Seth Eisenberg
Freedom matters

Talking About Israel with People Who Hate Us

Talking about Israel depends who you’re talking to.

So much time is wasted in person and online talking about Israel with people for whom facts, history or any other aspect of reality that gets in the way of hating Jews and the Jewish state are inconvenient truths quickly dismissed, ignored or labeled as “more lies.”

Hatred painted on a fist
It’s important to expose people motivated by hatred, but arguing with those who hate Jews takes resources better invested educating others.

Arguing with people who hate Jews and anything that symbolizes the Jewish people takes resources much better invested in educating friends, classmates, family, neighbors, co-workers and others genuinely motivated by a concern for humanity.

The best way to know if you’re talking about Israel with someone who hates Jews is to be sure you’re first listening and asking questions rather than talking, arguing or debating. Not debating those who hate us doesn’t mean not exposing them. Exposing them is important. Given the opportunity, they’ll often do that for you.

In America, few of those who hate us want to say that publicly (except to each other) because they know as soon as they do, they have lost any hope of being seen as credible by the vast majority of people who don’t.

Comments from a visitor to the TalkingIsrael Facebook page yesterday offer a valuable example. With each statement, the moderator simply gave the commenter the opportunity to continue as he quickly exposed the foundation of his assertions.

Cary Fritz: The IDF isn’t even trying to destroy Hamas … Israel needs Hamas …

Cary Fritz: Israel isn’t interested in making peace … They’re not even trying to target Hamas, who I agree is a problem.

Cary Fritz: You Zionist pigs are going to burn in Hell for what you’re doing. Child-murdering brute beasts! You’re worse than Hitler.

Cary Fritz: Yikes! You bloody-handed Zionist liars truly are shameless, huh?

Cary Fritz: Has there ever been a more evil and despicable people than you?

Cary Fritz: Your days are numbered. The bloody state of Israel will be dismantled. Those six-pointed stars are going to go away faster than swastikas off the Reichstag.

Cary Fritz: You can pretend that it’s all about anti-Semitism, but the thing is that most of us actually have a lot of love for the Jewish people.

That kind of love we can live without.

About the Author
Seth Eisenberg is President of the PAIRS Foundation, a former At-Large chair of the National Writers Union, elected labor leader, and pro-Israel activist. He is an author of Instructions for Intimacy, The Laundry List of Relationship Mishaps, Knots and Double Binds, PAIRS Essentials, Warrior to Soul Mate, PAIRS for PEERS, and the SHALOM Workshop. He can be reached via LinkedIn at
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