At the Washington Post, Rabbi David Wolpe writes that it is a mistake to treat Ahmadinejad’s latest labeling of Israel as a “cancer” as mere rhetoric, because the logical result of designating something as a “cancer” is to irradiate it, and Iran is pursuing the weapons necessary to do so:
And as Abba Eban memorably said, there are things in Jewish history too terrible to be believed, but nothing too terrible not to have happened.
Do you suppose the world community will stir at this outrage? … No, this is what will happen: The furor will abate, the world will persuade itself that he doesn’t really mean it, or he doesn’t really have power. He will be applauded on the streets of Arab capitals, and the nations will swallow some sleeping draught composed of complacency, indifference, foolishness and a pinch of anti-Semitism.
Rabbi Wolpe writes that thousands of years of Jewish history have taught that “when evil speaks it is always in earnest.”
Earlier this year, at the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in Jerusalem, Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that “those who dismiss Iran’s threats as exaggerated or as mere idle posturing have learned nothing from the Holocaust.” He recalled the time when Ze’ev Jabotinsky tried to warn his people that time was running out:
There have always been those among us who prefer to mock those who tell uncomfortable truths than squarely face the truth themselves. That is how Zev Jabotinsky was received when he warned the Jews of Poland of the looming Holocaust. This is what he said in 1938, in Warsaw:It is the duty of the whole world, but above and beyond, it is OUR duty.
“It is already THREE years that I am calling upon you, Polish Jewry, who are the crown of World Jewry. I continue to warn you incessantly that a catastrophe is coming closer. I became grey and old in these years, my heart bleeds, that you, dear brother and sisters, do not see the volcano which will soon begin to spit its all-consuming lava… I see that you are not seeing this because you are immersed and sunk in your daily worries… Listen to me in this twelfth hour: In the name of G-d! Let anyone of you save himself, as long as there is still time, and time there is very little.”
But the leading Jewish intellectuals of the day ridiculed Jabotinsky, and rather than heed his warning, they attacked him. This is what Sholem Asch, one of our nation’s greatest writers, said about him: “What Jabotinsky is now doing in Poland is going too far. His statement is detrimental to Zionism and to the vital interests of our people… It is disgraceful that these are leaders of a nation.”
I know there are also those who believe that the unique evil of the Holocaust should never be invoked in discussing other threats facing the Jewish people. To do so, they argue, is to belittle the Holocaust and to offend its victims. I totally disagree. On the contrary. To cower from speaking the uncomfortable truth – that today like then, there are those who want to destroy millions of Jewish people – that is to belittle the Holocaust, that is to offend its victims and that is to ignore the lessons…
I will continue to speak the truth to the world, but first and foremost I must speak it to my own people. I know that my people is strong enough to hear the truth. The truth is that a nuclear-armed Iran is an existential threat of the State of Israel. The truth is that a nuclear-armed Iran is a political threat to other countries throughout the region and a grave threat to the world peace. The truth is that Iran must be stopped from obtaining nuclear weapons.
UPDATE: Another remarkably insightful comment from Mannie Sherberg:
The link between cancer and irradiation is unmistakable. There's a second link we should also take to heart: the link between cancer and metastasis -- wild, uncontrollable growth. This is, of course, one of the oldest themes in the Jew-hater's Catalog of Lies: that one of the world's smallest peoples has a voracious lust to expand, and -- unless destroyed -- will spread rapidly and soon dominate the planet.
Almost surely, the Czarist forgers who gave this theme its classic articulation in the "Protocols" did not believe it, but used it for purely cynical purposes. But other propounders of the theme -- like Hitler -- believed it utterly. The mullahs and Ahmadinejad apparently believe it with the same fervor.
What is deeply ironic here is that all the historic modern advocates of the theme of Jewish metastasism -- Hitler, jihadis in every country, and, I would argue, Stalin in his later years -- have been guilty of the very crime they tried to pin upon the Jews: the crime of wanting to overtake and subjugate the entire world.
In every instance, it has been the Jews -- one of the world's tiniest peoples -- against enemies much vaster in size, and, in every case, the vast enemies have feared their tiny "opponent" -- who, in truth, sought nothing more than the right to live unmolested. I will leave it to JCI readers much wiser than I to ponder the metaphysical implications of this fact -- but there can be no question that it is a fact: The Jewish cancer which is NOT a cancer must be excised to make room for an unacknowledged cancer (Naziism, Stalinism, Islamism) that truly IS a cancer.
This is the fearsome irrationality with which we are dealing.