The History Channel’s hit mini-series The Bible is more than just another television show.
With the beginning of Passover, the topic of Moses fighting Pharaoh's enslavement of the Jews is a timely and graphic reminder of what is really going on not-so-behind the scenes of the Obama visit to Israel.
And that would be?
Hating the Jews.
Hating with a hate that is as raw and visceral as it is possible for human beings to hate. Not to mention a hatred literally centuries old.
By coincidence, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s first class television series (and also a novel, The Story of God and All of Us, illustrated yet again one of the classic tales of the Old Testament as Obama arrived in Israel: Moses and his battle with Pharaoh to “let my people go.”
The Egyptian Pharaoh, in this oldest of recorded stories, hated the Jews. It took all manner of confrontations, plagues and the murder of infants -- the latter taking the life of the Pharaoh’s own son -- before the Egyptian leader angrily let the Jews leave. Even then, as the story goes, once they approached the Red Sea he was on their trail with his army, the Jews saved from slaughter when Moses parted the Red Sea. Watching this, Pharaoh sent his armies to follow, and the Red Sea quickly un-parted, drowning the pursuing Egyptians.
Forget Hollywood’s computer generated Red Sea parting. The message of the episode, whether from the literal Bible or from the Downey-Burnett version comes through loud and clear: Pharaoh, the Muslim Brotherhood-figure of the ancient day, hated the Jews. The Jews had been Egyptian slaves for no other reason than that.
And, of course, anyone who is remotely awake realizes that hatred of the Jews is not just some ancient tale out of the bible. Hatred of Jews -- and the steps taken to express that hatred -- litter world history. From the time of Moses to the pogroms preceding the First Crusade to England’s King Edward I expelling Jews in 1290 to the Spanish massacre of Jews in 1391 on down through the centuries and Russian pogroms, Hitler’s Holocaust, and today’s Iran vowing to wipe the Jews from the face of the earth, there is now and always has been an irrational hatred of the Jewish people.
At this very moment the president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, is on record calling Jews the descendants of apes and pigs. Hamas is routinely sending rockets across the Israeli border from Gaza, and like Hezbollah over in Lebanon is sworn to the destruction of Israel. And Iran, the aforementioned country whose leaders wish to wipe Israel from the face of the earth, are on a relentless quest for a nuclear weapon.
Does any rational person wonder why?
The response of the President of the United States to all of this vivid history? The President who himself was mentored by the anti-Semitic Reverend Jeremiah Wright and has been shadowed by doubts of his own commitment to Israel?
The President is about what is called -- without the slightest sense of irony -- “the peace process.”
“This is hard,” the President said the other day.
What’s apparently really hard to grasp -- and not just for President Obama but for all manner of American liberals -- is that the “Middle East peace process” is a concept of American bureaucrats. Not unlike the priesthood of the “arms control process” that fevered the liberal mind during the Cold War.
The “process” itself has become the be all and end all. With no attention paid to the underlying fact that causes the felt need for said process in the first place.
During the Cold War, the anti-Communist American Left really did believe that if they treated the Soviet Union as a moral and political equal -- made treaties with it, held regular summits with its leaders and the rest -- the Communist beast beneath would somehow go away or at least be “contained.” It took Western leaders from Winston Churchill to Harry Truman to Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan -- not to mention the world’s first Polish Pope, John Paul II, who spent his adult life in his own country with Communists in the saddle -- to have a crystal clear understanding of just what the world was really dealing with.
Washington and its liberal elites were so enraptured of the arms control process with the Soviets that the White House press corps literally and quite audibly gasped when the new President Reagan, only days in office, strode into his first press conference and answered ABC’s Sam Donaldson’s question about his view of the goals of the Soviet Union. The relevant part of Reagan’s answer is in bold:
Donaldson: Mr. President, what do you see as the long-range intentions of the Soviet Union? Do you think, for instance, the Kremlin is bent on world domination that might lead to a continuation of the cold war, or do you think that under other circumstances detente is possible?
The President: Well, so far detente's been a one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its own aims. I don't have to think of an answer as to what I think their intentions are; they have repeated it. I know of no leader of the Soviet Union since the revolution, and including the present leadership, that has not more than once repeated in the various Communist congresses they hold their determination that their goal must be the promotion of world revolution and a one-world Socialist or Communist state, whichever word you want to use.
Now, as long as they do that and as long as they, at the same time, have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat, in order to attain that, and that is moral, not immoral, and we operate on a different set of standards, I think when you do business with them, even at a detente, you keep that in mind.
What Reagan said that day, not to mention when he soon called the Soviets an “Evil Empire,” was as blunt as it was truthful. It shocked -- stunned -- precisely because for decades for anybody of moment in Washington to be saying the obvious truth about the real goals of the Soviets was something that was a decided no-no. It was extremist, primitive and eye-rollingly unsophisticated, don’t-you-know-old-man and all of that.
Amid all the klieg lights and ceremony, the Obama visit was an effort to do with the harsh reality of Israel’s enemies exactly what use to be done by Washington elites with the Soviets, pre-Reagan. Which is to say: ignore The Real Truth. Pretend The Real Truth doesn’t exist.
Earlier this year Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-Dutch activist who, opposing Islamic radicalism as a member of the Dutch parliament, had to flee to America after threats to her safety, wrote an interesting reminder of The Real Truth in the New York Times. Titled “Raised on Hatred,” Ali said, among other things, this:
EGYPT’S newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was caught on tape about three years ago urging his followers to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred” for Jews and Zionists. Not long after, the then-leader of the Muslim Brotherhood described Zionists as “bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians,” “warmongers” and “descendants of apes and pigs.”
These remarks are disgusting, but they are neither shocking nor new. As a child growing up in a Muslim family, I constantly heard my mother, other relatives and neighbors wish for the death of Jews, who were considered our darkest enemy. Our religious tutors and the preachers in our mosques set aside extra time to pray for the destruction of Jews.
For far too long the pervasive Middle Eastern qualification of Jews as murderers and bloodsuckers was dismissed in the West as extreme views expressed by radical fringe groups. But they are not. In truth, those Muslims who think of Jews as friends and fellow human beings with a right to their own state are a minority, and are under intense pressure to change their minds.
Ali goes into startling detail to discuss how 21st century media -- everything from educational television shows to “songs, books, newspaper articles and blogs” to illustrated children’s books for kids as young as three years old -- are used to foment hatred by likening Jews to “pigs, donkeys, rats and cockroaches, and also to vampires and a host of other imaginary creatures.”
Ali cites this exchange between a television personality and a three-year-old child that appeared on a popular television show aired by a Saudi satellite channel:
TV Host: “Do you like Jews?”
TV Host: “Why don’t you like them?”
Three--year old: “Jews are apes and pigs.”
TV Host: “Who said this?”
Three-year old: “Our God.”
TV Host: “Where did he say this?”
Three-year old: “In the Koran.”
The TV Host (approvingly): “No [parents] could wish for Allah to give them a more believing girl than she ... May Allah bless her, her father and mother.”
Ali goes on to note that millions of Muslims have been educated in this fashion. Taught from birth -- conditioned -- that Jews are, “in the words of the Saudi sheik Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, imam at the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca”:
“… the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.”
Will somebody please explain how the words “peace process” figure in here?
In the long-ago of 1925 Adolph Hitler published Mein Kampf. It was, as the world eventually learned the hard way, filled with a visceral anti-Semitism. (“...the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.” Etc., etc. If you prefer a video version of Hitler ranting in this manner, YouTube has it here.)
No one in the day took either Hitler or his book seriously. When they did, along about 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, there were many who believed the world had just witnessed another normal election and that, really, golly-gee, Herr Hitler was not the bad guy people like Winston Churchill insisted he was.
One of those was Bernard F. Ridder, the publisher of the largest German language newspaper in the United States, the New York Staats-Zeitung. On a 1933 visit to Germany, granted a sit down with the new election winner, Ridder was impressed with Herr Hitler and had no hesitation in saying so when he returned to America. Dutifully reported the Times:
Mr. Ridder characterized the German leaders as men of ability, charm and perseverance.
A prominent Protestant religious leader of the day, the Reverend James Gordon Gilkey, in 1933 the pastor of the South Congregational Church of Springfield, Massachusetts, was hailed by the Times for this jewel of wisdom after returning from a visit to Germany:
“If Adolph Hitler should show himself wise and tolerant in the crises facing Germany, he might become one of the greatest constructive thinkers in history.”
Alas, huge mistake.
What publisher Ridder and the Reverend Gilkey had in common -- and they were far from alone in 1933 and even later in the 1930s -- was a willful determination to ignore the most fundamental of the many truths about Adolf Hitler. Which is to say, the fact that Hitler was a raving anti-Semite was off the table for polite discussion among the elites of the day. To say that the new German Chancellor was a powerful and dangerous man whose beliefs about hating Jews were long on the public record and therefore must be of serious concern to the rest of the world -- this was something that must be just baldly ignored.
Why? Doubtless for the same exact reason the White House press corps gasped aloud when Ronald Reagan dared to speak the truth about the base nature of the Soviet Union.
More to the point today, what Ridder and Gilkey refused to say -- to bluntly address the base nature of Hitler -- was not said because it just wasn’t fashionable to speak the real truth. Which was that Hitler hated the Jews, and that yes indeed his ascension to power boded ill for world peace.
Instead, the 1930s -- like a good bit of the later Cold War -- were spent studiously ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room. It was far more sophisticated to say that Herr Hitler was quite possibly “one of the greatest constructive thinkers in history” or that he and his fellow Nazi leaders were “men of ability, charm and perseverance” than to speak the truth: that Adolf Hitler was a Jew-hating nut who posed a serious threat to both Jews and the rest of the world. It was far more sophisticated to insist in devotion to the Cold War mumbo-jumbo of arms control -- throw-weights, MIRVs (Multiple Independently Targeted Reentry Vehicles), SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks), START (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) etc., etc. -- than to say what Reagan said of Communism.
In fact, one of the more interesting literary relics of the Cold War is a book called Deadly Gambits by then-Time diplomatic correspondent Strobe Talbott. Talbott (a Bill Clinton friend and later a Clinton State Department official), a Yale and Oxford graduate who spoke Russian and had translated ex-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs, wrote his book in 1984. And he wrote it in precisely the style of observation supplied by Ridder and Gilkey when discussing Hitler in 1933. Reagan, Talbott assured, had a “small grasp of the issues.” Which is to say, the President was no expert in arms control mumbo-jumbo. Reagan did possess exactly what appalled Talbott: the willingness to speak the hard truth about the nature of the Soviets. Thus, Talbott’s book predicts -- really -- that “the Reagan revolution in arms control” was a total failure.
As history now records, it was precisely because Reagan understood the true nature of Communism and spoke that truth bluntly and publicly, backing it up with a strong military and the innovative Strategic Defense Initiative, that the Cold War didn’t just end. Reagan pushed the Soviet Union over the abyss onto the “ash heap of history.”
That elephant in today’s world is the oldest elephant in the world’s oldest room.
Hatred for Jews.
The world was told that if Israel gave back Gaza peace would be upon us. Instead, rockets are upon Israel -- rockets from Gaza. Two of them as a matter of fact, while Obama was in Israel just the other day.
The world has in fact been assured of so many things when it came to Islam and Israel that it is incredible that there is a single soul alive today who hasn’t yet had the wit to understand the core issue.
That would be, again, hatred for Jews.
In this real world, it doesn’t matter what Barack Obama thinks -- or doesn’t think. It doesn’t matter whether he’s sympathetic to Israel -- or not. It doesn’t matter how much or how long Washington elites prattle on with the mumbo-jumbo about the “peace process” -- Oslo this, Camp David that, an Intifada here or a bus bombing there.
Until America understands that there is a base reason why Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad describes Israel as a “disgraceful blot” that must be “wiped off the face of the earth,” why Egypt’s president Mohammed Morsi calls Jews “bloodsuckers” and the “descendants of apes and pigs,” why the Hamas Charter proclaims the desire to “obliterate” Israel, why Hezbollah’s 1985 manifesto demands the “final obliteration” of Israel -- and why Iran is so relentless in its quest for a nuclear weapon -- then, sadly and dangerously, the world as we now know it is heading for trouble.
And all because American policy makers -- beginning with President Obama -- either cannot or will not understand, much less admit out loud, what all of this is about.
The ancient and ruthless hatred of the Jews.
Which no “peace process” will ever be capable of fixing.