From the file of “WTF” comes a story with the perfect definition of contradiction. As you may have already read out there in the webosphere, there is a new group out of Germany calling itself the “National Socialists For Israel.” (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/990228.html The link on the name takes you to their homepage, which is mostly in German. Read the second link for a brief summary.)
Seriously? Well, the members have yet to publicly declare themselves and hide behind the anonymity of their website, fueling speculation this may simply be a German leftist plot to simply stir things up. You can read plenty about this elsewhere on the web, but what I want to focus on is the underlining nature of such support, if it reveals itself as legitimate, not just to Israel and the Jewish people, but universally.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This ancient Arab and/or Chinese proverb has not only shown up in both the Hebrew and Christian bibles in similar form (Exodus, Chapter 23:22), but has also served as foreign policy and even business guidelines for the modern era. We’ve all taken it with a grain of salt for the most part, but something this ideologically converse in such tangible measures really forces us to ask the question, is the enemy of my enemy my friend? In short, would this group prove to be a true and honest effort on behalf of the organizers and members, should we willingly accept and embrace their support?
This reminds me of the outpouring of support from the religious right, especially following the 1994 “Republican Revolution,” for Israel. The question then, as it remains to this day, is should Israel and the Jewish community accept the support considering the motives behind the support? Evangelicals support Israel not for Israel’s sake, not out of an altruistic love of freedom and democracy in a sweltering pot of Muslim despotism, but rather for their own religious beliefs and hopes. Beliefs, I remind you, that the “Second Coming” of Jesus will happen only when the “Ingathering’ of Jews to Israel takes place (See Pat Robertson, among others).
Are we really all enemies? Of course not. Are we completely in line with each other’s motivations and beliefs? Obviously not. So, where does the acceptance of support end? Should it end with Neo-Nazis, and their support for Israel based on Social Darwinian precepts and espoused eugenic rationalization?
As a child I was taught you say a lot about yourself by the company you keep. Although good advice for our personal lives, we also need to view our political beliefs in similar reference. As a Zionist can I and should I accept support from a group who bases its support for Israel on a dogma that completely and wholeheartedly disgusts me?
I’ve struggled with this for years when considering the evangelical support. I like the ADL’s response, in form of an article by Abraham Foxman, in which he states we should accept evangelical support, but only in accordance with holding to our principles and faith and, in such, that we do not offer a quid pro quo, nor are asked for one. I humbly embrace the evangelical support for Israel and do so with the expectation that although our basis for doing so is different, both come from a genuine and well intentioned origin.
As for the “National Socialists For Israel,” well, as we continue to wait for the true identities of the organizers and something more than a website and some bumper stickers, I will, at this time, have to decline your support for my beloved Israel. I cannot, in good conscience, accept support based on Social Darwinism and pseudo-eugenics, the ideas of which were used in Hitler’s Nazi Germany as a means of justification for the genocide of the Shoah. Yes we are a people of few numbers and perhaps should welcome support from wherever it comes from, but in order to be the People of the Book, the people we are and the ones we aspire to be, we must chose our friends wisely and distance ourselves from this organization.
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