Sunday January 10, 2016

Ron Rosenbaum: "I believe the state of Israel may not survive; that its days are numbered."

An Israeli policeman collects evidence next to the body of an Israeli soldier killed in a stabbing attack at a West Bank petrol station near Jerusalem, on Nov. 23, 2015.

An Israeli policeman collects evidence next to the body of an Israeli soldier killed in a stabbing attack at a West Bank petrol station near Jerusalem, on Nov. 23, 2015. (Mahmoud Illean/Associated Press)

Listen 27:51

Of all the books of the Christian Bible and the Hebrew Bible, perhaps the most evocatively titled is "Lamentations" … five bitterly mournful poems about the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the Babylonians in 586 BC. 

Lamentation has been woven into the tapestry of Jewish history … a people who for thousands of years have been faced with hatred, exile, subjugation and threats to their very existence.

Enslaved by Egypt and conquered by various Middle Eastern peoples in antiquity. Occupied by Rome in New Testament times … and enduring nearly two thousand years of crusades, caliphates, pogroms and the Holocaust before the modern state of Israel was established in 1948. 

Ron Rosenbaum

Ron Rosenbaum (Nina Roberts)

Ron Rosenbaum evokes the language of that history in the title of a recent essay in Tablet magazine … it's called "Thinking the Unthinkable: A Lamentation for the State of Israel." He argues that anti-Semitism has reached such a pitch throughout the world, particularly among Israel's antagonists in the Middle East, that the destruction of Israel is a real possibility. 

Ron Rosenbaum is a widely-published journalist and author who is best known for his critically acclaimed bestseller, Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil.