In the wake of the terrorist attack on a kosher market in
I don't particularly like that advice. I think it would be a tragedy if centuries of Jewish French culture had to die out because Jews were chased out by Islamist thugs. The French government agrees -- for now at least -- and has posted armed soldiers everywhere Jews live and gather.
Still, what Netanyahu understands is that there is strength in numbers. The more Jews there are in Israel, the stronger Israel will be. The flip side is that the fewer Jews there are in
But no matter how you slice it, Jews are at a numerical disadvantage.
People understand that in a democracy there will always be strength in numbers. The politician who gets the most votes wins, the constituency with the most voters gets heard the most, etc. This also tends to be true of intellectuals, activists and businesses. If
And if there were a billion Jews in the
A similar attitude pervades the leaders of the so-called international community.
Realism itself is not anti-Semitic. But it's often hard to tell where realism ends and anti-Semitism begins, as when a French diplomat in 2001 famously used a common epithet to describe that "sh***y little country Israel" and blame it for all the troubles in the world. He added, "Why should the world be in danger of World War III because of those people?" Many had similar attitudes about Czechs and Poles before World War II.
Since 2006, the
Nearly every conversation about the Charlie Hebdo cartoons makes reference to the fact that there are 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, as if there's an obvious correlation between the number offended and the nature of the offense. This is less about manners and more about power worship. A musical mocking Mormons (15 million worldwide) has been a smash hit on
In much of the Muslim world, newspapers frequently run vile anti-Semitic cartoons depicting, for instance, Jews dressed as Nazis eating babies. Perhaps if Jews outnumbered Muslims by roughly 115 to 1 rather than the other way around, we'd hear more about those blasphemous drawings.
Anyone who cherishes democracy understands that numbers matter. But the key word in "liberal democracy" is "liberal," not "democracy." A mob can be of one mind on an issue, but that doesn't make it right. And giving into the mob simply because it is large and dangerous may be realistic, but a better word for it is "appeasement."