Imagine what hypocrites would do without Israel to condemn

By Rabbi Ben Kamin

Rabbi Ben Kamin

SAN DIEGO–Sometimes one wonders what the media, the pundits, the leftists, the Presbyterians, and most of Europe would all do if they did have not the Jews to examine and excoriate.  Certainly it’s a collective straight line away from their own inexhaustible layers of racial hypocrisies, inquisitions, crusades, slave-trading, and discarding-all-principles-for-oil that comes with their parlor anti-Semitism.

Since BP (then the Anglo-Persian Oil Company) first raped that land, now called Iran, for oil in 1908, there has been a love-hate liaison with the Arabs that has manipulated the American consumer, cost the lives of the thousands of American soldiers in several business war adventures [Kuwait-Iraq-Saudi Arabia], while conveniently stonewalling our finest ally in the region, Israel, as the scapegoat for any and troubles.

For us, world history has been an oil leak, from betrayal to BP. 

The current, essentially unchecked gushing of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig, and the attendant destruction now wrought upon the waters, coast, wildlife, environment—not to mention the hard-working people, economy, and the future of a significant portion of the United States—remains a toxic allegory of this entire duplicity.

Millions of words of analysis and somber reflection, if not steaming chastisement, fill the pages and testimonies of the world’s press and legislative records about Israel’s bungled incident with the cynically presented “peace” flotilla.  Not a lot of parallel consideration has been given to Egypt’s quiet cooperation with Israel’s arms blockade of the Hamas-locked Gaza, or to the fact that Turkey’s sudden and overwrought concern for the Palestinians does not seem to extend to their refugee camps in Lebanon, or to the fact that Jordan massacred manifold times more Palestinians in 1970 deliberately than Israel ever has in defense of its borders, or that the United Kingdom (whose academic centers practically offer anti-Semitism as a curriculum item) invented white colonialism.

Moreover, while it is invigorating that South Africa is hosting the World Cup, it is also beyond any realm of pretense for that nation to join in the knee-jerk labeling of Israel as an “apartheid” state.  Such a libelous claim was again obviated when one of fourteen Arab members of the Israeli Parliament, Azmi Bishara, who was on board the raided flotilla but then addressed her fellow legislators in Jerusalem two days later (I’m not saying she wasn’t heckled).  Try that same scenario in Teheran, Cairo, Damascus, or even Istanbul.

The Israeli people, feisty, democratic, weary, filled with self-awareness, though unwilling to ever give up their remarkable country, are undergoing a thorough and painful period of introspection in the wake of recent events and the larger question of this 43-year occupation of territory that followed the 1967 war forced upon them.  Jews all over the world join with them in contemplation and reflection, hope and prayer.

We are not doing it because the chorus of anti-Semitism is getting louder and uglier.  We are not going to suddenly capitulate on anything, however.  For us, world history has been an oil leak, from betrayal to BP.  So you see, it’s just that we are not going to be marched to the gas chambers ever again.

Rabbi Kamin is based in San Diego.  This article also appeared on

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