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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jewish students: Stop wavering!

In an editorial discussing Monday night's efforts to shout down Israeli ambassador to the United States, the JPost worries that Jewish students are wavering in their support of Israel. "It's never easy," says the Post.
It is true that Jerusalem speaks with many voices – but it has done so since the 1970s. Spurious efforts to “redefine” what “being pro-Israel means” are also not new.

Moreover, campuses have never been bastions of pro-Israelism. Not in the 1960s, when America’s black power movement became enamored with the Arab cause; not in the 1970s, when Jimmy Carter struggled in vain to conceal his contempt for Menachem Begin, and when Time magazine demonized our premier as a modern-day Fagin.

It was no picnic being on campus in the 1980s, when an NBC anchor stood on a Beirut rooftop, with smoke billowing in the background from burning PLO targets, and declared, “…Nothing like it has ever happened in this part of the world. I kept thinking... of the bombing of Madrid during the Spanish Civil War…We are now dealing with an imperial Israel.”

Nor did pro-Israel activism come easy in the early 1990s, when a “pitiless” Yitzhak Rabin expelled 415 Islamic fanatics to southern Lebanon; international pressure eventually forced him to rescind the move, setting the stage for the flowering of Hamas.

In the 21st century a difficult campus situation got even worse, partly due to an influx of Muslim students and the affinity of the anti-globalization movement for the Palestinian cause.

NONE OF this absolves the current cadre of Jewish student activists from stepping up to the plate. The Twitter generation even has the advantage of circumventing the silencing of Israel by utilizing new media.

Never has it been more important to cast timidity aside. To reassert that no one has a stronger claim to this land than the Jewish people; to denounce the notion that Israel’s “original sin” was being re-born after 2000 years; and to explain that the “occupation” and settlements are fundamentally red-herring issues that would fade away, were the Palestinians to negotiate in earnest for a two-state solution.
They're probably preaching to the choir, but as our rabbis tell us, "ain m'zarzin ela la'mzurazin" (we only push those who are already motivated to greater heights), so the encouragement to keep up the fight is definitely appropriate.

Read the whole thing.


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