Be Not Afeared, My Friends

While listening to my friend Daniel Mael speak at Chabad last night, he brought up an interesting point regarding why members of the Jewish community are afraid to speak up. He says that people have messaged him, saying that they want to stand up for Israel, but they’re afraid to lose friends. The same thing has happened to me. That being said, I want to direct the following message to those members of the Jewish community afraid to lose friends for standing up for Israel and for the Jewish people:

If you do not stand for your own, then what can you truly stand up for? The Jewish people have historically stood by each other in times of crisis and in times of turmoil. Our unity and our sense of community have kept us alive despite everyone’s attempt to kill us. We have always been on our own, and we shall forever be on our own. Yes, we have great allies defending Zionism, and we should forever be thankful for that. But that doesn’t change the fact that our history is engrained in us sticking together.

The Jews who support organizations like J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace seemed to have forgotten our history. They believe that working with the very powers that publicly call for our destruction will ensure our survival. By appeasing to those who wish to kill us, in hopes that we’ll be saved by playing their rules, is to show weakness and naivety. It only leads to our own self-destruction and it leads to our people losing the ground we have fought so hard to hold onto. Our enemies will argue that “the good Jews” are on their side and that us “bad Jews” need to be combatted and defeated. Such divides in the Jewish community cannot occur in this day in age with the highest rate of Jew-hatred since the 1930s.

So where does it leave us? If you are so worried that you are going to lose friends because you stand up for your people, then you first need to realize that anybody who defends Jew-hating terrorists should not be your friend at all. Your true friends, or those who respect you as a human being, will engage you in a peaceful discussion. They will surely want to know why you hold your positions so dear to your heart. The others will refer to you as “racist,” “bigoted,” and call you all sorts of names that make you look a horrible human being. If that happens, don’t take those words to heart, for those individuals are only describing themselves.

Standing up for Israel should be a test to see who your true friends are. Who are those people who stand by you in a time where you feel like your people are in grave danger? Who are those who continue spewing anti-Semitic propaganda under the premises of inherent anti-Semitism, leftist values, and pure ignorance? Who should stay and who should go? Those questions will be answered, and it is far better for you to know these answers now than to be surprised later. It is horrible to find out at the worst possible time that one of your “friends” supports Jew-hatred.

It is not an easy task, as I have lost plenty of friends since standing up for what is right. However, I have gained far more than I have lost. Fighting on the right side of history pays off in the end, and it makes you feel empowered that if you can stand for your own people, for your own self-determination, and for your own right to exist on this earth, that you can stand up for ANYTHING you hold dear. Just know who your real friends are, because they will pull you up from the ground if the moral idiots knock you down.

About the Author
Elliott Hamilton is a JD/MPH candidate at Boston College Law School and Tufts University School of Medicine. He was credited as a researcher in the 2016 film "Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus."