In my three years of work with Israel advocacy on campus I have given much thought to how I can work to better the situation for Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel students. I have spent countless hours working with my peers to strategize and come up with programs, social media posts, and meetings with other campus and community groups. I have worked for hours and hours to help bring Israel a very much deserved positive image on campus. And I am sure that many of us have spent lots of time online reading articles about the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment. I know this because we later share those articles online and then complain about these issues with our friends.
However, given all of this activity I have realized that I never stopped to think about how this rise in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment has strengthened my Jewish identity and relationship with Israel.
Anti-Semitism has made my life very stressful and burst my image of a world where people support and look out for each other. Anti-Semitism has shown me a world of bias, hatred, and violence. A world that I am not proud of. Anti-Semitism works to rid the world of Jewish values – moral values. Anti-Semitism works to make us afraid to be proud of who we are and to maintain a strong Jewish identity.
But what I would like to observe is the fact that this very work has essentially belittled the exact goal anti-Semitism has set out to accomplish. As I sit here, three years into a very active role in the Israel advocacy world I think about how my Jewish Identity and support for Israel has never been stronger. And who do I owe this to? The anti-Semites of course.
So here’s to all the anti-Semites that work tirelessly to belittle my identity and recruit people to hate me just because I am Jewish and support Israel. Here’s to all the anti-Semites who have attempted to harass and intimidate me and my friends for who we are. Here’s to all the anti-Semites who have attempted to turn the international community against Israel and the Jewish people.
Thank you for inspiring me to delve deeper into researching the state of Israel in which I have gained a better understanding of as a nation. The nation that has the most moral army in the world, the nation that is always among the first to arrive at the scene of a natural disaster to help, the nation that is at the forefront of lifesaving medical technology, and more. Because of you I know without a doubt that I support Israel for the right reason. Because of you I will never waver in my support for Israel because I can be sure that Israel serves as a light unto the nations, always looking out for her citizens and the rest of the world.
And most importantly because of you my Jewish identity is stronger than ever. I understand that Israel represents the Jewish people and Jewish values. It is with those values that I would like to lead my life.
Because of you and your efforts I work everyday to strengthen who I am and what I believe in, the very essence you hate.