The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Anti-Semitism, Objectification, and Debate
I would like to start my first Times of Israel post by sharing a parable often attributed to the 18th century rabbinical scholar, Jacob ben Wolf Kranz (the Dubner Maggid):
A man was traveling through the forest. Suddenly, in a clearing he saw a large wall with several dozen arrows stuck in it — and each arrow was smack-dab in the middle of the bull’s-eye. Then he saw the archer in the distance preparing to shoot another arrow. He excitedly ran over him and said, “Sir, I have never seen such amazing accuracy and skill. You have hit the bull’s-eye every time! Please tell me your secret. How did you become such a perfect shot?”
“It’s quite simple,” the archer replied. “First, I shoot the arrow and then I draw a bull’s-eye around it”
One of the big lies that seems to be recurrent within our present discourse surrounding the conflict is the idea that for Jews, any criticism of Israel is considered tantamount to “anti-Semitism.” This is but one of many fallacies currently propagated by the newfangled anti-Israel crowd. Another confliction conjured up by Israel’s antagonists is the idea that Zionism’s principality is directly derived from the Torah’s mythological narrative in which G-d gave the Gaza Strip and West Bank to the Israelites through covenant. I could go on and on listing the various canards entrenched within our current dialogue in relation to the conflict but I’m not sure how productive that would be. Nevertheless, I do feel that it is my responsibility to point out that the existence of Jewish/Zionist political uniformity is a total illusion. I would further contend that this particular misapprehension stems from an enduring narrative based on the expurgation and objectification of Israel.
I imagine that we could all agree that to be American is not to be indistinguishable from the Bush administration. Following that logic, we could also agree that American identity is not contingent upon aligning oneself with the Obama presidency. If you’re anything like me, you actually probably find the consideration of such questions completely ludicrous. Unfortunately, some of Israel’s harshest critics seem unable detach themselves from this logic. Instead of distinguishing Israel as an intricate amalgamation of competing political and cultural factions, they isolate Israel as an “object of unanimity.” If one were to engage Israel in an authentic way, he or she would quickly come to understand that the philosophical disparities between politicians like Naftali Bennett and Tzipi Livni are as unambiguous as the familiar Michael Moore and Bill O’Reilly archetypes we are used to. The problem for most people is that constructing a conscientious critique takes an enormous amount of time and scholastic immersion. By cutting out this process, one can simply live by intuition and jump right to a conclusion without consequence.
Noted Israeli professor and author, Amos Oz, was purported to have said that Zionism is a surname that sits alongside an assortment of primary names. For example, when examined closely, one can clearly understand the sociopolitical principles that demarcate Religious Zionism from Labor Zionism. Although the term Zionism has become somewhat of a misnomer, it is important to designate the overarching principles that bind these varying ideological positions together. Simply put, Zionism is the belief that Jews have the right to establish a sovereign state in part of their ancestral homeland where they can take refuge from anti-Semitism. Incidentally, Zionism does not foster the belief that Jews have the right to steal land from others. It should also be noted that term “Zionist” extends beyond the borders of Israel to those Jews living in the Diaspora. Finally, it is important to understand that the majority of Diaspora Jews and around 60% of Israeli citizens support the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
For the sake of clarity, I will provide an example of a criticism lodged at Israel that neither employs objectification or anti-Semitic rhetoric. Here, I will quote Peter Beinhart, who has emerged as one of the most prolific spokespersons for Liberal Zionism in recent years. Although at times I have found many of Beinart’s contentions problematic, I would never render them anti-Semitic because they are specific and measurable in regards to policy. Here, we see a series of assertions aimed at a specific subject-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We should note that Beinhart does not engage in Ad Hominem attacks. Here, he simply tries to draw a correlation between what he believes to be prime examples of “cause and effect” in relation to Netanyahu’s actions. Whether one agrees with these statements or not is almost inconsequential in respect to the argument I am attempting to elucidate.
Peter Beinart writes:
“Netanyahu refused to fully honor Israeli’s pledges to withdraw from parts of the West Bank, to release Palestinian prisoners, to allow safe passage for Palestinians from Gaza to the West Bank, or to transfer the tax money that the government had collected from Palestinians. He also reinstated the subsidies for settlement building that Rabin had eliminated and increased construction in the West Bank, moves that, while not in formal violation of Oslo, added to the atmosphere distrust. During Netanyahu’s first year in office, the percentage of Palestinians who believed Oslo would bring them a state fell from 44 to 30 percent.” (The Crisis of Zionism, 119)
In contrast to this example, we must establish a criterion that will enable us to identify illegitimate and often anti-Semitic criticism of Israel. Here, I have co-opted the following guidelines from a number of written materials presented at the Annapolis Peace Conference of 2007:
Demonization: Just as the Jews were demonized for centuries as the embodiment of evil, so too Israel has been called an evil entity. Much of the criticism in this category consists of comparing Israelis to the Nazis and Palestinians to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Holocaust inversion is not only prevalent in the Arab world, it is gaining ground in the West as well. This propaganda technique is particularly heinous as it not only fraudulently depicts Israel’s struggle to defend itself, it also diminishes the extraordinary suffering of Holocaust victims, in itself a form of Holocaust denial.
Double Standards: The test for judging a double standard is to check whether Israel is being judged by different criteria than other states under similar circumstances. Double standards are often found in international forums, in which Israel is unfairly singled out for criticism and held up to standards not applied to any other state. At the same time, the behavior of other nations in a comparable, or even worse, situation is ignored. The application of double standards can often be recognized by the unreasonable quantity, as well as the quality, of the criticism.
A significant example of double standards can be found in the calls for boycotts of Israel. If such calls were part of a larger campaign against the many regimes that grossly violate human rights around the world, Israel would argue that its inclusion in such a list is not legitimate. However, when Israel alone is singled out for a boycott, this is a clear demonstration of anti-Semitic activity.
Delegitimization: The new anti-Semites are attempting to delegitimize the very existence of the Jewish state. They do this either by undermining its right to have been established in the first place or by attempting to turn present-day Israel into a pariah state, for example by using loaded terms such as Apartheid or human rights violator. As Natan Sharansky wrote: “While criticism of an Israeli policy may not be anti-Semitic, the denial of Israel’s right to exist is always anti-Semitic. If other peoples have a right to live securely in their homelands, then the Jewish people have a right to live securely in their homeland.
Zionism as a New Paradigm for Jewish Identity
One of the biggest misconceptions about the State of Israel is that it seeks to establish a “motherland” based on religious principles. In reality, Israel maintains a fundamentally secular society that champions democratic values. Many of her critics seem unable to differentiate between the average Israeli citizen and the Haredi/ultra-Orthodox factions within Israeli society. In fact, it should be noted that many members of the ultra-Orthodox movement are actually anti-Zionist. They believe that the modern state of Israel is an abomination because it does not conform to “traditional” Jewish religious law as they interpret it. On the other hand, many contemporary Jews have affirmed their identity not through ritual or theological engagement, but rather, the collective achievement that is the State of Israel. One may ask how it is possible to essentially ignore the religious foundations of their ancestry while maintaining a robust and authentic Jewish identity. Indeed, it is a difficult and complex question and certainly one that is far beyond the scope of this discussion.
Nevertheless, as a starting point I can describe several foundational notions that Zionism holds to be self-evident. We proclaim that to be a Jew committed to the Zionist ambition means to be conscientious of the existential condition of Jews everywhere. Throughout history, one of the common charges the anti-Semite has leveled at Jewry is that we are a people committed to the perpetuation of rationalism and intellectual abstraction. In this case, the word “abstraction” is referred to pejoratively as it seeks to describe an alleged “Jewish impulse” hell-bent on tearing out the roots of an established society. This allegation has been upheld by the notion that the “authentic” Jew is nomadic by nature; he is a visitant amongst strangers. This particular aspect of the anti-Semite’s ideology seeks to assert the primacy of his ethics, customs, and aesthetic values. He lays claim to these things as he does the land itself. By extension of this conception, the anti-Semite has inculpated Jewry as a whole and rendered it naturally “corrosive.” As a result, to be a Jew transnationally means throwing oneself into a condition of permanent anxiety.
Through Zionism, we assert that the mere existence of the Israeli obliterates the mythological concept of the Jew as a cosmopolitan boarder committed to the deracination of its host’s native culture. Personal commitment to the Jewish homeland defies the psychosocial conception of the Jew as a flaccid casualty and a passive intellectual. Through asceticism and passion, Zionism has ensured that the Diaspora never becomes a permanent holding cell. Technically, the modern State of is a mere 66 years old but its inception has passed through the hearts and minds of Jews around the world since the beginning of our admittedly opaque origins.
For some, Zionism even inspires eschatology absent from Judaism itself. The founding of the Jewish homeland initiated a collective restoration through a process that commenced with creation and rapidly morphed into revelation. Zionism’s ultimate ambition (a work in progress) arrives at redemption. Thus far, what Israel has accomplished is nothing short of a modern day miracle. Since first tilling the soil, Israel has revived an ancient language, produced vital works of art and literature, established leading universities, and developed ground breaking technology. Undeniably, there is still much work to be done and each of us needs to consider the way in which we can contribute to this ambition. Zionism requires the individual to assume responsibility for the collective destiny of Bnei Yisrael and yes, that includes moral accountability.
The fact is that Israel is here and it exists. When you deny Israel’s right to exist as sovereign Jewish state, you engage in one of the most incredible flights of fancy imaginable. Not only do you seek to repopulate a physical piece of land but you also seek to annihilate the physical manifestations spawned by the collective Jewish world’s spiritual and creative imagination. As a further consequence of this, you also seek to define Israel as an immoveable object, incapable of enacting a cultural reassessment of its own religious, political and aesthetic values.
…And if you believe in this annihilation, it is time for someone to tell you the truth in the simplest terms imaginable-You are an anti-Semite. The worst part is…you are everywhere.
Though tempting, I have concluded that any effort made on my part to methodize the etiological foundations of anti-Semitism throughout history would prove be superfluous. Instead, we will attempt to explore some of the basic psychological elements associated with anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is one of many refuges available to the most emotionally frail minds in our society. One might even say that it offers the individual a decisive flight from personal responsibility. The anti-Semite is an individual who has made an occupation out of pinpointing the root cause of his own personal failures. He has methodically constructed a scheme whose sole purpose is to deify himself-He sets up the Jew as a fundamental source of malevolence in the world and a force outside of himself. His commitment to the eradication of this force epitomizes his regard for the highest virtues. Although the anti-Semite’s cause is analogous to its tradition, he has streamlined his arguments and concealed them under a veiled cloud of plausible deniability.
For example, the anti-Semite delights in his ability to embed and obscure the conventional “blood libel” accusations of the past within his arguments. And though his subconscious proudly re-enacts this timeless ritual, he acknowledges the inertia inherent within this archaic practice. He may have even transcended the infancy of “Zionist Conspiracies” and “Shylock” personifications. His superiority is expressed through his ability to piece together “logical” constructs. His case is guileless and ahistorical. In fact, history is immaterial because its thorny nuances negate the process of connecting a premise to an already predetermined conclusion. Through his thesis, he unearths an objective truth and affirms his own brilliance in the process. The anti-Semite’s genius is intuitive; his suppositions are resolute and eternal. He sees himself as high-minded and charged with the task of exposing the “propaganda” of the “colonial” enterprise. He is the champion of civil liberties and progressive values. The anti-Semite relishes in every new “Israeli crime” he unearths. Each unmasking of this “Hegemonic” power draws him closer to the celestial confirmation of himself. This exercise becomes ceremonial and he repeats it with endless fervor.
“If in the past year you didn’t cry out when thousands of protesters were killed and injured by Turkey, Egypt and Libya, when more victims than ever were hanged by Iran, women and children in Afghanistan were bombed, whole communities were massacred in South Sudan, 1800 Palestinians were starved and murdered by Assad in Syria, hundreds in Pakistan were killed by jihadist terror attacks, 10,000 Iraqis were killed by terrorists, villagers were slaughtered in Nigeria, but you only cry out for Gaza, then you are not pro human rights, you are only anti-Israel.”
— Hillel Neuer, July 15, 2014
Before moving forward, it is imperative that we differentiate this manner of thinking from the “moderate” and often relatively “apolitical” attitude of the average liberal. No, I am not referring to the brand of American liberalism that mainly concerns itself with matters of social justice, generally within a domestic framework. Here, I am addressing the “Leftist” who purposefully propagates a false exteriorization of the State of Israel. Going forward, I will simply refer to this archetype as the “Leftist” for the sake of simplicity. Additionally, you may notice that I neglect to address the Jewish participants in this movement, as well as the concept of Jewish self-hatred altogether. Honestly, a full analysis of this topic will necessitate the creation of a separate piece, as my feelings on this manner are fairly multifaceted.
While it is fair to say that left-wing anti-Semitism intersects with classical anti-Semitism, it must be noted that there are some key differences between the two. In fact, I would contend that the latter is principally manifest within a being’s subconscious as opposed to the former, which is often much more apparent in its external expressions. The natural inclination of the Western Liberal has always been to uplift the status of the victim and rightfully so. Still, many of us who possess a conventional predisposition toward liberalism are utterly confused by the bizarre apposition of ethical universalism and moral relativity in respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although it is difficult to reconcile this form of logical inconsistency and pseudo-idealism, we can understand that the Leftist arrives at various forms of syllogism through the rejection of what he identifies as “euro-centricity.” Because the Leftist has abstracted Israel and reduced it to an object, he fails to identify the intercultural competence within its open society. Instead, he associates Israel with American hegemony and by consequence, relegates it to rogue nation status.
In respect to the conflict, the Leftist has achieved the ideological conversion of the Palestinian’s plight into one mainly concerned with race and class-consciousness. This paradigm shift mirrors the traditional Marxist model in so far that it centralizes two diametrically opposed entities similar to that of the proletariat/bourgeoisie archetypes. Within this scheme, the Palestinian is autochthonous. His subjugation is perpetuated by the Israeli, who only manages to do so by way of his tractability toward Western power, i.e., the United States. The annihilation of the Palestinian is necessary as it serves to uphold the integrity of the Zionist archetype. Juxtaposed against the “jingoistic” persona of the Zionist State he has fashioned, the Palestinian is reduced to an object to be acted upon. The Palestinian is transformed into the long-suffering and displaced crofter; an object to be admired from afar. Of course, the Palestinian would quickly lose his standing within this victimology if he were somehow capable of striking back at the United States militarily.
The Leftist demonstrates an even greater cynicism through his denial of Jew-Hatred. When confronted by anti-Semitism, he makes himself an advocate of Jewry on the basis of humanity but it is not actually Jewish consciousness that he defends. His passions recognize no sense of particularism. His deepest altruism is derived from a universalistic consciousness found within all men. The Leftist is proud of his authenticity, for he engages the individual and is relationally post-racial. He may even associate with assimilated Jews and consider some of them amongst his best friends. More often than not, these “Jewish friends” do not identify Jewry as THE central fragment of their overall identity. They are “spiritual but not religious” and/or “Jewish but not practicing.” Ironically, some of them may even feel a strong connection to their heritage alongside the private emotional disquietude they experience when confronted by Judaism’s rituals, traditions, and holy texts. It is this line of thinking that absolves the assimilated Jew from the crimes committed by the Zionist conquest. Therefore, one could say that the Leftist protects the Jew as a man while subjugating the man as a Jew in the process.
Simply put, he wants to detach the Jew from any collectivist bonds that would encourage him to act on the basis of nationalism, ethnicity, or religious identity. The Leftist’s reservations aren’t pointed toward the synagogue or summer camp retreats that the Jew may occasionally immerse him or herself in. These institutions are seen as relatively innocuous and sometimes helpful in the sense that they may even prompt the participant to evoke the abstract metaphysical notion that there is something “greater than themselves.” What threatens him the most is any Jewish collective that seeks to endorse what he perceives as an unwavering commitment to “tribalism.” The concept of tribalism provokes a variety of negative connotations (exclusivity, elitism, etc.) when juxtaposed against ethical Universalism. By design, tribal culture asserts a brand of autonomy that possesses the potential to foster the development of social and political institutions based entirely on ethnocentricity. Of course, when the fear of Jewish ethnocentricity is espoused in Leftist circles, it is often done so by evoking the outrageously misunderstood mythological concept of the Jews as, “G-d’s Chosen People.”
What is even more perplexing than any of this is the Leftist’s willingness to discard every fundamental value his world-view is built upon in order to rationalize his hatred of Zionism. Liel Leibovitz recently summed up the absurdity of this conception:
“To my former friends on the left who see themselves as champions of progressive values while criticizing Israel’s attempts at self-defense I have this to say: You have already chosen. You’re all right-wingers now. You would probably want to cancel that monthly contribution to Planned Parenthood; the Gazan maniacs you tolerate don’t really go for that kind of stuff. And go ahead and give the membership department of the National Rifle Association a call, as you are now putting up with an organization whose passion for bearing arms at all costs far exceeds even that of the most fervent American survivalist. So please: Stop whining about the Koch brothers or the Tea Party or the Hobby Lobby ruling. In making excuses for Hamas, you’re endorsing a force of religious intolerance and a purveyor of oppression far, far more demonic than those benign forces at home you characterize as the destroyers of civil liberties and human rights.”-“Hey, Liberals Who Oppose Israel: You’re All Right-Wingers Now”, Tabletmagazine.com, July 13, 2014
Of course, a common response heard from anti-Israel critics is, “I support the Palestinians, not Hamas.” Actually, it was one of the Left’s most celebrated and ardent anti-Zionists, Howard Zinn, who once stated, “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” And that moving train is the steady emergence of Islamic extremism that has taken ahold of the Gaza Strip since Israel’s departure in 2005. I ask you to please consider the following social and civil conditions present within the current post-Hamas Gaza culture.
Woman’s Rights: Honor killings are commonplace in the Gaza strip and seldom reported to either media outlets or authorities. Family members bury most of the women who are murdered in secrecy. Women are forced to wear Hijabs (head coverings) in public institutions. Woman are also banned from participating the following activities:
- Riding behind men on a scooter.
- Smoking out of a hookah in public.
- Receiving Salon services from males.
- Participation in certain sporting events.
- Mixed gender socializing at a beach or water park.
Homosexuality: Homosexuality is an offense that is punishable by death. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar stated, “You in the West do not live like human beings. You do not even live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?”
Freedom of Speech: Freedom of the press is severely restricted within Gaza. In fact, since Hamas took over in 2007, Gaza has seen a series of violations against Palestinian journalists and media outlets. As a result of this, a large number of journalists have been arrested, alongside a slew others who have been taken in for interrogation. Nearly all media outlets affiliated with the Palestinian Authority and Fatah have been shut down, and their former correspondents have since been forbidden from working in Gaza. The internet is also closely regulated under Hamas authority by way of the telecom company, Paltel. Book banning is also common in the region. In fact, a children’s book was recently banned because it a depicted a lion that shared the same colors as Fatah.
Freedom of Religion: While there are no Jews left in Gaza, a tiny Christian minority (1,500) still remains. Although Hamas has no official policy banning the practice of Christianity, it should be noted that the institution of Islamic law has increasingly put pressure on this tiny community. For example, on October 2007, Rami Khader Ayyad, owner of Gaza’s only Christian bookstore, was abducted, beaten and murdered, after his bookstore was firebombed by an unidentified group attacking targets associated with Western influence.
For those of you that continue to insist that you are a supporter of the Palestinian people but not Hamas, I ask you to consider the words of Thomas Friedman, noted New York Times reporter and Pulitzer prize winner:
“The terrorism bubble that built up over the 1990s said flying airplanes into the World Trade Center, that’s Ok. Wrapping yourself with dynamite and blowing up Israelis in the pizza parlour, that’s Ok. Because we’re weak and they’re strong and the weak have a different morality. Having your preachers say that’s Ok? That’s Ok. Having your charities raise money for people who do these kinds of things? That’s Ok. And having your press call people who do these kind of things martyrs? That’s Ok. And that built up as a bubble, Charlie. And 9/11 to me was the peak of that bubble. And what we learned on 9/11 in a gut way was that bubble was a fundamental threat to our society because there is no wall high enough, no INS agent smart enough, no metal detector efficient enough to protect an open society from people motivated by that bubble.”–Interview with Charlie Rose, May 29 2003
…And to my liberal friends who purport to share my commitment to social justice and egalitarianism, my final question to you is, “Are you willing to let that bubble grow in Gaza?”
Beyond “Hidebound” Zionism
Please note: The final section of this treatise is aimed at those who consider themselves Zionists. I am beyond conscious of the fact that some of my closest allies may find this section to be written in a bad taste given the recent rise of anti-Semitism in our current epoch. Despite this, my spiritual commitments compel me to adhere to the pursuit truth and compassion above all other considerations. The following is a description of a phenomenon found within a small, yet loud minority of voices inside Christian, Jewish, and secular circles. Here, I will attempt to coin a term that accurately describes a world-view sometimes referred to as Western Zionist “Orthodoxy.” I take exception to the use of the word “Orthodoxy” because it too readily implies a religious ideology and messianic fervor by extension. Ironically, although both the former and latter constructs may be present within the following model, neither is required as an explicit philosophical foundation. What I am attempting to describe is a set of scrupulous Zionism ethos whose primary function is to affirm the self-image of its bourgeoisie advocates. Like anti-Semitism, this world-view requires intellectual idleness, reactionary impulses, and ultimately, the suspension of cognizance. I deem this approach, “Hidebound Zionism” due to its inability to be moved in any direction, despite external variables or the apprehension of knowledge.
As a starting point, the Hidebound Zionist sets up the land of Israel as an Idol. His love for it is as infantile as it primitive. When Israel is reproached, he feigns hysteria and considers it an expression of passion. Like the anti-Semite, he is ahistorical and decidedly anti-intellectual. He unceremoniously tags his adversaries “anti-Semites” or “self-hating Jews.” His entitlement derives from his own empiricism. Perhaps he has even walked the land for 10 days or lived on kibbutz for an extended period of time. He may have even graduated from a theological seminary or completed graduate work in Middle-East studies. He is more Israeli than Israelis themselves and more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves. In reality, the Hidebound Zionist is unable to differentiate between the common Palestinian and the terrorist. To him, the Arab possesses a fixed heart; prearranged by divine providence rather than cultural construction. The Arab’s quintessence is contingent upon nothing because he has set his existence up as a posteriori. The Arab is a modern day Philistine; an axiom of civilization.
Of course, one obvious example of what I have just described is best illustrated by the recent “pro-Israel” diatribes we have witnessed from an endless parade of Right-Wing hucksters like Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, and Sarah Palin. Regrettably, the recent commentaries emerging from this group are so devoid of intellectual exactitude that they have disseminated contextually iniquitous narratives.
This is dangerous because it depreciates the value of the Zionist cause, which necessities no underhanded apologists to speak on its behalf.
As I see it, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being waged on multiple fronts and social media is one of the most readily available to each of us engaged in this conversation. As advocates for the State of Israel, we must take responsibility for our cause in the same way a marketing executive would for a brand he or she is pushing. Specifically, we must identify the most intellectually honest and articulate spokespersons for our cause and position their work methodically.
I ask that you pause before posting that reductionist Dennis Prager video that’s been circulating throughout social media. Make sure you comprehend the orientalism inherent in David Horowitz’s world-view before you “Like” that one video in which he rightly castigates a Muslim student’s support of Hamas. Ask yourself, “Does this person represent my values as a Zionist?” If the answer is “no”, then think about whether or not your own intellectual languor prevents you from seeking out better sources of information.
An authentic Zionist philosophy must be afforded the opportunity to evolve through the birth pangs of debate innately embedded with in our own internal deliberation. One need only to consider the already well-established and rich Zionist history within Israel itself in order to see how obviously replete it is with controversy. At times, Zionism has even turned on itself and those divisions have led to very violent incidents among dueling factions. Luckily, Israeli has managed to attain a significant level of symbiosis amongst its relentlessly infighting political factions. Recognizing Israeli miscalculation or even fault is no threat to the Zionist initiative. Our cause is just and despite the prevalence of ahistorical narratives in the public sphere, the genesis of the Israel’s establishment was legal. We must make every effort possible to ensure that our own xenophobia does not begin to parallel the recent rise of anti-Semitism around the world. Most importantly, we must not lose our own souls in the pursuit of justice.
Dov Waxman elucidated:
“To sympathize with Palestinian suffering is not to condemn Israel or condone Hamas; it is simply an expression of our humanity, as well as of our Jewish values. The ardent desire to demonstrate solidarity with Israel should not come at the expense of our humanitarian consciences. This not only erodes our moral character as individuals and as a community, but also risks alienating many Jews who rightly agonize over the humanitarian costs of Israeli military actions. As human beings and Jews, we should never let our support for Israel harden our hearts to the suffering of others.” “Where is Our Compassion”, Forward.com, August 03, 2014.
In conclusion, the plea I am making to my fellow Zionists is simple…
Educate yourself and construct an authentic narrative for our cause. Confront the arguments put forth by our detractors and evaluate their claims with tireless rigor. Most importantly, do not champion the anti-Semite’s cause because it is the cause of hate. There is genius in this hatred and its ability to mobilize a crowd. He has codified and attuned it from time immemorial. In this respect, he is an artist of the highest order. Do not allow yourself to become his greatest creation.