Is the world against us?

Op-ed: We tend to feel isolated, but recent events show Israel does have friends in the world

Being alone is something that we Jews are used to. From our inception, we walked a different path as outsiders to the larger religious, cultural, and national identities. Our tradition taught that it might be, or according to some ought to be, our destiny. Centuries of anti-Semitism have made being alone our second nature. The recent ascent of Israel de-legitimization in many parts of the world is thus familiar and fits in with what we have come to expect.

Being alone has its advantages. It has created a Jewish culture of moral and spiritual aspirations that sets its own standard and is never satisfied with what others do, never content with simply being a nation like all others. On the negative side, beyond the psychological price of loneliness, it can create a self-fulfilling prophecy of despair and itself undermine any aspirations which involve others. When everybody is your enemy, one neither tries to make friends nor attempts to earn friendship. In the end, this isolationism undermines moral and spiritual excellence as one institutionalizes deafness toward the words, suggestions, and criticisms of others.

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Categories: Israel, Middle East

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