By Simon Fischler
Jew, here is a definition of the word from the Merriam Webster dictionary.
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French ju, jeu, from Latin Judaeus, from Greek Ioudaios, from Hebrew Yĕhūdhī, from Yĕhūdhāh Judah, Jewish kingdom
Date: 13th century
1 a : a member of the tribe of Judah b : Israelite
2 : a member of a nation existing in Palestine from the sixth century b.c. to the first century a.d.
3 : a person belonging to a continuation through descent or conversion of the ancient Jewish people
4 : one whose religion is Judaism
The first three definitions talk of a tribe, a people, a nation. Why? Because being a Jew meant being part of a tribe or nation long before it meant being part of a religion. The religion called Judaism today is nothing more than the laws given to the Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish nation thousands of years ago to enforce discipline and create stability in a rustic herding culture as it transitioned and developed, much like laws are made today in parliaments the world over.
The definition of the word or name Jew has become so important in today’s world, but why?
Because for thousands of years other nations (mostly conquerors in search of expanding their empires) have bullied, persecuted, exiled and/or mass murdered Jews. Because Jews have always existed within and among other cultures, as well as in their own lands, with a code of conduct which takes precedence over any other, the Greeks enslaved and killed us because we turned our back on Greek culture. The Romans, because we rebelled against them, went so far as to destroy our country and capital city, rename both of them and transplant a majority of the Jews from Israel to Rome, attempting to erase us from geographical history. The Arabs invaded us, colonized our land and built their Dome of The Rock and Al Aksa Mosque on our Temple Mount. The Eastern Europeans carried out pogroms in which thousands, if not millions of Jews were killed. The German Empire finally tried to extinguish us completely from the world during the Shoah / Holocaust.
In all of these cases above we were persecuted and killed because we were the Jewish nation – a people apart, with its own code of conduct, no matter where we lived -- not the Jewish religion. We were the nation to reject or rebel against the new, in-culture, then we became the nation that killed Christ (A Jew). Today’s revisionists try to deny, whitewash or ameliorate most of these irrefutable historical truths.
The word Jew comes from the Greek word for Judea, the Jewish Kingdom that was an integral part of the Israelite Kingdom. Judah was head of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, offspring of Israel, father of the Israelites or Jewish people. However, today’s Jew-haters and anti-semites are doing all they can to say we are no longer a nation, that we do not deserve to be a nation, that if we were to be a nation we’re in the wrong place, or that if we are indeed a nation, we’re a human rights abusing, colonialistic, apartheid one. After thousands of years of killing us because we are a nation, today’s revisionist anti-semites wish to take this integral part of our identity away from us.
Why do they want to take this away from us? Because the fact that Jews have a unified code of conduct that is thousands of years old, and goes wherever they go, has always been the biggest thorn in the side of Jew-haters.
Why is that?
Because after thousands of years of Jews hoping, praying and trying, they have finally achieved their long sought after goal, the State of Israel, with its capital city of Jerusalem. But, to Jew-haters and anti-semites, the Hebrew/Israelite,/Jewish and now Israeli people/nation are standing up to today’s new “cool” cultures: Fanatical Islam, Fanatical Leftism and Fanatical Rightism – all with threatening nuances of Fascism and all bad copies of our friends the Nazis, with the same old goals. Worst of all for the anti-semites is that this new found self-determination of the Jews has given their nation an army to fight back with.
This army, the IDF, has dealt all anti-semites a major blow. They can no longer get away so easily with bullying, persecuting and killing Jews. They, (Arab/Muslims especially) have tried on many occasions to militarily wipe this new incarnation of the Jewish nation off of the map of the world. In all cases they have failed. Only a few still believe they can militarily destroy Israel. Instead, these haters have turned their focus to a new realm, that of delegitimizing Jews as a nation and their deserved right to Self-Determination and statehood.
Now these fanatics wish to once again turn the Jew and his new nation into a pariah by using many of the same techniques of the past but just flip-flopping them. The biggest fallacy of them all is the accusation that the Jew has stolen the land that makes up Israel; that the new nation is simply an instrument of the colonizing Europeans.
This is what the Arabs, Far Leftists and Far Rightists all claim. The truth is simple, though. Jews have always been living in the land that is Israel today, plus in the contiguous area known as the West Bank. We may not have always been the majority, thanks in great part to colonizing forces (Greeks, Romans, Arabs), but the same can be said for Tibet.
Jerusalem has always been a majority Jewish city and is mentioned 669 times in the Tanach; not once in the Koran. Jerusalem has always been the most sacred and holy city for the Jewish Nation. When the Romans sacked Jerusalem in the year 70, history tells us there were close to, or more than, a million Jews killed. How is that possible when the population of Jerusalem was so much smaller? When Titus laid siege to Jerusalem on the 14th of April in the year 70 C.E., it was the holiday of Passover. During this time, much like today, Jews flocked to Jerusalem from all over the Roman world because of its integral importance to the nation.
The word Jew comes from Judea, Judah, the nation and Kingdom of Israel. Arabs come from Arabia, which is nowhere near Israel or Jerusalem. Arabs themselves were the true colonizers, making it all the way to Spain in their attempt to conquer the world. In a speech given by Marcus Julius Agrippa, or Agrippa the Second, who was attempting to persuade the Jews from revolting against Rome. Given from the roof of his palace with his sister Berenice by his side in the year 66ce , Agrippa’s speech mentioned the Arabians in Arabia. They had not yet begun their conquests and the “prophet” Mohammed was centuries away from being a light in his mother’s eyes!
Israel, First World as it may appear to be on the surface, is one of the last remaining pieces of the ancient world. Jews are a lot like crocodiles and sharks: organisms of the ancient world living in modern times.
Many secular Jews outside of Israel are not taught the history of their nation. If we do not know who we are and what our history is, how can we defend ourselves against today’s enemies, particularly in this current war of words and name-calling? These secular Jews hear the words, sometimes eloquent, sometimes persuasive, of the Jew-haters and anti-semites and think Israel may be wrong, maybe shouldn’t exist, or perhaps is just as bad as things are described.
We are not even seven decades removed from the Holocaust and today anti-semitism rears its head all over the world. Leaders from around the world -- Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran -- constantly spew anti-semitic rhetoric. Ahmadinejad has even called for Israel’s destruction and threatened her with nuclear war.
Voices of the self-hating Jews, such as American academics like Noam Chomsky and the world leaders named above, are doing untold damage to Israel, in an existential sense. In short, the naysayers currently are winning “The War of the Words .”
It is time for us to return to our roots, to remember who we are as a nation and to fight back against the de-legitimizers -- the anti-semitic, anti-Israel haters.
All those who would defend the nation Israel, raise up your dictionaries, wield your history books … and fight!