In the event you don't have time to read this whole article, here's a two-sentence summary: The Jewish people are like everyone else, with strengths and weaknesses, good qualities and bad qualities. At the same time, the Jewish people often have a disproportionate influence on society, for good or for bad.
If you listen to the critics (and, most recently, to a murderer), "the Jews" are responsible for all the evil in the world. To quote the synagogue shooter, "I would die a thousand times over to prevent the doomed fate that the Jews have planned for my race."
Yes, "Every Jew is responsible for the meticulously planned genocide of the European race. They act as a unit, and every Jew plays his part to enslave the other races around him—whether consciously or subconsciously. Their crimes are endless."
And this, after listing a litany of supposed Jewish crimes (some of which involved inter-Jewish conflicts): "Every Jew young and old has contributed to these. For these crimes they deserve nothing but hell."
Put another way, the Jews—as a whole, as an entity—are wicked and guilty.
In the words of Catholic scholar E. Michael Jones,
The Church is faced with a choice. She can follow the plan of attempting to fight abortion, gay marriage, and all of the other ills she opposes piecemeal, and continue to fail as she has failed for the past half century. Or she can work for the conversion of the group that is responsible for virtually every social ill in our day—from wars in the Middle East to pornography and gay marriage at home—namely the Jews, around whose evil machinations the axis of history turns. If the Church wants to have its history back, then it will have to contend with the Jews once again as the Apostles and the Church Fathers did 2000 years ago." (From his book The Jews and Moral Subversion.)
For proof, these critics would point to men like Karl Marx, the architect of communism, or George Soros, the financier of the radical left, or porn kings like Al Goldstein or social dissidents like Abbie Hoffman. They would point to the high percentage of Jewish Supreme Court justices, all of them liberal (Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan), or the high percentage of Jewish leadership in the ACLU, or the high percentage of Jewish atheists.
"The Jews are just plain evil, always on the wrong side of social and moral issues!"
What these Jew-haters forget is that the Jewish people have made a disproportionate impact for good, compared to their total population.
There is the world-changing influence of Israelite-Jewish leaders, from Moses to Isaiah and from Jesus to Paul. (That influence alone would more than make up for all the negative names just listed, 100 times over.)
There are influential, social commentators like Dennis Prager and David Horowitz and Ben Shapiro. (I'm obviously writing from a conservative point of view; otherwise, I would have been praising George Soros, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ACLU.)
There is a steady stream of inventions and scientific breakthroughs benefiting the world, many of them coming directly from Israel. These include turning algae into heart tissue, developing drip irrigation technology and inventing a "pipeline technology that promises a rapid and noninvasive diagnostic tool for cancer and other diseases."
Note also that "Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 900 individuals, of whom at least 20% were Jews, although the Jewish population comprises less than 0.2% of the world's population."
Israel is also a world leader in humanitarian service. As noted on a government website, "With aid teams poised to respond in the wake of natural or man-made disasters anywhere in the world, Israel's 200-strong relief team was the first on the scene in January 2010 after the earthquake hit Haiti. Israel helped save thousands of lives. In March 2011 following the devastating earthquakes in Japan, Israel was one of the first countries to send aid according to the needs and request of the Japanese government, and one of the first states to send a medical team and set up a field clinic."
Best-selling author and economist George Gilder has even written a book about Israel's positive effect on the world economy, titled, The Israel Test: Why the World's Most Besieged State is a Beacon of Freedom and Hope for the World Economy.
And on and on the list goes. (I haven't even mentioned leading Jewish contemporary religious figures).
I personally believe that God has chosen the Jewish people for a special, world-changing mission. You could say that, by calling, we are world-changers. When we get things right, it is wonderful. When we get things wrong, it is terrible.
But, as a people, we are neither inherently good nor bad, not better or worse than others by nature. We simply seem to make a bigger impact, for good or for bad.
That's why some people esteem us more highly than they should, and others esteem us more negatively than they should.
The truth is somewhere in the middle.
Listen to the podcasts for Dr. Brown's latest commentary.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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