Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448 29 Jun 2010 #1If any PF anti-Semites, pro-Semites and those who avoid antagonising Jews for fear of reprisals could for a moment rise above their inclinations and step back to try and see the bigger picture, I'm sure many would agree that Poles would be better off trying to be more like Jews. We all know that Poles have harmed Jews over the ages and Jews have harmed Poles, and all neighbouring nations have trespassed against each other over the ages, but that's not the point.For the purpose of this discussion the point is that every nation has been given (by God, blind fate, whatever) certain attributes: geography, climate, natural resources, religious values, intellect, physical stamina, etc. At the same time, they have encountered various forms of natural (disasters) or man-made (wars, occupation, exile, etc.) adversities. A nation can ultimately be judged by how well it made use of its assets to cope with the historical vicissitudes it has encountered.In those terms, the Jewish nation should get the highest grades! The fact that such a numerically small nation has even survived down to the present borders on the miraculous.Poles complain of being deprived of statehood for 123 years (partitions) and 50 years in the 20th century, but Jewish enslavement is measured not in years but millennia. They did not regained independent statehood until after World War Two.Forced into exile by militarily and/or numerically superior nations (Babylonians, Egyptians, Europeans), they nonetheless survived by maintaining their sense of being exceptional (the chosen people) and developing their intellect. Often prohibited from owning land, they made a livelihood with their minds and hands as advisers, bankers and artisans. Since the Church forbade Catholics lending money on interest (usury), that job fell to Jews and gave them wealth and influence. Polish kings and aristocrats hired Jews as financial advisers and tax collectors, and nobles leased breweries and inns to them.Poles have often complained that Jews felt little attachment to Poland, but that was because Poland (like any other country) was simply the place they happened to be born. Until 1947 Jewishness was a stateless state of mind. Jews were thought of as cowards in imperial Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Perhaps the bespsctacled, neurotic NY Jew as personified by Woody Allen characters reflects of that stereotype.But nobody nowadays would anyone call Israeli troops or Mossad a bunch of pussies!Diaspora was simply not conclusive to the development of a freedom-fighter mentality.One can call it clannishness or solidarity, but the fact was that Jews have been known to stick together, either in shtetls by choice, in ghettoes by force or through ethno-religious loyalty wherever they live. That is probably the main adhesive that has glued all their other assets together. Poles by contrast seem to go overboard in the opposite direction -- finding fault with and back-stabbing their own compatriots.I admit I personally feel resentful about what I sometimes see as Jewish pushiness and exclusivist, including various anti-Polish attitudes. Yes, they have stepped on other people's toes and practice a form of Jewish 'firstism', but that too is part and parcel of their overall survival strategy. And it has worked. How many nations could lose half their number wiped out by Hitler only to bounce back and command the wealth, power and influence they do today?