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The shelf life of Jewish tolerance has expired

People attend a pro-Palestinian demonstration, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Berlin, Germany, November 4, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Liesa Johannssen)

Ever since Israel became a nation in 1948, it hasn’t been fashionable to be an anti-Semite, at least not openly. But given the recent pro-Palestinian massive demonstrations that are now taking place worldwide, one cannot help but feel that all of the hate being spewed, not only on Israel but on all Jews, has evidently been bottled up for a very long time. 

Who would have thought that following the most heinous attack upon Jewish people since the time of the Holocaust, that sympathies would lie with the people whose leaders perpetrated such savage and brutal acts? If civilized people eschew murder, rape, beheadings, the slaughter of entire families and the burning down of communities, then who are these individuals living among us who think differently? 

It's impossible not to ask ourselves the question: 'What is responsible for this kind of unbridled abhorrence towards the Jewish people and their homeland, and why now?'

We have to go back quite a bit to understand its origins and be able to make some sense out of its latest unfathomable eruption. The Bible is filled with so many accounts of the Jewish people always having to fight off their enemies just to survive. Centuries later, once they became a dispersed people among the nations, where their presence was often barely tolerated, they became used to the fact that their home was nothing more than a temporary resting place, until enough people decided that they were no longer welcomed, causing endless cycles of exile and bloodshed.

It wasn’t until the mounting of world sympathy, after the tragedies that befell them during the Holocaust, that Jews were finally granted only a sliver of the homeland that God gave to them as their inheritance. Happy with their tiny lot, they set out to rebuild their lives in a way that rejected the type of victimhood, which is so popular these days, because they refused to allow the past to define them as a people. That is why they developed one of the greatest military machines in the world, knowing that they could not always count on others to back them.

The new Israeli nation constantly fought off invading armies, which had superior armaments and greater manpower, while, at the same time, establishing homes, hospitals, schools, infrastructure, a cultured society and every advancement under the sun. They not only provided for themselves but made sure not to forget the weakest and most vulnerable of the world, who also benefited from their aid anytime a disaster occurred. 

Israel, and the Jewish people, had also contributed much to the world through the arts, agriculture, medicine, science, technology, finance and more, but even with all of that, they somehow remained a hated and vilified people, albeit under the surface of societal norms. Why?

One explanation is something as simple as pure jealousy, which encompassed everything from their economic standing to their spiritual endowment as God’s “Chosen People.” For those who despised the fact that they felt second-best, the only way to achieve a preferred status was to recast Israel and the Jewish people as an enemy, not only entitled to their impressive achievements but also as those who are not even fit to live amongst them, and certainly not in the land of Israel. Consequently, it has been intolerable for the haters to overcome the enviable position that Israel, with God’s help, has been able to carve out for herself. 

While it’s true that Jew hatred has always been felt or heard, whether through an offensive slur or a stereotyped inference, it’s also been kept in check until now. That is because anti-Semitism has been classified as a type of unacceptable racism that respectable people rejected as primitive and one which only displays a measure of objectionable intolerance that is indefensible.

Then October 7th happened and, although the initial shock and disbelief of the barbaric attacks which took place, similar to ISIS, al-Qaeda and other savage butchers who committed similar atrocities, were immediately received with harsh reaction, it didn’t take long before sentiments began to shift.

All of the hidden undercurrent of hate and resentment towards the Jewish state that had been neatly tucked away suddenly rose to the surface. At first, it was directed at Israel, but that quickly moved on toward the Jews, with calls to gas them shouted as far away as Australia. Jewish students on just about every campus have felt threatened and, perhaps for the first time, fearful for their lives, as they saw the immense cauldron of hatred boil over.

We now see a growing trend as large swaths of haters come out of the woodwork, unafraid to express their rage and bottled-up animosity towards the entire Jewish race, feeling empowered to do so with impunity, as they hide behind the banner of “freeing Gaza.”

For them, it’s immaterial that Hamas, unlike them, is not interested in freeing Gaza. Proudly donning the Palestinian keffiyeh scarves and green warrior headbands, there is, among the protesters, a blindness and indifference to the fact that the terrorist leaders of Gaza are using their population as human shields, not allowing them to escape an impending ground incursion. 

So, the next question is: 'What is causing that blindness and indifference in ignoring the obvious peril under which these people are being placed by their own leaders?'

For people of faith, who believe in the forces of good vs. the forces of evil, there is an understanding that satanic powers are at work, purposely confusing, blinding and deceiving people who lack the ability to employ moral judgment in a clear manner. Because anyone who is able to support the beheading of babies, the kidnapping of the elderly and young children, all innocents in a brutal, unprovoked war, are clearly deluded and controlled by something other than reason and sound thinking. They have been hypnotized to believe that evil is justified and everything is up for grabs. The concept of “innocents” does not exist.

What we are beginning to see is a spreading epidemic of this kind of deception where sanity has been replaced by demonic possession, now permitting the unthinkable to be shouted from the rooftops. Society has, sadly, come to a place where the acceptance of Jews is no longer obligatory. Consequently, that 75-year shelf-life of Jewish tolerance has now expired.

From this time forward, Jews will have to come to the understanding that their friends are few, but the positive in all of this is that they will, more than ever, need to rely upon the God who distinguished them as His chosen people but, more than that, who preserved them as a nation before Him, even throughout 2,000 years of dispersion to the four corners of the earth.

But with a friend like that, the Jewish people don’t really need much else!


A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.

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