American Jewish History Museum
American Jewish History MuseumAJHM photo
Jews and Jewish history have forever confounded the experts.

Thrust into the role of the most persecuted people on the planet, they never stopped contributing to that world and being hated for it all the more.

Historians, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, and "the candlestick maker" have never been able to explain this unique tiny small nation. How does it still exist - and thrive?

How did this tiny, persecuted dispersed people survive and come home after two thousand years?

Jewish history, like history in general, seems to be speeding up.There have been more changes and surprises in the twentieth century than all those preceding it.

This clearly applies to Jewish history.

With the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 Jewish communities of the Diaspora began a rapid decline in significance for Jewish history and its future destiny.

Rapid demographic trends point to the disappearance of Jewish communities outside the homeland.

History has removed the Jews from the stage of the Gentiles to one built by themselves.

It is this Jewish stage that attracts disproportionate attention today.

Most of that attention paid to the flourishing Jewish state is of envy and hate, from the civilizations that persecuted Jews as scorned guests in their lands.

No Jews anymore? No problem. Hate the Jewish country.

As it was in the exiles, so too today in the Jewish country, there is nothing Jews can do to change that.

This illogical state of human affairs was foretold by our prophets and our greatest rabbis long ago.

Did they not try to eliminate the newly-born state in 1948? Our enemies close and far were convinced that the handful of Jews would be wiped out in a short time. This time there will be no survivors as there were in the Holocaust three years earlier.

On paper, the warnings of the Truman administration and the US Defense Department, not to declare a state were logical. The British armed, trained, and led the numerous standing Arab armies surrounding the hated Jews All experts agreed that tiny Israel with no army, embargoed by the world stood no chance.

Israel won.

The world was stunned.


In May 1967 the USSR and the Communist Bloc replaced the British Empire as the instigator and supplier of the Arab world surrounding Israel. Their lust for Jewish blood was certain to be quenched this time around. Who imagined any alternate scenario?

Not this time.

The USA and the West once again embargoed the tiny Jewish state Israel and demanded that Israel not act aggressively.

I remember as a child in NY how we said prayers and were glued to the radio for weeks praying for a miracle that May.

On June 5, 1967, the war began. Six days later it was over. Israel won.


Like in 1948, none of the experts could explain.

In 1973, I came to Israel as an exchange student for a one-year program at Hebrew University.

I found an Israel that was very calm and upbeat. All that changed on Yom Kippur, October 6 at 2:00 pm.

The sirens were sounded to everyone's surprise, including the Israeli government and armed forces.

The combined surrounding Arab armies with close and massive Soviet support launched a devastating coordinated attack.

American promises of aid were ignored (by Kissinger) as Israel was bleeding to death.

We didn't know just how close Israel was to be overrun and destroyed. We only found out later.

Israel managed to turn the tide, expel the invaders, and was on the way to Damascus and Cairo.

The most amazing successful counterattack in history had just taken place.

The experts were puzzled again.


In 1991 during the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein fired scores of scud missiles, each one the size of a bus, into Israel's metropolitan areas. The US demanded that Israel not respond

During that war scud missiles killed hundreds when they struck outside of Israel.

The thirty-nine scuds that rained down on Israel's metropolitan areas caused no casualties.

The experts were puzzled.


Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a Middle East expert from Bar Ilan University wrote a very sobering article last week. He explained that Iran has been coordinating a war plan that will include the launching of tens of thousands of missiles and cyber attacks from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen, and perhaps more. Israel's air defense system will not be able to meet this threat. The country's infrastructure will be cripppled. and so the reserves will not be able to join their units to defend the borders and internal attacks.

The Arabs of the Palestinian Authority and Israeli Arab citizens will attack from within as thousands cross our borders from Lebanon and Gaza capturing Jewish villages and towns and holding them hostage in return for surrender.

Those not openly supportive of the Arab /Iranian coalition will do the same as they did in the past when the sword was at Israel's throat. Nothing.

The coalition is encouraged by the current split between anti-religious "Israelis" and Jews This internal fissure is a go-sign for the Iranian coalition. They have reason to believe that this time there will be no miracles to save the divided Jews.

We can expect yet another miracle by the same God of the Jews that has not abandoned His people.

Our prophets assured us.

The experts will continue to ask, how?

Shalom Pollackis a veteran tour guide and author of the book "Jews, Israelis and Arabs." Reach him at [email protected]