On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish, one Arab. Most Zionists accepted the deal, while Arabs almost universally rejected it and declared war.
One Muslim delegate, referring to Jews living in Arab nations, warned that “The blood will flow like rivers in the Middle East.” Iraq’s prime minister threatened that the Jewish state would not survive, saying “We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in” while Syria’s leader claimed “We shall eradicate Zionism.”
Seventy years later, a lust for Jewish blood is a staple of Islamic State, Hezbollah and Hamas, whose charter calls for the elimination of Israel. Iran’s leaders call Israel “Little Satan” and vow to wipe it off the map.
In important ways, then, not much has changed. Jew hatred remains mainstream enough to flourish in the sunshine as well as the shadows, including at major American university campuses and European parliaments. Year in, year out, Jews are the victims of most of the religious hate crimes in the United States.
Some UN bodies exist to demonize Israel while ignoring wholesale slaughter and oppression in other lands. Indeed, if that partition proposal were submitted to a much-larger General Assembly today, it probably would not get majority support, let alone the two-thirds approval it got in 1947.
Yet in other ways, everything has changed. Israel, which declared independence in 1948, is a mighty regional power militarily and its economy and technical innovations are world-renowned. This is exceptionalism, Israeli-style...