Dear Joe and Joelle Jew, There’s been a failure to launch

Correction.Please note  Kate Jacobson did not say “does not want her name tied to a child murdering country that is Israel.” on June 5. It was written in January on Facebook.


I don’t blame you for your lack of knowledge about your people. And you are of an age and time, as university students, to throw yourselves into finding yourself, usually by chowing down on left wing ideology. In searching for that special you, you found and embraced “the other” while turning your back on your own brother. Tikun Olam for all but your own.

Perhaps that’s the reason that God in His infinite wisdom built fences around us, to keep us separate, so that we could remain the light unto the nations when all around us was darkness. He knew that darkness overwhelms and extinguishes the light.

You’ve turned from being a light unto the nations into lemmings. Instead of having the moral courage to follow the ethics of your ancestors, an ethic that they brought out of the desert 3500 years ago, for which your fathers and grandfathers fought WWII and then established the Jewish nation state of Israel, you have chosen to be liked by others. You have succumbed to the Stockholm syndrome. You have chosen to believe the worst that people say about Judaism and Israel rather than seek the truth.

January 16, 2014 ,University of Calgary student, Ala’a Hamdan, made comments on Facebook that received international coverage and much condemnation.She wrote:

“This land will be proud that Palestinian babies are born men and women ready to spill their blood.”

“So be aware of my existence; my body and soul are ready to fight and die.”

“And if you see my blood coming out of my body please smile and cry of happiness because just then I will lay at peace in my mother’s arms.”

Kate Jacobson, a Jewish student, also at the University of Calgary responded this way:

“soon after the 1948 War of Independence, Palestinian people were driven from their homes. Israel occupies Palestinian land and restricts their freedom of movement. The IDF has killed children…Does the writing personally make me feel uncomfortable? Sure. Does that make it hate speech? No, it doesn’t. The Israeli government has massacred children, and if we’re not willing to change – to give democratic and human rights to all people’s living in the area of Israel-Palestine, then I think we should question whether that’s a state we want the word ‘Jewish’ attached to.”

On June 5, 2014, she added she “does not want her name tied to a child murdering country that is Israel.”

And now Kate Jacobson is the incoming “Israel Chair” of Hillel Calgary.

Actually, I blame your parents. They decided that it wasn’t necessary to teach you what it means to be a Jew. Maybe they thought you would learn it by osmosis. Or they wanted you to be a citizen of the world. We are in a post-post-modern world. They also raised you as if you were a fine china cup. They swaddled you in bubble wrap, anything to avoid a chip, a break, a bruise a hurt feeling, the real emotions of living a real life. You now need constant reassurance of your worthiness, you likeability. As there are only 14 million Jews in the world of 7 billion, I can understand your desire  to ally yourselves with the majority; it’s comforting and safe the way you were raised. But I don’t have to agree with you.

Tikun Olam (repair the world) doesn’t mean that we, the Jewish people, commit genocide for the sake of others. The mass suicide committed at Masada is never to be repeated. We value life-including our own. But Joe and Joelle Jew, in that desire, that compulsion to be liked by others, to prove your belief in Gemilut Haisidim (great acts of loving kindness), you’ve allowed the anti-Zionists, the Jew-haters to point to you and say-“See, the Jews agree-look at them participating in BDS, Israel Apartheid Week, Queers against Apartheid Israel” and who knows how many other groups and organizations.

So now Joe and Joelle, you aren’t happy just joining Jew-hating organizations. You want to invite them into your home. You want to open Hillel, an organization established to protect Jews in a society that for so long shunned us and had quotas in their clubs, universities and medical establishments, to the very people who preach against us. You are inviting the bully into your home. Can you imagine how you would have felt if your parents invited the schoolyard bully home for dinner so he could explain why you deserved to be bullied? That’s what you are doing to your brothers and sisters when you open the doors. You haven’t bothered to learn the history of Hillel; why it was established and why we still need it, today.

Hillel, which first opened in 1923, is a Jewish organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. This is a place where Jewish students engage in religious, cultural, artistic, and community-service activities. It’s a place of refuge on campuses where Jew-hatred is foaming at the mouth.  Hillel was not established as an advocacy group-even though there are others, like CIJA in Canada, who are trying to change the purpose of Hillel. So the front door was opened, and the Jew haters entered.

Now, anti-Israel speakers are promoted while those who talk about the hate that emanates from Islamists around the world and whose purpose it to delegitimize the Jewish people and the Jewish state are muzzled.

Nonie Darwish, an ex-Muslim activist who is critical of Islam and the Arab world and who calls on the Arab world to make peace with the Jewish State, has been banned from speaking on some campuses in North America including UC Irvine. iFest organizer Daniel Narvy said his organization was pressured by Orange County Hillel to drop Darwish because she is perceived as “anti-Muslim.” Yet, in 2010, Hillel promoted a talk by George Rishmawi, a Palestinian founder of the International Solidarity Movement. They call themselves a “non-violent” protest organization yet they endorse violence against Jews and “armed resistance” against Israel, and their activists have admitted collaborating with Palestinian operatives. These are your new friends.

Hillel was established to promote Zionism-the right of Jews to a nation state like Italians have Italy, the Greeks have Greece. the French-France. The Jews have Israel. Hillel is needed today as much as it was when it first opened. Anti-Semitism Jew-hatred, anti-Zionism are not going away.

It’s time Joe and Joelle Jew that you open your eyes, your minds and your hearts, to the truth, develop moral courage and stand up for Israel and the Jewish people.

About the Author
Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital trained chaplain who lives in Ontario, Canada, just outside Toronto; She has a background in science and the humanities and writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog: The Middle Ground:The Agora of the 21st Century. She is a regular contributor to Convivium: Faith in our Community. "