Tuesday, March 07, 2006

MidEasT: {Blast from the PAST} editorial (5-26-1968) LA TIMES

"Israel's Peculiar Position"
Los Angeles Times, Sunday May 26, 1968, Section G-7.

I wonder if you remember Eric Hoffer. He was a longshoreman that turned
into a philosopher, wrote columns for newspapers and some books. If I
remember correctly, he even taught at some university. Here is one of his
columns from 1968.

CAN YOU BELIEVE..... This article was written 34 years ago!!! Some truths
never change.

Eric Hoffer was a Jewish American social philosopher. He as born in
1902 and died in 1983, after writing nine books and winning the Presidential
Medal of Freedom. His first book, The Tr!ue Believer, published in 1951,
was widely recognized as a classic.



By Eric Hoffer (LA Times 5/26/68)

The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are
forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of
people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and
Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a
million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese- and no
one says a word about refugees.
But in the case of Israel the displaced Arabs have become eternal
refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab.

Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater
than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the
battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue
for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this
world. Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should
Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June he
would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger
to save the Jews. No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our
own, is worth the paper it is written on.

There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or
when two Negroes are executed in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews
no one remonstrated with him. The Swedes, who are ready to break off
diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not
let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice
iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.

The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely
because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment Israel
is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than
Israel can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened
last summer had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize
how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.
I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so
will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon

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