Sunday, February 24, 2002

Perhaps the saddest postscript to the appalling murder of journalist Daniel Pearl was his father's anger at the Israeli press for revealing his son's Israeli citizenship, thus possibly discouraging Pakistani cooperation with the investigation into his death. Back in 1948, when the state of Israel was founded, Jews the world over dared to hope that after 2000 stateless years, they would at last be freed from their constant fear of being singled out as targets of rage and violence. With Israel as both a symbolic and physical refuge from attack, they thought, they might finally be able to display their identity openly, safely and with pride. Instead, an Israeli professor in America is now desperately trying to cover up his family's roots, fearing the repercussions of the new anti-Semitism, which, far from succumbing to Israel's existence, has merely grown to encompass it.

Senseless hatred is an eternal, ubiquitous human sin, and as Americans have recently learned, it targets the strong and the weak alike. Nobody understands its persistence better than its longest-suffering victim: the very nation that first conceived, long ago, the beautiful dream that it might one day disappear forever.

No comments: