Kudos to President Rivlin for bringing together Jewish leaders for an Israel-diaspora roadmap. However, the complaints of Rabbi Sharon Brous, who “sees a reality in Israel that is increasingly alienating for my American Jewish community back home,” display more of a weakness of Israel and American Jewish leaders than real Israeli problems (“I See Israel Struggling To Remain A Democracy,” Opinion, Sept. 20).
While democratic and humane, Israel is not above legitimate criticisms, the half-truths, outright lies and omissions about Israel and the Palestinians that are allowed to go unanswered in the mainstream American media, on campus and now even in Congress, have their pernicious effects.
A few of the many examples: the libel of the term “Israel Apartheid Week”; Abbas’ and Hamas’ incitement of terrorism and their honoring of killers of Israelis and their constant delegitimization of Israel; Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s war crimes of placing rockets and missiles under homes, schools and hospitals; Abbas’ torture and human rights abuses as revealed by Human Rights Watch; Arab-Israeli Knesset members delegitimizing the country that gives them the right to serve in the Knesset.
No wonder Jewish young people turn against Israel via Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, and Rabbi Brous’ congregants are increasingly alienated. American and Israeli leaders are allowing the double standards, the lashon hora propaganda, to poison the well.
Bari Weiss’ must-read book, reviewed in the same Jewish Week issue, has the solution, urging us to speak out against this destructive anti-Semitism. This should be a pillar of President Rivlin’s roadmap for the Jewish people.