This promises to be a good Passover for the Jewish people and for Israel. The Jewish community in America has never been stronger, more admired, and more successful. Israel is thriving, with an enviable economy, a powerful military and a new government. It’s the best of times – and that is always dangerous for the Jewish people. Historically, the best of times, have often been followed by the most dangerous of times. From the thriving Jewish community in Esther’s Persia, to the Weimar Republic, Jewish success has often been followed by envy and efforts to bring us down. As the holiday prayers remind us, in every generation they tried to destroy us. Now is no exception.
Our enemies are all around us, waiting to pounce. On university campuses, anti-Israel groups try to silence pro-Israel speakers. Anti-Israel professors grade down pro-Israel students. University departments officially sponsor anti-Israel, and sometimes anti-Semitic events. Young members of Congress employ anti-Semitic tropes, claiming they are merely anti-Zionist.
In the Middle East, Iran threatens Israel both directly and through its surrogate, Hezbollah. Hamas continues to inflict psychic and physical damage on the residents of southern Israel. The war in Syria moves closer and closer to Israel’s northern border. The United Nations continues to condemn Israel more than all the other countries in the world combined.
Notwithstanding these threats, both the Jewish community and Israel stand strong at the moment. It’s the future we must worry about. The young students and members of Congress who demonize Israel may become future leaders. Their current idle threats may someday endanger the bipartisan support Israel still receives, despite the efforts by the radical fringe of the Democratic Party to weaken it.
Passover is a holiday of remembering the past to avoid recurrence of bad times. We are obliged to tell our children about the past so that they may fight for the liberty and freedom of the Jewish people.
So when we sit down with our family and friends for the Seders, it is incumbent on all of us to remember to avoid the trap of believing that the present is necessarily predictive of the future. Today’s good times and strength can quickly turn to bad times and weakness, as history has demonstrated. Jews can never take their freedom for granted and must always fight to preserve it. Passover is the holiday of liberation. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. Israel is where a majority of the world’s Jews will soon live. May the Jewish people and their national homeland continue to thrive from generation to generation.
Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of “The Case Against the Democrats Impeaching Trump,” Skyhorse Publishing, 2019. Follow Alan Dershowitz on Twitter: @AlanDersh.