We Have Sinned

Virtually everyone in Israel today understands that the hatred of Israel’s enemies has nothing to do with the location of her borders.  Unfortunately, those who formally advocated land-for-peace have not suddenly seen reason; they have merely replaced their former delusion with a new one.  The real problem, they now inform us, is not the size of the Jewish state but the danger posed by an extreme element within her.  The problem, they now insist, is Jewish extremism, Jewish intolerance, and Jewish fundamentalism.

So I must ask: How many Jews, how many people altogether, have Jewish fundamentalists killed these past five years? How many missiles have they rained on Israeli cities or on the enemy’s cities for that matter?  How many planes have Jewish fundamentalists hijacked and flown into buildings?  How many nightclubs, trains or schools have they bombed?  How many American soldiers have been killed, this year, fighting to contain Jewish fundamentalism?   Which countries have they destabilized and taken over?

The propensity of the Jewish People to attribute our suffering to our own sins is not new.  This after all, was the position of the prophets of Israel when they emphasized Israel’s shortcomings as the cause of her destruction and exile. That the Babylonians were a cruel and rapacious nation that destroyed and dispersed every other nation in the fertile-crescent did not factor in the prophetic analysis of events.

Our Rabbis blamed hatred between Jews, not Roman greed, cruelty, and conquest of the entire Mediterranean world, for the destruction of the Second Temple.  The imaginary specter of Jewish fundamentalism is merely the latest in an age-old Jewish habit of transferring the sins of our enemies unto ourselves.

None of this is to say that we, as a people, are without sin. No nation is without its lunatics. We do not however, condemn America as a country of extremists because one individual blew up a building in Oklahoma City.  Nor should we conclude that there is a real and present danger of Jewish fundamentalism because a deranged Jew opened fire on Arabs recently in Shafaram.

Then of course there is the holy grail of the specter-of-Jewish- fundamentalism-school:  The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.   Yes, it is true that Yigal Amir was a religious student.  His motives however, appear to have been more political than theological.  More important however, is the reaction of Jewish society as a whole. Amir was maligned by the Israeli press and public and tried and punished by Israeli courts.  This stands in sharp contrast to the adulation and freedom of operation accorded Islamic terrorists in Palestinian society. Israel prosecutes terrorists; it does not celebrate them.

Let us keep things in their proper perspective.  Is Jewish fundamentalism a significant threat to peace? I am not convinced.  Certainly Jewish fundamentalism is not the problem facing our people today.

It seems absurd to have to write this, but for the record: The problem never was the size of Israel or the location of her borders and the problem today is not Jewish fundamentalism.  The real problem is Palestinian extremism. The real problem is, and has always been, Arab racism and repeated attempts at genocide against the Jews of Israel.  The real problem facing not Israel alone but the entire world, is Muslim intolerance, Muslim expansionism, and Muslim fundamentalism.

Devin Sper

Original Published Version

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