“How do you explain the desire to exterminate the Jewish people?”
That was the question posed by best-selling American author, columnist, and talk show host, Dennis Prager, at the United Israel Appeal (UIA) Victoria Annual Gala Dinner last week.
Held at the Palladium at Crown, almost 1000 people attended the event. Israel’s ambassador to Australia Mark Sofer also addressed the audience, while entertainment was provided by sand artist Sheli Ben-Nun.
But it was keynote speaker Prager who stole the limelight, several times receiving a rousing applause mid-address, and a standing ovation at the conclusion of his oration.
Prager asserted that Israel is the only country in the world targeted for annihilation, and that “Jew-hatred, and Israel-hatred are unique” – “and Israel-hatred is in fact, a form of Jew-hatred”.
“Anti-Zionism means that of all the countries in the world, only one do you deem unworthy of existence, and it happens to be Israel – and Israel happens to be the only Jewish country,” Prager continued.
Drawing a comparison between Israel and Pakistan, Prager illustrated the stark biases charged against Israel. He offered, that while historically there were two Jewish sovereign states, conversely the state of Pakistan never existed prior to 1947/48 – and it would become “one of the most violently founded states in the history of the world”.
“[Yet], no-one claims Pakistan is illegitimate, even though there are 52 Muslim majority states in the world, no-one claims, ‘why does Pakistan have the right to exist?’
“That is why you must understand that all challenges to Israel’s legitimacy are Jew-hatred on a state level,” Prager added.
Naming universities as “the centre for Israel-hatred in the Western World”, Prager also charged the media and the United Nations as central players in the campaign against the Jewish State.
“But why the need to end us? How do you explain the centrality of the Jew in the world, given the tiny numbers of Jews? The centrality of Israel, given how small Israel is?” Prager probed.
The answer: “It is only possible to explain with relationship to God. There is no secular explanation for the uniqueness of the Jews in history.
“And I say this as a Jew who is not wearing a yarmulke,” he added.
Prager debunked the economic arguments for anti-Semitism: “When Jews are rich they’re hated; when Jews are poor, they’re hated.”
But the Jewish role in the world is clear, Prager contended.
“We’re here to confront … with right and wrong … [But] the issue isn’t any superiority of the Jews, it is simply a fact that the Jews represent something transcendent in the world that the world would like to extinguish.”