Encounter Books recently published Italian journalist Giulio Meotti’ s gut wrenching book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism. At first glance I thought his title might be over-the-top. Orders of magnitude more people were murdered in the Shoah—the Nazi Holocaust—than by terrorists in Israel, but that isn’t the point. What Israel’s victims of terrorism have in common with the victims of the Nazi genocide is that they were Jews who were murdered for being Jews.
Why else, after all, would a suicide bomber explode himself at Café Hillel in Jerusalem rather than at a military checkpoint in the West Bank or Gaza? Why else would Hamas fire rockets at kindergartens in Sderot instead of at army bases? And why else would Hezbollah lionize Samir Kuntar, a man who murdered a four year old girl by placing her head on a rock and smashing her skull with the butt of his rifle? And why would Hezbollah go all the way to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to blow up a Jewish community center with a truck bomb?
Meotti’s book is grim, but somebody needed to write it, and he’s the person who did. He and I spoke a few days ago.
MJT: So tell us why you wrote this book.
Giulio Meotti: What’s the difference between a Western democracy, such as France or the United States, and Israel’s democracy? It’s not the start-up nation, the job opportunities, the scientific progress, or the number of Nobel laureates. The most important difference between Israel and the other Western countries lies in the young men and women killed for what they are: Israelis living as free human beings in their historical homeland.
The Jewish state is the only member of the United Nations condemned to death. Its existence is the only one widely considered temporary by a large number of countries in the world. In 2003 I decided to investigate the great black hole that in the last fifteen years has snuffed out thousands of lives, Jews killed because they are Jews...............