Dear Rabbi, I just read a post on The Guardian newspaper website (theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/07/gaza-coverage-rise-antisemitic-attacks-europe?) that asks the question “Why is there so much coverage of Israel in the media?” The answer: “Jews are news.” That isn’t a real answer, and it begs the question, “Why are Jews news?” Can you answer that question?
Jews have been news for thousands of years. Why? Because Jews are God’s Chosen People.
What started out as a jingoistic mantra of tribal self–promotion has become a universal meme feeding both love of and hatred for the Jewish people. Even if you don’t (as I don’t) believe in a choosing God, a Chosen People, or a Promised Land, the meme of the Jew’s chosenness unconsciously shapes much of Islamic and Western civilization making the Jews news even in so-called secular media around much of the world.
Even those who insist that they have replaced the Jews as God’s favorite, continue by their very claim of supersession to make the Jews central to their identity and destiny. Even if you hate the Jews, your hatred demands you pay attention to them.
So why are Jews news? Because the success of our ad men in promoting the idea of our Chosenness has succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest imagination (which, by the way, is exactly what the notion of chosenness is: a product of our wildest imagination).