A Letter to the Israel Bashers in the Thrift Store
Two days ago, I had just come back from babysitting an 8-year-old girl that I have been watching a couple of times a week (along with her baby brother) for the past few months. The girl is well-traveled, cultured and always enjoys my Israel stories. This week, I told her about Yom HaShoah. She knew who Adolph Hitler was, but I had to explain what happened during the Holocaust. I also told her about the worthless hacks at the United Nations, the anti-Semitism that persists there, that Israel is held to more double standards than any other country on Earth because it’s a Jewish country and that no one will ever condemn land-grabbers like France, China or England because they are not Jewish. Am I crazy to tell this to an 8-year-old? It’s possible. But Lord knows I need to tell her this because no one else will. You certainly did not learn these lessons.
As I walked towards the back of the store, I looked at the section of baby clothes. I love the babies I care for and I was peeking at some of the girly clothes for one of my babies and for another one that is due next month. As I was looking at a pink onesie, I heard the interaction between you, the girl, as you spoke to the guy across from you as you were, presumably, trying something on.
Guy: Ugh. It says it’s made in Israel.
Girl: Hmm. Maybe I’ll just cut the tag off.
I took my hands off the onesie and scoffed. I walked past you under the pretense of looking at the bags, but I couldn’t hear you anymore. You both kept looking over at another girl and were laughing. My stomach dropped at your actions and I felt my blood running cold through my veins. While traditional methods of Israel advocacy have been people standing on stages or talking on news shows about Israel, I have always taken a lower-key approach by doing my advocacy face to face or by talking to my clients about Israel. Oh, it was hard not to say something to you and even now, regret has been scratching at the edges of my conscience like a pointy thumbtack. But, unlike what anti-Israel/Jewish protestors do to Israel/Jewish supporters, I was not going to get up in your face, nor would I attack you physically or cause a scene. That’s not what Israel advocates do. So instead, I bought this beautiful birthmark:
I left the store annoyed. The night before I sat listening to an officer in the Israel Defense Forces as part of Boston’s branch of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) project called the Hatikvah Mission, an annual delegation of current IDF members from Haifa, Boston’s sister city. We talked about her being in America during Yom HaShoah and how we don’t have the answers for why young people don’t know — or care — about the Holocaust or finding out about the good that Israel does. And you and your guy friend just proved to be those people.
I am probably going out on a limb here, but odds are, you are one of those people who hate Israel under the guise of “human rights.” I noticed you didn’t want to cut off the tags of the shirts made in China. You didn’t scratch out the name of India imprinted on the soles of the boots. Not a care was given about the labels inside the bags that were made in Indonesia.
Like pretty much everyone in America, you have a cell phone. I am perplexed as to why you have it, seeing as for an Israel-hater, you are using a phone with an Israeli chip in it. And I’m guessing you have a laptop in your home, which also has Israeli technology in it. I sure hope you never get sick, since you would probably want to save money buying generic drugs. This would be difficult, of course, since Teva, an Israeli company, is the biggest manufacturer of generic drugs in the world. God, I would respect nitwits like you (and the other dippity-do-heads who boycott Israeli products) if you would at least admit that you’re a hypocrite.
My cell phone was made in China. I drink vodka from Russia. I eat cookies from Britain. My clothes only come from thrift stores and their proceeds fund charities in America, but my newer products and my food/drinks come from overseas. All these countries are guilty of egregious human rights violations. But at least I’m honest about it. This is why I don’t burst into a store and trash products from these countries without having the faintest clue about what I’m protesting, nor do I criticize countries if I am using their products. That’s for the ninnies like you. And please, I beg of you, don’t use Waze for your traffic issues. Especially in your ~evil~ Israeli-secured cell phone.
As another Yom HaShoah has passed, I will think of my people. I will think of the Jews whose hearts were irreparably broken and how it has caused them to see the cracks in everything. My people know that sadness wants to harden us, but we must do our best to not let it, or people like you, get to us.
But it’s hard.
I will spend tonight listening to more IDF officers, admiring how they do their best to make sure the Holocaust won’t happen again. In fact, due to the attitude that you possess, I just donated money to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF). It’s my own form of Israel advocacy.
I know that there are people like you in the world who are nothing but giant erasers to Israel and world Jewry. But Israel, and her people, have made her mark on the world.
And they are staying.