Anti-Semitism Really Is about the Jews

Reflecting on the attack last month on the home of a rabbi in the New York town of Monsey, Meir  Soloveichik notes the symbolism of the fact that it fell on the holiday of Hanukkah:

The miracle commemorated on Hanukkah—a small flask of oil whose flame lasted much longer than expected—is often [disparaged] as a very minor miracle. But the rabbis chose to remember it because of its poetic power, as the oil embodies Israel itself, mysteriously enduring throughout the passage of time and therefore a proof of God in history. So the attack on the menorah ceremony embodies anti-Semitism itself. In the Bible, the miracles of the Exodus are immediately followed by the attack of the Amalekites; it is as if the Torah is telling us that chosenness and anti-Semitism, the miracle of the Jews and the existence of Jew-hatred, go hand in hand.

It is this concept that many, including some Jews, find difficult to accept. Following Monsey, and an eventual recognition of the unremitting spate of attacks on Ḥasidim in and around New York City, it was commonly said that anti-Semitism has little to do with Jews, that it reflects the dysfunctions of society, that we are targeted because we are different, or outsiders. It is true, of course, that anti-Semitism is not the fault of the Jews, but there are plenty of other outsiders, and people who are different, in the New York area, yet it is Jews who are targeted. . . . [W]hat we have been witnessing over the past months are attacks on Jews who, like the menorah once placed publicly outside the door, publicize their Judaism by wearing their faith quite literally on their sleeve.

Strikingly, the writer with the best understanding of the situation has not been Jewish at all. He is Robert Nicholson, a friend of mine and a young Christian leader. . . . Nicholson argues that the disease of anti-Semitism “almost always grows from a resentment of ‘chosenness’: the idea that the Jewish God appointed one nation, the nation of Israel, to play a special role in history.”

Read more at Commentary

More about: Amalek, Anti-Semitism, Hanukkah, Judaism


Why Saturday Was a Resounding Defeat for Iran

Yaakov Lappin provides a concise and useful overview of what transpired on Saturday. For him, the bottom line is this:

Iran and its jihadist Middle Eastern axis sustained a resounding strategic defeat. . . . The fact that 99 percent of the threats were intercepted means that a central pillar of Iranian force projection—its missile and UAV arsenals—has been proven to be no match for Israel’s air force, for its multilayered air-defense system, or for regional cooperation with allies.

Iran must now await Israel’s retaliation, and unlike Israel, Iranian air defenses are by comparison limited in scope. After its own failure on Sunday, Iran now relies almost exclusively on Hizballah for an ability to threaten Israel.

And even as Iran continues to work on developing newer and deadlier missiles, the IDF is staying a few steps ahead:

Israel is expecting its Iron Beam laser-interception system, which can shoot down rockets, mortars, and UAVs, to become operational soon, and is developing an interceptor (Sky Sonic) for Iran’s future hypersonic missile (Fattah), which is in development.

The Iron Beam will change the situation in a crucial way. Israell’s defensive response on Saturday reportedly cost it around $1 billion. While Iron Beam may have to be used in concert with other systems, it is far cheaper and doesn’t run the risk of running out of ammunition.

Read more at JNS

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Israeli technology