No more the safe haven, no more the Promised Land
Dr. Mordechai Kedar recently completed a speaking tour of the US and Canada. Some of you may have been lucky enough to attend his Adat Shalom lecture. True educator that he is, along with teaching his audience something, he also did some serious learning.
He shares that learning with us in this article:
More and more, as criticism of the policies it employs for self-defense increases, Israel is considered a burden by many American Jews. The very establishment of the Jewish State at the cost of the "unfortunate Palestinians" is in question. The challenge to Israel's right to exist because of it being a "colonialist entity" is prevalent in US Academic circles where for decades generations of students have been taught to believe with all their hearts that Jews have no right to a national home. Jews identifying with Israel on campus are subjected to criticism and hate speech from lecturers who threaten to affect their grades negatively and from peers who threaten their safety.
It is imperative to mention the involvement of Jewish organizations In fanning the flames of this criticism as well as hatred for Israel: Jewish Voice for Peace, Peace Now, J Street, each it its own way and with its own methods. Activists in these organizations think that if only Israel would "act nicely" – according to their definitions of what that entails – to its neighbors, they – that is, the Jewish liberals and progressives – would be accepted more easily by American society. They do not realize the simple fact that Jew-hatred has nothing to do with Israel, was not born in 1948 but is deeply rooted in western culture, just as it is in Islamic culture.
The US was the Promised Land for Jews for many years. It was a land of immigrants where they could enjoy equal rights, respect and appreciation just like the other immigrants to its shores. It was also a safe haven - certainly in comparison with the security situation in Israel - a country where no one checks the bags of those entering a shopping center, train or bus station as they do in the Jewish State. However, the increase in Jew-hatred over the last few years has cast a pall on that feeling of security, and the murderous attacks targeting Jews in the past year have made the safe haven concept a shaky one. Many synagogues now have police protection during Sabbath and holiday prayers or during other activities that take place during the week.
A number of Jews have established an organization called Jews Can Shoot. Their kippahs are embroidered with the words: "Norhing Says Never Again Like an Armed Jew." Printed on the lining of the kippah is a saying by the Jewish Sages: "If someone is coming to kill you, rise against him and kill him first." There are Jews who come to the synagogue with a firearm, but is that going to solve the problem of Jew-hatred? And what exactly is the armed Jew going to do if the murderer carries an automatic weapon? What is going to happen if a group armed with automatic weapons attacks a synagogue where a single guard carrying a pistol is stationed outside? Is this scenario impossible to imagine?
Yes, you have the time. Take a few minutes. It's Mordechai Kedar.