The People of Israel should let go of Half-Hearted Friends


There is no question as to the definition of an ally, or an enemy.  Any sense of confusion explains why we continue to participate in a rigged conversation, in a mixing of realities and facts. When we do participate, often, we are complicit in some of the most powerful nations in the world turning a bold, blind eye to the murder of Jewish people, as that same world cries out against the death of pretty much anyone else. We concede to it through the maintenance of fictional alliances. This is not a dance we can continue to dance, and we cannot remain in the dark, shrouded by the confusion, a confusion that is weaved tight so as to block a person of normal intellect from addressing Israel from an intellectual, or rational place. Our Jewish communities attempt to rationalize with irrational people.

Fair to say, the timeless “friendship” between the United States and Israel is no longer a fact of life, if it ever was. The tables have begun to really turn, exposing what is growing into a global shift of open anti-Semitism and protest against Israel’s sovereign right to existence. The plenty protesting against Israel today, as we we face daily terror attacks and publicized genocidal threat- these are no friends to Jews or Israel. It should be that the majority of these possibly “well-intentioned” protestors, would apply common sense to Israel, eventually. Terrorists must be stopped; everyone knows that, right? But the majority doesn’t apply this rule when it comes to Jews, and this is a very old trend,

Since when have these nations stood in defense of the Jewish people, when we faced existential threat in the past? The idea that the positions toward Israel formed by the United Nations might be considered trustworthy or credible is also categorically laughable; that same body is dominated by nations that either outright supported or passively stood by during the Holocaust, and so many stand against Israel today.

We tend to discredit the leftist hatred as misinformation or misguided passion for justice, but I can’t throw a hatred thousands of years in the making out on naiivity. After-all, many of Israel’s haters are far from naive; educated, powerful, resourceful, albeit shameful people. Was Hitler a madman? Ask the majority that supported him. Or Prescott Bush, the grandfather to George W. Bush, or American industrialists; Henry ford, Edison- the great makers of Western society; they hated Jews too.

To remove ourselves from the rhetoric of the timeless aggressors of Jews, we actually need to remove ourselves from it and stop participating in a conversation that will never serve us. Maybe we need to believe that our participation is a major perpetrator of it. What if we were to step away from our doubters, haters, the divergency of their humanity swallowed by a practically genetic anti-Semitism. We stop knocking, because it isn’t America that will protect us, and it isn’t Western Europe. It never has been. Why not just take their money and run. They accuse us of it anyways.

At the end of the day, the State of Israel, and the Israeli Defense Forces, are fighting to save Jewish lives from absolute annihilation. Any leader that questions or protests that right is unworthy of engagement. It is not a healthy debate, it does not represent open-mindedness, the considering of two-sides, or any version of those ideas; ripe on the tongue of what we stoop to consider “moderate” critics. There is nothing moderate about the existential threat to Jewish people, in Israel or anywhere else. It’s time we focus on those true allies, small or large, nations and advocates, from the top and at every level of daily life. If we want to nurture the truly positive relationships we have and can have, we need to clear up some space for that. To our half-hearted fair-weathered associates, as quoted in the 1998 indie film Rushmore: “… with friends like you, who needs friends?”

Before this message inspires outcry, lectures on how we can’t afford the risk, we can’t put down “allies”;  I am merely suggesting that we get a bit more real about how we define our supporters, and establish a standard of engagement that is more honest, to ourselves and the world. We may lose something on a surface level, but will likely turn the key on our eventual door to peace.  There is nothing more admirable, relatable, and powerful than a nation fighting innocently for peace against the broadest of enemies. We’ve done it before, even after we had just lost over 6 million Jewish lives; those that walked out of Europe and made it to Israel miraculously succeeded in our War of Independence- against all conceivable odds. We can do it again, and one meaningful step is to walk away from the perpetuation of ambiguous relationships, and ambiguous understandings of our own fate and destiny. Like the outcome in 1949 proved to us and the rest of the world: we are capable of the impossible.

About the Author
Raised in Jerusalem, New York City and Paris, Rabbi Barouk completed Smicha and Dayanas at Yeshivat Or Elchonon. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Rabbi Barouk frequently visits New York and has close family in Jerusalem and Paris.
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