EJC President Ariel Muzicant op-ed in Jerusalem Post: “Removing agency from Jews in their own self defense is always antisemitism”

“From Barcelona to Regensburg, it’s never been too difficult to find the location of the historic and medieval Jewish quarter in most European cities. Almost invariably, it’s in the dead centre of the oldest part of the city, often adjacent to the city’s cathedral.

European monarchs, bishops and princes liked to keep their Jews close, and the Jews knew that without this watchful eye of the ruler, they would never be safe from the mob.

Not that this central location was really much of a permanent protection. The prince or the bishop would not hesitate to inspire the local town’s folk to a pogrom once in a while or just simply expel all the Jews.

This was Jewish life in Europe in the Middle Ages from England to Poland, across the Rhine or over the Pyrenees.

Jews had no autonomy, and no right to self-protection. If they behaved, paid the special exorbitant taxes for being Jewish and demanded no rights, they might be free to go about their daily lives. For a time.

None of this of course prevented or reduced antisemitism, the religious Jew hate that morphed over the centuries into racial and then political Jew hate. And it didn’t stop Jews being murdered, right through to the ultimate extermination for Jews in the Shoah.

But eventually the Jews and even the world understood for a short time that the only way Jews could really be in charge of their own destiny and keep their own lives was through their own protection, their own national self-determination and their own state. Not for nothing do Israeli fighter jets traverse the skies above Auschwitz every year on Yom HaShoah as a reminder that had there been a Jewish state in the 1940s, less Jews, or perhaps no Jews, would have been incinerated.

No longer.

Today, the ivory towers of international justice organisations once again believe that Jews should have no agency over the protection of their own lives. Terrorists, murderers, rapists and child killers should now be given free reign over Jews and the world will not only turn a blind eye when it happens but do everything in its might to prevent the Jews stopping it. This isn’t a return to the Middle Ages, it’s a return to the Dark Ages for Europe and the international community.

How else to explain the perverse decision of the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to seek arrest warrants for those who seek to stop Jews being murdered? How else to understand that arrest warrants were never issued by the ICC against Ayatollah Khamenei, leader of the world foremost state sponsor of terror, or to Syria’s President Bashar Assad, who has presided over the massacre of more than 500.000 civilians in Syria over the last 12 years? No warrants yet for the leaders of Burma or North Korea? What’s keeping the ICC?

And then to compound the decision by direct comparison between murderer and victim, as if placing the prime minister and defence minister of a democratic country on the same charge sheet as a bunch of fundamentalist terrorists and murderers somehow shows balance.

What is it about one tiny Jewish state that the moment it seeks to defend its own people, bound of course by the demarcations of a society governed by democracy and the rule of law, that the ICC immediately seeks to prevent it so doing?

Perhaps it’s the same perverse logic that sees Israel being targeted by more resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly than the totality of Syria, North Korea, the People’s Republic of China, Russia and Venezuela and ALL other countries combined.

We’ve been here before and for many centuries. The best and most effective way to get rid of Jews is to disable their agency to act in their own self-defence. Targets for the local mob for blood libels when any Christian child disappeared, now targets for the international mob when murderers and rapists invade their one and only safe space.

We should call this by its name. Hating and murdering Jews is antisemitism. Enabling the continued hatred and murder of Jews and denying the victims agency to stop it and couching it in the terms of international law is no less.”


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