Once again, John Ruskay has demonstrated that he is not only an extraordinarily effective organizational leader, but a profound and courageous thinker (“Combating Delegitimization Requires A Big Tent,” Opinion, Feb. 18). The stridency that he points to, that unwillingness to hear those who disagree with us, characterizes not only discourse about Israel in America, but Israeli discourse about the future of the Jewish state as well.
Israel, sadly, lacks leaders with Ruskay’s courage and capable pen, people willing to remind us that though we may disagree passionately (and may even sometimes be certain that the positions that others espouse are profoundly dangerous), as long as they, like we, are doing their best to preserve a democratic and Jewish Israel, we need to welcome their input and their resistance to our own positions. And they, like we, need to be willing to hear our critique of their positions and strategies, and to amend them when necessary.
No society and no political party has a monopoly on wisdom, particularly given the complex situation in which Israel now finds itself. Israel needs help and support from many quarters, but more than anything, it needs a vibrant and robust Jewish conversation among those who love it and wish to see it flourish.
Kudos to John Ruskay for articulating so eloquently what desperately needs to be said. Now we just need to figure out how to replicate him here in Jerusalem.
Senior Vice President, Shalem Center