Chava Berman Borowsky

Don’t Engage with Antisemites

One of the premier values in the Western world is the Socratic method of learning, where people can engage in open dialogue with one another in order to reach a better understanding about virtually any subject. Generally speaking, it’s a beautiful idea which inspires more genuine diversity and inclusion in our world. But at the same time, we must understand what is legitimate credible open hard honest conversation and what is blatant antisemitism in the guise of faux-intellectual academia.

There are specifically two ideas which we should almost never engage in. Engaging with these ideas does only one thing. It gives legitimacy and credibility to absurd ideas and the lunatics who espouse them.

The first idea is “Israel’s right to exist.” What exactly does that mean? Is there any other country whose existence is debated? By engaging in such a preposterous conception the only thing we’re doing is again giving legitimacy and credibility to those who profoundly hate us.

The second idea which I’ve heard incessantly since the beginning of the war is “Israel’s right to defend herself.” I can on the top of my head think of 101 scenarios where people would not have the right to defend themselves. Does the school bully have a right to defend himself? Debatable. Defending implies there was a previous attack which will automatically then bring about another question which is “Well, what did they do to make someone attack them?” 

Instead of engaging with ludicrous conceptions we need to reframe what is really going on. The question shouldn’t be, “Does Israel have the right to defend herself?” Instead the legitimate question is “Do Jews have the right to live and breathe because they are homo-sapiens?” The  answer to that is of course a resounding yes. Our enemies don’t debate whether Israel should exist as a state or not, they don’t debate whether we have the right to defend ourselves. They debate just one thing. The actual existence of Jews in a universe where they also breathe the same air. They don’t want the air they breathe to be contaminated with the air that Jews also breathe in the same universe that we all share.

There’s a very simple internet phrase which we must take into account: Don’t Feed the Trolls

About the Author
Chava Berman Borowsky grew up in Los Angeles, CA in an Orthodox community in the La Brea Fairfax neighborhood. She moved to Israel in 2008 and has since lived in Jerusalem, Bet Shemesh, Holon, and Ashdod. Her hobbies include cooking, hiking, painting, and writing.
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