews during the Holocaust: It will look away.

The world, which is still so foolishly dependent on much of its oil supplies from hate-filled Middle Eastern mullahs, imams, kings and tyrants, may for economic reasons - and, sadly, for endemic anti-Jewish bigotry - again do nothing to effectively defeat these international malefactors. Instead they may actively embrace and assist, covertly or overtly, yet another holocaust; this time enveloping the six million Jewish souls living in the reconstituted and embattled State of Israel.

Let us hope that - empty White House assurances aside - the Jewish state will finally learn from history and act before it suffers not pneumonia but an Iranian nuclear winter.

Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of the trilogy, Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.


Jeff Morton said...

I read this article [chock full of historical fact] and wonder how is it possible that the world sleeps as a Nazi style monster arises. An Islamic Caliphate system is rising up under the banner, "Arab Spring!"
If I were to come it up and rearrange a well known Cliché it would be as follows:

Those who do not know the past are celebratory as they become the ones to cause it to repeat.
"Stupid is as stupid does"

Jeff Morton said...

Should have written: If I were to sum it up and rearrange a well known Cliché it would be as follows: