As I am sure most of you are aware, there was a plot to poison NY’s subways, which was called off for reasons not clear, or at least not disclosed. This intended message underscored the specific point of rage at U.S. support of The Jews within the larger conflict between the West and Fundamentalist Islam.
In a confined environment, such as an office building’s ventilation system or a subway car, hydrogen cyanide would cause many deaths. The most chilling illustration of what happens in a closed space comes from a 20th century monstrosity. The Nazis used a form of hydrogen cyanide called Zyklon B in the gas chambers of their concentration camps.
It seems the intended message may have been, “If you cast your support and fate with The Jews, you will die like Jews.”
While radical Islam would surely still be an international threat, and therefore a threat to the U.S., I can’t help but wonder if others wonder if we would be facing the same direct threat level if the U.S. had done what some conservatives at the time had advocated, and distanced herself from the State of Israel after the fall of communism. Certainly this appears to have made sense to George H.W. Bush at the time, who complained about the power of Jewish lobbies and questioned the wisdom and need of massive amount of U.S. aid given to Israel.
What is horribly real is that the “special relationship” with Israel may be a contributing factor and focus of some fanatical Muslim groups as the threat to the U.S. continues and escalates. For a “special relationship” (classic AIPAC language which has apparently been wisely removed from their site) between the U.S. and Israel also incurs a special relationship between the U.S. and Israel’s enemies. Israel advocacy groups, particularly the most strident of them, but really all of them, risk Jews generally being fingered for blame for terrorist inflicted damage to the U.S. in the ongoing conflict with radical Islamicists including the specific one between Zionism of all varieties and radical Islamicism.
Which is not to say that anything we do at this point will significantly change that, or change it enough, in the off chance that peace in the Middle East is not achieved.
It may only be a matter of more destruction before an already significant backlash expands on a much wider and more virulent scale in the U.S., and certainly increased terrorism will facilitate that, perhaps exponentially. Liberal Zionists will strive to demonstrate that they are sensitive to Palestinian rights and national aspirations. Anti-Zionists will attempt to prove there are Jews who agree that the situation needs to be rectified, and that the Zionist experiment was an unfortunate one. Neither group will be able to successfully stem the underlying feeling that the Jews are never the less the core of the problem, and flagrant signs that they aren’t welcome will be increasingly the norm in Leftist circles. Most focused on the issue aren’t going to care that our feelings are hurt, in part because we are not going to be welcome by a good portion of their activists, no matter how many essays we pen on the problem of antisemitism on the Left. In fact, we are probably only going to inflame the anger of some with our mere presence, never mind demands for them to moderate their language and narrow their choice of targets for invection.
And perhaps it is not fair to brush aside such resentments as mere antisemitism, although there will be no shortage of that. No shortage at all. But there will also be legitimate concern at having our country endangered because of the will and needs of Zionism and her supporters at the perceived cost to the nation. Such accusations, of course, will continue to be dismissed by the mainstream Jewish community, who will instead focus on the blatant antisemitism, conflate the legitimate questions and concerns into that, and denounce all of it together.
It is not a bad strategy. But it will not work forever. It is working less and less.
The survivors of the Holocaust are almost gone. Their personal past will no longer protect us, no matter what museum curators claim, no matter how much we feel it should. “Historical oppression” has never shielded us before. It won’t now either.
We should prepare ourselves for the possibility of very different times than we have ever personally known.
Time is not on our side.
And we are not in charge.