I attended a pro-Israel rally in Orlando last September with my daughter organized by ACT! For America. The program featured Dr. Kenneth Hanson, an Associate Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Hanson was a great speaker, with a deep knowledge of Israel, its history, and the politics of the region. ACT! Is a Christian organization and it was a new experience for me being one of the few Jews at a pro-Israel rally. Feeling the love and support that Israel enjoys from many Christians was reason enough to attend the rally.
But I was bothered by a question asked from a member of the audience after the lecture. The question was, “Why don’t we just nuke all the Arabs?” I was concerned by the response of the audience, as many members seemed to agree with the sentiment. I was upset by the fact that the speaker did not rebuke the questioner, but rather side stepped the question. I was mostly bothered that I sat quietly and said nothing.
I am a certified right wing capitalist. I voted for Romney but I voted for Gingrich in the Florida primary because Romney is not right wing enough for me. I support the settlers. I think we should call them developers, because they are developing the country. Go to a so-called settlement and look at the area around it and tell me that a Jew building a house on an empty rock-strewn hill is an impediment to peace. But I digress, that is for another blog.
I try to listen and understand opposing points of view. Even though they are all leftists-communists, I believe that they want what is best for the world. They are good, intelligent people even though they are so pathetically naïve. I respect them. Well, at least I respect their intentions.
Which gets me back to the comment made by the audience member at the pro-Israel rally. I do not respect his intentions. I don’t want to indiscriminately kill everybody who disagrees with me. I don’t want to condemn them all to hell. If I could wave a magic wand, say something like a Predator Drone, and wipe out all the evil leaders in the world, I would do it. But I don’t want to take half the population with them. And I don’t think that any rational right wing person would either.
It is these loud mouthed, crazy right wingers that give us rational right wingers a bad name. They speak out at rallies. They comment on our blogs. And what do we do?
Worse than nothing, we give them a platform.
By saying nothing, we provide our support.
We need to separate ourselves from the radical elements in our midst. They are among the biggest obstacles to reaching any positive solution.
We are in an escalating situation with Gaza. Blood is starting to boil. Israel recently waved its magic wand and took out one of the bad guys. Now the terrorists are launching rockets indiscriminately trying to kill all of us. There are going to be people among us screaming that we should just “kill them all.” We can. We have the power. But we shouldn’t. And Israel won’t. It is what separates us from them.
We rational right wingers need to work hard to differentiate ourselves from the radicals amongst us who do not share our values. We value life, not death.
עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו, הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵיֽנוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאִמְרוּ : אָמֵן.