Hasn’t mankind already killed enough Jews?
On the few occasions when Iran has taken a break from chanting “death to America,” it tells the world it is going to drive all Israelis into the sea and eliminate the State of Israel.
On Tuesday morning, Hamas, one of Iran’s many puppet terrorist organizations, launched 28 mortar shells from Gaza into Israel, several striking a kindergarten in southern Israel. If Iran develops a deliverable nuclear warhead, there is little doubt the mullahs will test it in the olive groves between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
In 1973, Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act. We protect from extinction the lesser long-nosed bat, the Salt Creek tiger beetle, the Leon Springs pupfish, and myriad other mammals, fish and reptiles.
It’s past time for the civilized world to establish an Endangered Humans Act, and place Jews at the top of the list.
The world has witnessed many systematic anti-Semitic massacres and diasporas. In 1290, King Edward I issued the Edict of Expulsion, banishing Jews from England. In Spain, the anti-Jewish riots of 1391 and the Alhambra Decree of 1492 resulted in the death, exile, or conversion to Catholicism of over 60 percent of the thriving Jewish population in the Iberian Peninsula. In Russian and Eastern Europe, pogroms in the late 19th and 20th centuries wiped out millions of Jews. In the Holocaust, Hitler’s “final solution” killed 6 million Jews, more than half of those lives and deaths have been documented at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.
And, once again, Anti-Semitism is again on the rise all over Western Europe, particularly in France.
With no small amount of effort and hatred, the world has whittled Jews down to a total population of approximately 14 or 15 million in the entire world—depending on how “Jew” is defined. There are about 6 million Jews in the U.S. and another 6 million or so in Israel, together constituting 80 percent of the world’s Jewish population. Most of the remaining 20 percent are in France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Argentina.
With the current estimate of world population at 7.6 billion, the 15 million Jews make up less than two-tenths of one percent.
Sixteen cities in the world have more than 15 million people — giving each such city a greater population than worldwide Jewry.
A recent international survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League revealed that one-fourth of the planet’s population holds anti-Semitic beliefs. Based on current population estimates, that means 1.9 billion people hate 15 million Jews. Stated another way, each Jew has 126 people spread throughout the world who detest him or her.
What is the cause of this hatred of a population? No one knows. Some scholars attribute it to racism. Others blame the need of demagogues for a “greedy” scapegoat for societal woes. Some say it was Jews engaged in money lending in the Middle Ages when Christians considered it usury and, therefore, immoral. And there’s not enough room here to discuss Muslims’ hatred arising from Israel’s control of Jerusalem, where Jews prospered at least 600 to 700 years before Muhammad lived.
After Hitler’s atrocities against the Jews, the Allies gave Israel a tiny sliver of land on the southeast shore of the Mediterranean, land their ancestors had inhabited for thousands of years before. The gift had strings attached, so the Jews actually had to revolt against the British for independence, then hold off invading Arab countries in 1948. Arabs tried to conquer Israel again in the Six Day War in 1967, in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and in numerous insurgencies and intifadas since. No doubt Israel has made mistakes in dealing with the Palestinians along the way, but when you’re fighting for your life, not every decision will be perfect.
Even though Jews in Israel turned the desert into a thriving, self-sufficient democracy, the tiny nation remains under constant existential threats. And Jews in every country are subjected to attacks from a variety of haters.
Jewish scientists, scholars, and artists have added greatly to the world’s knowledge, improving our lives. Placing this planet’s 15 million Jews on an Endangered Humans list and trying to prevent their extinction is the least the world can do.
Michael Henry writes in Oxford and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.