I am not the first to acknowledge that the October 7 massacre of Israelis and the ensuing war in Gaza have unleashed a torrent of heated rhetoric from both supporters and opponents of Israel.
This war has certainly had an impact on me. First and foremost, there is the anguish and worry I feel for my many family members in Israel. They do not have the comfort of being insulated from a far-away conflict. They experience, first hand, the terrorist assaults and rocket attacks from Gaza and neighboring countries. Our beautiful young people, who want nothing more than to complete their education and pursue their careers, have had to interrupt their lives to serve in the armed forces. They are prepared to sacrifice everything for family and country. They are in the front line of a battle to defend Western values and civilization itself.
I have heard from Jewish friends and colleagues here in America that the conflict has affected their lives as well. But I am disturbed by the many Jews here who appear less than loyal to the nation that safeguards their faith. It is time for all of us to think about why we should support the Jewish homeland. Here I share the reasons I support Israel.
I support Israel for:
- Being the ancestral home of the Jewish people. Jews are indigenous to the Land of Israel. We have maintained a continuous presence there for over 3,000 years. Israel’s capital city was founded by Jewish King David one-thousand years before Christ was born. Due to years of neglect and exploitive Ottoman rule, much of the land was barren or swamp-ridden for centuries. The result was a sparsely populated region. In 1948, 80% of Jerusalem’s population was Jewish.
- Being an economic success without parallel in world history. In a bit over a century the Land of Israel was transformed into a vibrant and affluent society with a standard of living equaling and exceeding that of Western Europe.
- Sixteen million Jews in the worldwide Diaspora and in Israel. Our safety in a menacing world depends on a strong Israel.
- The thousands of survivors of the October 7 massacre in the Gaza Envelope region. I will continue my contributions and my work with the Gaza Envelope Task Force of the Jewish National Fund. I will help survivors to rebuild their communities and raise generations of Jewish families.
- The millions of Israeli Jews from Arab countries, whose grandparents were expelled or forced to flee those countries, and who now make up over half of the Jewish Israeli population.
- Arab Israelis who are the only Arabs in the Middle East who live with full civil rights.
- The thousands of Arab Israelis who have benefitted from Israeli government programs to improve education in Arab Israeli high schools in order to qualify for entrance into top Israeli universities. This has resulted in near Jewish-Arab parity in university admissions.
- The Arabs of Egypt and Jordan who rely on Israel to protect them from Iran and from the Islamist threat which, if not for Israel, would turn their countries into another Islamist ruled Gaza Strip.
- The thousands of Palestinians from Judea, Samaria and Gaza who have worked in Israel, with full worker rights. In Israel they have earned higher wages than those available in their home communities.
- The thousands of Arabs from Gaza, Judea and Samaria who receive medical care in Israel, transported to and from their medical appointments by volunteer Israeli drivers.
- The dwindling and persecuted Christian population in the Middle East, whose communities have thrived and grown in Israel, but have been decimated in Arab countries.
- The Baha’i Israelis and other Middle Eastern Israeli minorities who are persecuted in Iran and Arab countries, but have thrived in Israel.
- The millions of Arabs in the four Arab countries that have signed normalization agreements with Israel under the Abraham Accords. These countries will benefit, long into the future, from Israeli technologies in defense, water resources, medicine, agriculture and countless other fields—-to say nothing of the defense Israel provides against Iran.
- Other millions around the world who have, and who will in the future, benefit from these Israeli-born technologies.
- Gays and lesbians in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, thousands of whom have been rescued from persecution and death by fleeing to Israel. In Israel they have found safety and help from the Israeli government and from Israeli gay and lesbian advocacy organizations. Such organizations are absent in surrounding Arab countries. (What may be the only exception is an LGBT civil rights organization in Lebanon. However, Lebanon is currently experiencing a wave of severe anti-LGBT repression.)
- The hundreds of millions of Westerners whose societies have benefitted from Israeli technologies.
- The people in North America, Europe and Australia who benefit from the bulwark Israel provides against the spread of radical Islam to the West.
The fight for Israel is a noble cause.