When I started this blog, I intended to keep it apolitical. Obviously, I love Israel, but I thought I’d leave it at that – spread the ♥ ahava ♥ without getting into the politics of it all. I wanted my blog to be light and fun-to-read-no-matter-what for all kinds of Jews and Judeophiles.
While those objectives remain true, I’ve chucked my apolitical plan. You’ve probably noticed by my last couple of posts.
Part of living Joyishly is being part of something bigger than yourself. So when Israel is misrepresented, demonized or delegitimized, we as Jews, the people of Israel, defend her.
Granted, some Jews would rather not. They’re uncomfortable with their inherent affiliation with Israel, and find the duty to defend her burdensome.
Their inner dialogue goes something like this: “Ooh, politics: touchy, muddy, controversial, polarizing, complex, ug! I really don’t know enough to say anything. I’m not even sure we’re in the right. I can’t answer questions. I’d probably get my facts wrong, or get too impassioned. People might dislike me; it would create tension. Plus, is it really appropriate? Work isn’t the right place, and I have so many different types of friends on Facebook, that’s the wrong place too. I’ll just distance myself from it all and talk about…the World Cup!”
We’ve all had our moments. But, this is how good people become accomplices. When we don’t correct misinformation, we allow false narratives to take root. We risk them becoming THE narrative, and policy follows public opinion.
You Are an Ambassador, Like It or Not
Growing up in Texas, I was the first Jew some of my friends had ever met in person. To them, I represented all Jews. Even now in Los Angeles, I am the first Israeli some of my co-workers have gotten to know well. To them, I represent all Israelis. It means, I need to know my facts and represent well, because although I didn’t ask to be an ambassador of the Jewish people, or the State of Israel, I am. And not just me, all of us.
This “burden” is actually an awesome opportunity. We can give the conflict a face and use our relationships to spread the truth. Your friends feel comfortable with you, let them know you welcome their questions about the conflict.
Quit Yer Whining
Our family in Israel is at war. Reserves have been called up. Their lives are on the line. The least we can do in the diaspora, is defend them in the court of public opinion. Don’t let the media shame or confuse you, Israel’s wartime morality and fairness is unprecedented. The world should know about it.
It’s an Honor to Defend Ourselves
It’s an honor to defend ourselves, a privilege we haven’t always had. We all must use our resources to help Israel now. If your resource is your mouth, your blog, your money or social media, use it and use it well! Wear your Magen David necklace as a sign of unity. Maybe it will invite questions, and you can share Israel’s story.
My fellow ambassadors, may we each embrace our role as representatives of the Jewish people and proudly share our nation’s bravery, strength, restraint and fairness. Am Israel Chai!