International reactions to the heinous murder of a holy family in Itamar have been, for the most part, respectful but, if one reads the comments and reactions to the various articles, you can almost feel the hate transcend the screen and grab you by the throat. And the words that leave me gasping for air the longest are the disgraceful ramblings from other Jews.
Additional news out of Israel from Monday (new settlement construction in the west bank) and Tuesday (the interception of an arms shipment from Iran and Syria intended to arm Hamas in Gaza), has further demonstrated the disgusting lack of unity for our state, our home, and the legal and justified actions of our leaders. The accusations being bandied about such as “illegitimate” settlements and that they “should arm themeslves in case of any Israeli aggression” are not solely those of radical goyim. It makes me sick to have to write this but I have encountered numerous Jews who have supported those statements and some who even use them to launch into anti-Israel tirades (Thomas Friedman recently used the crisis in Egypt in the same manner).
Why? Why do Jews insist on fighting against their own people? Why is there no connection to the land of Israel, to our home? Why is it always seen as Israel’s fault? Why are the people who give their lives in defense of our land disrespected? Why are victims of murder seen as the aggressors?
I can’t say that I have the answers to these questions but I can surmise a possible theory behind this thinking. I believe that there are three main factors feeding into the Jewish psyche that lead to such distorted and dysfunctional views and beliefs.
· Lack of Jewish knowledge and upbringing is the primary culprit. Without the foundation of heritage, tradition, and faith it is impossible to connect with something, someplace that you know little about. This also prevents the spark of desire to see our home and breathe the holy air that can feed ones passion to protect our place in this world and our homeland.
· Selfishness is quickly breaking down the fibers that knit our community together. Everyone is focused on what is best for them, not everyone. They view others in this world, especially other Jews as hostile because they don’t subscribe to the same views, beliefs, and practices. They will question anything you say that they don’t agree with but will not allow you to reciprocate the query.
· And where do they get these views? The media. This wouldn’t be so bad if it was unbiased but, to the dismay of all of us that try to find the facts and explore topics from multiple angles before forming an opinion, modern media is slightly west of the far left. Ironically, during an age when one can rapidly research any topic on line and find views from all sides, people take the media at face value more often than not (take a look at the comments section on most articles about Israel).
Yes, I realize that this is a very simplistic summary but I think it touches on the major points of contention which are feeding into the toxic views of Israel spreading within the Jewish community. These views continue to eat away at the public opinion slowly sinking the public stance beyond the point of return. Right now, the hope remains that things will change, that we, those who stand with Israel, will be able to reverse the insanity. However, the questions remain: How do we accomplish this? How can we change the Jewish world?