This article has been updated from the original version.
The American writer Eric Hoffer once said, “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.”
Saadia Gaon, (Sa’id ‘ibn Yusuf al-Fayyûmî) the great ninth-century Jewish philosopher born in Egypt and father of both scientific biblical exegesis and Jewish philosophic theology, who is regarded as the chief Jewish legal authority of his time in the world, commented that whoever is consumed by the desire for revenge gets into a frame of mind of refusing to accept intercession or entertaining any feeling of compassion or pity or listening to any plea of clemency.
Hatred and Revenge. Over one thousand years later Saadia’s comments still reflect the attitude that we have learnt nothing. For very little at this time seems to be based on the two-way acceptance of my world is also your world.
Today, among the lives of many people in America there are some who maintain that the best thing to strive for in their world is to take revenge on one’s enemies. Right now the satisfaction of the thirst for revenge cannot be clearer than it is in our society!
Today, we gloat over people’s misfortunes, we instil a hatred in each other’s cultures and religions that no civilized government has a hope in hell, or will in stopping. It is a hate that has its own direction, its own time and space, egged on by the perverse nature of fanatics utilizing the services of mobile phones, social media and Internet websites. Nor, one must not forget, the antisemitic actions of numerous religious leaders.
Today, the traditional western media broadcaster and newspaper, continue to flout their flag-waving old-boy school-tie elitists’ defiance to remain in a bygone era, in what they believe is their absolute right to express their view to us of what freedom of speech is. They must also accept responsibility for continuing to light the matches of religious hate.
Today, what media has the moral fibre to acknowledge that the hatred of Jews is not primarily caused by the Middle East conflict, nor by actions taken by the Trumps of this world, but by the age-old belief of their Jew-hating forbearers across the globe, that Jews are a conspiracy for evil in the world? The Middle East conflict is the result, not the cause, of this appalling hatred of Jews.
Today, it is terrifying, not least because of the attitude of our society, which far from springing to the defence of Jews against inexcusable bigotry and mortal threat, is either indifferent to it or actually shares the prejudice and points a finger at our Israeli brethren for causing the threat.
Today, the non-Jew, in general, not only remains an indifferent individual towards their Jewish brothers and sisters but also to many other sectors of our society. Be it the Yazidis, the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar, The Yemeni catastrophe, the children of southern Syria, and may I say it, the unspeakable and ongoing persecution in Arab lands of Lebanese, Iraqi and Syrian Palestinians. Canada’s smug and self-satisfying image of tolerance to outsiders, compared to how it has treated its First Nations people, has been well documented and continues to be so.
Today, we make direct comparisons to what apartheid South Africa was and that of Israeli Jews and their Israeli Arab cousins. Insinuations about links between Jews and the Nazis abound daily.
Today, we have observed what Beijing has called the “biggest [USA-China] trade war in economic history.” At a particular juncture, how many hours will pass before countless non-Jews express their abhorrent display of pathological hatred of Jews by accusing the Jew of having a hand in this trade war, just to make a profit?
In 1762, J.J. Rousseau, the 18th century French philosopher said, “The Jews in Dispersion have not the possibility of proclaiming their own truth to humankind; but I believe that when they once have a free Commonwealth, with schools and universities of their own where they can speak out safely, we shall be able to learn what it is that the Jewish people have to say to us.”
Today, in 2018, 256 years later, yes Jews have one thing to say. “We want frickin peace!”