Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard http://www.jackengelhard.com

Apparently, Putin’s undeclared war against Ukraine is not going too well…not enough women and children have been killed.

So, it’s only natural to lash out at somebody else. Who would that be?

Why…even more natural is to hang it on the Jews.

Israel…in case you haven’t heard…is supporting a neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine, even though its president, Zelenskyy, is himself Jewish.

What’s more, Jews are themselves anti-Semitic and…and Hitler had Jewish ancestry.

All that gibberish comes by way of Putin’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who should know better.

He should know that Ukraine, home to anti-Semitism throughout its history, that is true, but is today tallied as by far the least anti-Semitic country throughout Europe.

The polls say so. Emphatically.

He should know, further along, that Israel has tried to play it down the middle; taking no sides, except for providing humanitarian relief, as is the rest of the world.

But obviously, to some, Israel is never the rest of the world. It is always there for easy pickings.

Old habits die hard.

It has already been noted that, through the years, Putin has been “good to the Jews.” He has outlawed anti-Semitism throughout Russia.

He’s had warm relations with Russia’s Lubavitch Movement, and his judo partners have generally been Jews.

What happened?

Well, something happens to some people when things go wrong. They revert to old labels and libels. Many of us have had this experience on a personal level when a trusted friend, suffering a setback, goes, shockingly, to a dark place, and thus reveals a hidden, ugly truth about himself. Amazing how this happens to you and me and…throughout history.

Until the present day…a period in which Israel celebrates its Independence, won by a miracle or two and by the heroism of its sons and daughters.

Out of the ashes, Israel is a strong, vibrant country, world-class in science, technology, agriculture, medicine, literature, and certainly as a model in democracy.

All it took was 74 years, when other nations are still learning to tie their shoelaces.

Therefore, Israel is not a shtetl that can be pushed around, as it was in the good old days.

Enter Lavrov. It’s tempting to signify his comments as beyond the pale…as we speak of any insinuation beyond reason.

Just as likely, we’re talking about the Pale of Settlement, a region designated as places of confinement for Russia’s Jews between the mid-1700s until 1917.

Thus it was under the tsars, and likewise under Stalin and his purges.

Somehow the instinct persists. Which has it that Jews are to be marked as separate and unequal and always to be subject to the whims of these or those tyrannical overlords.

Not this time.

Israel is a beacon of liberty, so much so that every citizen has a say, and if its politics occasionally runs wild, as is the case in a freedom-loving nation whose literacy rate is extremely high… this much Lavrov achieved through his slander; he united the (political) tribes. All sides, left, right, the middle, all in one voice denounced his reckless smear.

Hands off, Messrs. Putin and Lavrov. Those shtetl days are finished. Israel has arrived.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal,” the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah.” For that and his 1960s epic “The Days of the Bitter End,” contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website: www.jackengelhard.com

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