Who can Israel count on the day the war ends? – opinion

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Mark Twain once said, “God created war so that Americans could learn geography.”

Most American Jews had some knowledge of Israel and Gaza Places before October 7Many of us will never forget the names Kibbutz Beeri or Kfar Aza. Like Kishinev and Bebin Yar, a long list of places where Jews were killed for being Jews is deeply embedded in collective Jewish memory.

As the war continues, our collective focus must be on supporting the people of Israel, fighting anti-Semitism, and calling for the freedom of our fellow Jews in exile. But we must also remember the huge, indeed existential, questions that need to be answered when the guns of war fall silent.

Who should we trust?

The answer is generally no at American universities, whose officials issued lip service statements following the massacre and did not do enough to protect Jewish students.

A poster with the image of a woman ‘kidnapped’ was displayed in New York City as part of a student walkout by New York University students to show solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza. , October 25, 2023 (Credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Sadly, the answer is not the leaders of women’s, civil, and human rights organizations—the ones most of us have been proudly supporting for decades.

The causes must be sustained and deserve our support, but we must not assume that the leaders of these organizations care about Jewish lives. They don’t care about that Hamas Terrorists assaulted Israeli women on October 7. They don’t care that half of Israel’s Jews are of Middle Eastern descent. They don’t see us as part of the diversity, equity, and inclusion they argue for, and the sooner we recognize that fact, the less offended we will be.

We cannot trust those in the newsrooms of mainstream American media.

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They have repeatedly shown where they stand in this conflict over the past decade. Since October 7th, they have used their platforms in ways big and small to smear Israel.

Every decision seems to be fueled by a lack of concern for Jews, from headlines screaming about Israel, from images that show a false moral equivalence between Israelis and the terrorists who threaten them, to articles and editorials that repeatedly accuse Israel of crimes it itself has not committed.

And perhaps most tragically, when the chips are down, there are some of our fellow Jews who we cannot trust. Before the blood of their fellow Jews ran dry, organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow were trying to contextualize these atrocities and lay the blame at the feet of the Israeli government and people.

Since Israel began its response, their response has escalated. There was nothing in their words or actions to support the same cause as those who killed the Jews, or if they felt that their presence would provide useful cover for the anti-Semites and the killers of the Jews.

But the news is not all bleak. We know that we can count on almost 300,000 of our compatriots and allies for the march organized by the Jewish Federations and the Conference of Presidents to tell the Israelis. As brothers and sisters who are not alone.

We can trust our elected officials.

The support we’ve seen from the White House and most members of Congress is the difference between Israel living and dying, and we must not allow a few loud voices to distract us from the enormity of the truth. Most importantly, despite the constant media criticism and one-sided coverage, we have learned that many Americans stand with us.

In the year A November 20 Harvard CAPS-Harris poll found 80% of Americans continue to support Israel’s war with Hamas. As we saw earlier, support is higher among older Americans, but still 65% of 25-34 and 55% of 18-24 year olds support Israel’s cause.

Accordingly, when the war ends, when we begin to think about the way forward, there are important questions that we must grapple with.

Do we invest more in our relationships with universities, the media, and civil rights organizations, institutions we traditionally hold dear, or do we give up and look for other ways? What consequences should members of our community face when they stand with those who encourage us to be killed? Should we accept them as attainable, or should we assume that they have created a major breach?

None of these questions will be easy. No answers can be found without pain.

But, as in our history, we rise to the challenge. It’s what we do and who we are. And the future of our nation does not ask for anything.

The writer is the head of North America at the Jewish Agency in Israel and the president and CEO of the Jewish Agency for International Development.







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