ISRAEL'S PECULIAR POSITION
By Eric Hoffer (LA Times 5/26/68)
The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.
Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey
threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese--and no one says a word about
But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold
Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield
dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover, but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June, he
would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews. No commitment to the Jews by any government, including
our own, is worth the paper it is written on. There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Negroes are executed
in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him.
The Swedes, who are ready to break off diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was
slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.
The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts and Jewish resources.
Yet at this moment Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to
imagine what would have happened last summer had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to
America and the West in general. I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel, so will it go with all of us. Should Israel
perish, the holocaust will be upon us.
[Via Pajamas Media.]
[ADDENDUM: Change "the Arabs and their Russian backers" in Hoffer's essay to "the Arabs and Iranians hamas hezzbolla and their (fill in the
It bears repeating: Eric Hoffer on Israel
It was written in 1968, and perhaps you are familiar with it: Eric Hoffer's piece on what he referred to as the "peculiar" position of Israel.
Hoffer's essay is not only still astoundingly pertinent today, but it's also notable for its brevity and clarity. So I thought it wouldn't be a bad
idea to present it here in its entirety, as food for thought.