One hundred years ago, Ze'ev Jabotinsky wrote an article called "Instead of Excessive Apology." This excerpt was translated from the Russian by Boris Shusteff in 2004:
Who are we, to make excuses to them; who are they to interrogate us? What is the purpose of this mock trial over the entire people where the sentence is known in advance? Our habit of constantly and zealously answering to any rabble has already done us a lot of harm and will do much more. ... The situation that has been created as a result, tragically confirms a well known saying: "Qui s'excuse s'accuse." We ourselves have acquainted our neighbors with the thought that for every embezzling Jew it is possible to drag the entire ancient people to answer, a people that was already legislating at the time when the neighbors had not even invented a bast shoe. Every accusation causes among us such a commotion that people unwittingly think, 'why are they so afraid of everything?' Apparently their conscience is not clear.' Exactly because we are ready at every minute to stand at attention, there develops among the people an inescapable view about us, as of some specific thievish tribe. We think that our constant readiness to undergo a search without hesitation and to turn out our pockets, will eventually convince mankind of our nobility; look what gentlemen we are--we do not have anything to hide!
This is a terrible mistake.
The real gentlemen are the people that will not allow anyone for any reason to search their apartment, their pockets or their soul. Only a person under surveillance is ready for a search at every moment.... This is the only one inevitable conclusion from our maniac reaction to every reproach--to accept responsibility as a people for every action of a Jew, and to make excuses in front of everybody including hell knows who. I consider this system to be false to its very root. We are hated not because we are blamed for everything, but we are blamed for everything because we are not loved...
I cannot but think of this essay when I see the likes of Roger Cohen in the New York Times ("Obama made a brave speech," Netanyahu "will be judged a failure") and Jeffrey "I am a f---ing idiot" Goldberg at the Atlantic, turning out their pockets for Obama... to convince him of their loyalty, and mankind of their nobility.
I don't know how it is that people become what they hate, but it is certainly true that it often happens. Thus, Cohen and Goldberg become the very image of the shtetl Jews they reject in their minds and abhor in their tortured souls. How unfair life has been, to burden them with the DNA of the Chosen People.
... Uberhohem visits his rich, successful, ultra-Anglicized cousin, Hajsvasser. Seeing Hajsvasser’s English clothes and house and wife, the poor cousin asks, “Tell me, Salomon, are you happy?” To which the assimilated Jew replies: “Isi, you’re asking me if I’m happy? How could I be, when we’re about to lose India?”
Such Dark Humor ... "feels a little funny," does it not?
It is not the fault of the Cohen and Goldberg types that their parents did not send them to Betar camp but it is tragic all the same, for they might never know the pleasure and the pride of being a Free Jew, or the dignity, integrity and humility of knowing that one descends from the Kings of Israel.
It has happened before that Jabotinsky has saved the honor, the souls and the very lives, of Jews. But now, since he is of blessed memory only, he will not be coming to the Cohens and the Goldbergs; they will have to seek him out. And they should.