One hundred and twenty five years ago, the French writer Emile Zola penned ‘J’Accuse’, a damning indictment of French society and its institutions, decrying the false accusations, framing, antisemitic hounding, conviction, imprisonment, and defamation of Colonel Alfred Dreyfus of the French Army. Dreyfus was set up in a scandal that rocked France for more than a decade. As Zola illustrated, it revealed the perfidy, hypocrisy, and vile antisemitism that was rotting the core of French society.
We are at that point today. Only it’s not only the institutions of one country, or the evil and false indictment of one man.
No. It is the international order and the institutions upon which it is based that are overflowing with Jew hatred and indifference to Jewish suffering; that are silent in the face of utter depraved evil committed against Jews but vocal when those Jews respond; and willing to be the lackeys of failed regimes or murderous tyrants if the outcome singularly maligns the Jewish people and their state in their indigenous homeland.
Yesterday and today we have watched as the representatives of the corrupt, malign, expansionist and tyrant supporting government of South Africa sat in the International Court of Justice, a feckless instrument of the fetid swamp that is the United Nations, accusing Israel of Genocide, trying to twist and redefine the clarity of Article II of the 1948 Convention on Genocide to fit its Hamas-enabling agenda. Israel’s legal team is presenting a robust and authoritative counter to the absurd and malicious claims made against her. Yet on the bench sit judges from Russia, China, Somalia and Lebanon. These are dictatorial and undemocratic regimes with antipathy towards Israel and even a state of war in some cases. It may not matter that Israel presents an ironclad case. The international order as it stands may not care to hear the truth.
I accuse the United Nations and its constituent institutions of an abhorrent fixation on Israel, a history of maligning and delegitimizing Jewish self determination, and of singling out Israel for condemnation for decades while exponentially more awful situations across the globe get little or no attention. When in 2002 Palestinian ‘negotiator’ Saeb Erekat accused Israel of massacring ‘no less than 500 people’ in Jenin, then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, supported this claim, asking “Can the whole world be wrong?” As it turned out, according to Palestinian sources, only 60 people were killed, 55 of whom were combatants. The UN is a den of liars and hypocrites.
I accuse organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of decontextualizing any action that Israel takes to defend its citizens, rejecting or ignoring any consideration of Jewish indigenous rights in its ancestral homeland, and any agency or responsibility on the part of the Palestinian people or their governing bodies for their own actions.
I accuse the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) of an institutional prejudice against Jews going back to its denial for many years of the use of the Magen David Adom, even as it welcomed use of the Red Crescent; of indifference to the needs and suffering of Israeli hostages in Gaza, as evidenced by its staffer telling the family of one hostage who pleaded for the ICRC to convey medication to their loved one that she should be more concerned with the needs of Gazans; and of complicity, along with several other medical aid organizations like the WHO, in the use and abuse of Gazan hospital facilities by Hamas without a word of objection or condemnation while at the same time condemning Israel as it removed Hamas terrorists from those same facilities.
We can and we must have no illusions. As Leonard Cohen wrote, “Everybody knows the deal is rotten.” and as the brilliant Yaakov Herzog wrote, paraphrasing our scriptures, we are “A nation that dwells alone.”
What is left for us is to sustain our pride and our legacy of thousands of years of bringing light, innovation and morality to the world; to have realistic expectations of those around us, which in some cases means having none at all, except to leave us the hell alone; and to commit to mitigating the scourge of global antisemitism and commensurate anti-Zionism in the only possible way - to make it more costly (legally, financially, socially etc.) to act in an antisemitic way than to stifle the urge to act on an individual’s hatred of Jews or an organization's denial of Jewish identity or our rights. That is what we seek to do here. Join our efforts. Support our work.