Barry L. Schwartz
Rabbi, Author, Teacher



Twenty Questions for Which I Have No Answer

  1. How is it that in much of the world there is “understanding” for the mass atrocities of Oct. 7?
  2. How is it that in these same communities there is greater outrage against Israel’s response to the Hamas massacre than to the massacre itself?
  3. How is it that the greatest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust has caused the greatest outburst of antisemitism since the Holocaust?
  4. How is it that blaming Jews for their own suffering is once again fashionable?
  5. How is it that primal Jew-hatred never goes away?
  6. How is it that every nation on earth is granted the right to self-existence, except Israel?
  7. How is it that every nation on earth is granted the right to self-defense, except Israel?
  8. How is it that at this moment the greatest antisemitism is emanating from the far-left rather than the far-right?
  9. How is it that American college campuses have become the hotbed of antisemitism?
  10. How is it that those who feel most vulnerable on those campuses are not Hamas supporters but Jews?
  11. How is it that three president of Ivy League universities could not bring themselves to unequivocally condemn calls for genocide against the Jews?
  12. How is that those who subtly call for the eliminations of Israel with slogans like “free Palestine by any means” and “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” are celebrated?
  13. How is it that those who call for genocide against Israel turn around and accuse Israel of the same?
  14. How is it that accusing Jews of the very crime of which they themselves were history’s greatest victim can even be countenanced?
  15. How is it that respected media, like the New York Times, call terrorists “militants”?

16. How is it that Israel’s detractors conveniently ignore that Hamas does not support a two-state solution, calls for Israel’s destruction in its charter and boasts it would perpetrate Oct. 7 over and over again?

  1. How is that women’s rights organizations around the world have failed to call out the rape and mutilation of Israeli women by Hamas?
  2. How is that some Jews are embarrassed, equivocal, or defensive about Zionism?
  3. How is it that Israel’s leadership so failed its own people?
  4. How is that I love Israel and cry for Israel every day?
About the Author
Barry L. Schwartz is director emeritus of The Jewish Publication Society, rabbi of Congregation Adas Emuno in Leonia, New Jersey, and author, most recently, of Open Judaism: A Guide for Believers, Atheists, and Agnostics (JPS, 2023).
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