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Approaching 6 Million

Approaching 6 Million

Israel is a tempting target for those who would finish Hitler's work. His successors now reside in Tehran.


When something happens for the first time in 1,871 years, it is worth noting. In A.D. 70, and again in 135, the Roman Empire brutally put down Jewish revolts in Judea, destroying Jerusalem, killing hundreds of thousands of Jews and sending hundreds of thousands more into slavery and exile. For nearly two millennia, the Jews wandered the world. And now, in 2006, for the first time since then, there are once again more Jews living in Israel -- the successor state to Judea -- than in any other place on Earth.

Israel's Jewish population has just passed 5.6 million. America's Jewish population was about 5.5 million in 1990, dropped to about 5.2 million 10 years later and is in a precipitous decline that, because of low fertility rates and high levels of assimilation, will cut that number in half by mid-century.

When 6 million European Jews were killed in the Holocaust, only two main centers of Jewish life remained: America and Israel. That binary star system remains today, but a tipping point has just been reached. With every year, as the Jewish population continues to rise in Israel and decline in America (and in the rest of the Diaspora), Israel increasingly becomes the center of the Jewish world.

An epic restoration, and one of the most improbable. To take just one of the remarkable achievements of the return: Hebrew is the only "dead" language in recorded history to have been brought back to daily use as the living language of a nation. But there is a price and a danger to this transformation. It radically alters the prospects for Jewish survival.

For 2,000 years, Jews found protection for the Jewish people as a whole in dispersion. Hitler put an end to that illusion.

For 2,000 years, Jews found protection in dispersion -- protection not for individual communities, which were routinely persecuted and massacred, but protection for the Jewish people as a whole. Decimated here, they could survive there. They could be persecuted in Spain and find refuge in Constantinople. They could be massacred in the Rhineland during the Crusades or in the Ukraine during the Khmelnytsky Insurrection of 1648-49 and yet survive in the rest of Europe.

Hitler put an end to that illusion. He demonstrated that modern anti-Semitism married to modern technology -- railroads, disciplined bureaucracies, gas chambers that kill with industrial efficiency -- could take a scattered people and "concentrate" them for annihilation.

The establishment of Israel was a Jewish declaration to a world that had allowed the Holocaust to happen -- after Hitler had made his intentions perfectly clear -- that the Jews would henceforth resort to self-protection and self-reliance. And so they have, building a Jewish army, the first in 2,000 years, that prevailed in three great wars of survival (1948-49, 1967 and 1973).

But in a cruel historical irony, doing so required concentration -- putting all the eggs back in one basket, a tiny territory hard by the Mediterranean, eight miles wide at its waist. A tempting target for those who would finish Hitler's work.

His successors now reside in Tehran. The world has paid ample attention to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel must be destroyed. Less attention has been paid to Iranian leaders' pronouncements on exactly how Israel would be "eliminated by one storm," as Ahmadinejad has promised.

Former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the presumed moderate of this gang, has explained that "the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam." The logic is impeccable, the intention clear: A nuclear attack would effectively destroy tiny Israel, while any retaliation launched by a dying Israel would have no major effect on an Islamic civilization of a billion people stretching from Mauritania to Indonesia.

As it races to acquire nuclear weapons, Iran makes clear that if there is any trouble, the Jews will be the first to suffer. "We have announced that wherever [in Iran] America does make any mischief, the first place we target will be Israel," said Gen. Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghani, a top Revolutionary Guards commander. Hitler was only slightly more direct when he announced seven months before invading Poland that, if there was another war, "the result will be . . . the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."

Last week Bernard Lewis, America's dean of Islamic studies, who just turned 90 and remembers the 20th century well, confessed that for the first time he feels it is 1938 again. He did not need to add that in 1938, in the face of the gathering storm -- a fanatical, aggressive, openly declared enemy of the West, and most determinedly of the Jews -- the world did nothing.

When Iran's mullahs acquire their coveted nukes in the next few years, the number of Jews in Israel will just be reaching 6 million. Never again?


May 6, 2006

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Visitor Comments: 43

(42) Sandy, July 13, 2014 3:32 PM

Here is What to Tell Them

Tell Iran we will take them with us. That is what they really want after all; to die, isn't it? To be Martyrs? Tell them that now. Tell them like Clint did: "Go ahead, Make My Day."

(41) Anonymous, July 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Hindus are with Israel .We hope our leaders had this courage and honesty.

Hindu as race been torched by Islamist community since 800 years.Even after giving 30% land to 24 %Muslim population of India and then we kept half of them within our country during partition.those who were kept here grown here and flourished here are doing terrorist activities here in the same country.Terrorist in India are not foreigners but same muslims whom we sheltered for humanity.Our leaders misguide world and everybody knows in country that local muslims are doing terror activities.The oldest civilization om earth Hindu is on verge of destroying beacause our leaders have no courage to accept relations with Israel.But I assure you that every Hindu Indian is with Israel we pray god that your enemies get wiped out from earth.

(40) Gregory Nixon, July 16, 2006 12:00 AM

take out Iran before they have a chance

The article is very good and excellent points are raised. Why not take out the threat before they have a chance to act?

(39) eric, July 12, 2006 12:00 AM

the difference is that now there is Israel.

The difference betwenn before and after israel is that now there is an entity that speks for the jewish people , and speack loundly because israel has been reborned only for that purpose , althought many causes may have been invoilved.
Whoever mess up with the jews ... will get it , from tghe jews. and this is why , althought we maust be concerned with ... people like the actual iraniain leaders, they came and went, and we will be there after his departure, maybe we will be all anhilited as the story projected , a dying israel responding by a last , dying bombing... ironic not?
I rather belive that no matter what israel will always be there , in fact israel has always been there, because israel is a creation of G. and only G. may destroy it, like only G. created israel, when he felt appropriated and timely to do.

Sure we have to be concerned with stupids, but we are doing what he takes to keep them at bay. In arabic they say, the dogs bark but the caravan pass. We know them more than they know us, and we will overcome all of them, or the will overcome all of us, let G. decide. I am sure G. will not chose Iran or like minded people, and who can argue with G. decision?
Again the difference now is that there is Israel with all its limitations , but also with all the strenght that come with all his sons and daughters from all the world, all kids and adults alike that contribute to its strenght and values and who cover all aspects of the people of the whole world. We have already overcame them, present Iran is already History.
G. Bless israel and ... for those who do no agree.

(38) Gary Selikow, July 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Ahmadinejad is a modern day Haman

believe all Jews and righteous gentiles need to speak up against the threats by Iranian President Mahmoud 'Haman' Ahmadinejad to carry out a second holocaust against Israel's 5 million Jews.

Amalek is the Jew-hating spirit that tries to destroy the people of Israel .
In the Bible's Book of Esther, the evil Haman, who tried to exterminate the Jewish people, was Amalek. Before that, at the time of Israel's exodus from Egypt, it was Amalek (Exodus 17:8) that attacked Israel - the people that God had blessed. In fact, it was that very blessing - God's blessing - that provoked Amalek to swoop down on the people from behind, to attack and kill the weakest.

Quoting Israel's ancient Paesach Haggadah, "in every generation there are some who rise against us to annihilate us." Contrary to common belief, Amalek - the anti-Israel - is more a state of soul and spirit than a biological extended family. Amalek fiercely envies Israel; Amelek is furiously jealous. Amalek tries to kill and maim as many Jews and their friends as possible, starting with the weakest: the mothers with children, the elderly, the sick and the babies. Amalek dances in the streets at the prospect of Jewish suffering - even if the joyful dancers are doomed to die themselves!

The Palestinian terrorists always choose women and children as their primary targets.

As in 1948 , once more Israel is fighting for her life. As Jewish men , women and children are cruelly murdered , as part of the 'Palestinian struggle'.

The world is ingnoring facts , ignoring history , ignoring common decency and planning the destruction of Israel and it's wonderful people , supplemented by the most hideous lies and propaganda since Goebbels and Der Sturner.

"Look down from heaven and see how we have become an object of contempt and derision among the nations;we are counted as sheep led to the slaughter,to be slain or destroyed,or to be beaten and disgraced"
(Psalm 6)

We have been saved by the hand of G-D in 1948 , 1967 and 1973.
Let us pray that G-D may perform another miracle again.

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