Josef Olmert
Josef Olmert

Kamala Harris: It IS important

It is arguably the case, that many of us who watch the current state of US-ISRAEL relations, and with it the feelings and opinions of American Jews have had a sigh of relief after the House approved with a sweeping majority the funding of the Iron Dome to Israel. Clearly, a vote of this kind , though far from being the true and sincere reflection of the views of many Democrats, judging by their signed anti Israel letters and petitions, is a breath of fresh air , and a reason to be satisfied. It is not my usual habit and hobby to be the spoiler of collective good feelings, but this time I take the risk. It is my argument, that Iron Dome IS not only a defensive , death-preventing weapon. I use the name to relate to something bigger than that, though saving live is SO important . For me, the Iron Dome which is essential to Israel beyond the weapon itself is the sense of un-challenged legitimacy, moral and historic justification which needs to be attached to every discussion about Israel and which needs to be the basis for every political debate concerning Israel. This is where I inject VP Harris and her shameful behavior few days ago at George Mason University into the discussion .

So, after the exchange between a student there and the Honorable VP of the US, we need to understand , perhaps also get used to the idea, that it is ok for an ignorant, hateful student to blame Israel with Genocide in the presence of the VP, and for the VP to praise the sincerity of this particular student. All this without even a word from the VP about the horrific, malicious, and yes, antisemitic slender against the nation state of the Jewish people. Since the VP did not explain herself afterwards, something which in itself is significant, I can only speculate as to what can be her justification, as well as that of her defenders and supporters. It has to do with the First Amendment, or rather, with the distorted understanding of this important value. Yes, the student at George Mason had the right to spew her hatred, BUT exactly because of what the First Amendment is supposed to be, the VP had the right and obligation to tell this student and the entire class, that her freedom to be ignorant and hateful notwithstanding, she simply spread a blatant lie. This is also the First Amendment -the freedom to tell agents of hatred that they misuse their freedom of speech. The VP did not say that, at least until I write these lines. THIS is even worse than her initial silence at the class itself. This IS another indication, that something big is happening in the US with regard to Israel but also to the American Jewish community.

Let us imagine a question in front of the VP about the ”fact”, that there was no slavery , or something similar about the LGBTQ community. Let us also imagine, that the VP would have reacted as she did when the question about Israel was asked. Well, here is where I indulge in la la land political illusions. Can anyone REALLY believe, that the VP would have had the same reaction?. She would have imploded and rightly so, and IF she did not, can anyone imagine, that say the ADL would not have protested, and with them all the Tikkun Olam Jewish cultists. Here is where American Jews come into the picture, and in that case, it is how they do NOT come into it, because see what happened?. The ADL is quiet, Rabbis for Human Rights, the Reform Movement, Tru’a , J Street , they are all so silent, and the silence is SO deafening. But then what about the Presidents Conference?. They are after all the recognized leadership of American Jewry. Altogether, this is the silence of the lambs. This is America 2021.There can be ONE minority whose national and religious honor are so cheap-These are the Jews. It was silence after the pogrom against Jewish businesses in LA committed by the BLM Movement, and a pogrom it was, and there is silence now, and the lesson learnt by our enemies is very obvious -the Jews are timid, the Jews are an easy target. It was our great Zionist leader and teacher Ze’ev Jabotinsky who told his followers and all Jews-Sheket is Refesh [silence is garbage], and the silence of the current leadership of American Jewry is exactly one of the main reasons why we shall witness and soon enough, more incidents like the one at George Mason

This is where I come again to Iron Dome, and the connection between the weapon and the amazing technology involved in producing it and the moral and ideological Iron Dome. The days in which ANY supply of American weapons to Israel will be conditioned on Israel’s record of human rights, actually how the Progressives understand it to be are about to descend on us sooner rather than later. This is where the problem is-Israel talking interests with the US, which is important, but many in the US talk morality and values with Israel, and we are running away from this discussion. Silence in this case is self-defeating to Israel and American Jews. Silence here means weakness and it means lack of self-confidence .No reasons for any of these to exist, but it does. Et Zara Leyaacov [[troubles in the house of Jacob-Israel].

About the Author
Dr Josef Olmert, a Middle East expert, is currently an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina
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