Erica Mindel

An open letter to my left leaning friends

Similar to many of you, the last month has become somewhat routine for me—I wake up and check how many “red alert” notifications I have on my phone. During my commute into the city, I check all the latest news source notifications I received overnight so that I am up to date with the most current happenings. When I get to my desk, I open the Live Updates of Operation Protective Edge, and log onto Facebook for the sole purpose of reading the barrage of articles that will be waiting for me on my newsfeed. From the far left, to the far right, and everything in between, I am sure to read them all.

While I value the array of opinions and viewpoints of my social media “friends”, I can’t help but question the intentions of my Jewish, left leaning ones. With the rest of the world examining Israel through a critical lens, is that really your place right now? With the rest of the world questioning Israel’s actions and motives, do you really feel it necessary to as well?

I share your concern for the continuation of violence— it too keeps me up at night. I share your concern for the loss of human life, regardless of the side— it too leaves a pit in my stomach. However, by focusing on how Israel can do better, you are no longer keeping Israel’s best interests in mind. When your focus becomes examining Israel’s military tactics you fail to recognize the great lengths the IDF has gone to protect Palestinian lives. When you focus on Israel being a “light unto the nations” and demonstrating restraint because it is a Jewish moral, you are actually suppressing Israel’s right to defend herself. When you focus on only diplomacy, you mitigate your concern for Israel’s security. And when you focus on “proportional responses” and become fixated on the numbers, you fail to recognize why such a disparity exists in the first place.

Well let me remind you. Hamas is doing everything it can to get its citizens killed while Israel is doing everything in her power to keep her citizens safe. It is your hesitations and reactions that Hamas is looking for—to gain international sympathy and unnecessary support. They have the rest of the world for that; they don’t need you as well.

I appreciate your desire to make Israel the best possible version of herself she can be—and in doing so you need to question Israel. But I ask you, how effective do you think this questioning really is right now? So, before you post another article explaining why Palestinians support Hamas, or share another status on Israel taking the high road, I urge you to think how much does this actually support Israel in her time of need.

Rather I suggest you put pressure on the true enemy in this—Hamas. I push you to share their inhumane actions of using women and children as human shields. I encourage you to circulate articles highlighting the fact that instead of providing relief to its citizens, Hamas uses international aid and money to build extensive tunnel networks meant to kidnap Israeli civilians.

Just as this operation has brought Israelis from the right, left, religious and secular closer together, let us too unite behind one message—our unwavering support for Israel.

About the Author
Erica Mindel is an incoming Junior studying Political Science and Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan.