Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Anatomy Of A Takedown” (Sept. 2), depicts conduct which could fairly be described as rash and undiplomatic.
The objectors to Rabbi Blumofe’s planned visit to Arafat’s grave should have engaged in quiet diplomacy to explain that the sojourn would inevitably be misconstrued by the public as acceptance and recognition of the murderous anti-Semite and that Arafat’s rejectionist goals would be seen as worthy of debate.
While the overreaction in the situation was unfortunate, the episode and its fallout should not make us hesitant to push back when necessary. Jews cannot sit idly by when those who would defame, endanger or eradicate Israel are legitimized.
Too often, in order to be “inclusive” and not to offend, American Jews fail to stand up to anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic people and movements. We allow colleges to receive BDS speakers with open arms. We tolerate efforts to silence pro-Israel speakers and professors. Our Federations welcome J Street despite its “Gaza 54” letter seeking to supply Gaza and, in turn, Hamas, and despite its lobbying in opposition to AIPAC’s legislative efforts to protect Israeli lives.
J Street has even acquired “a seat at the table” because few leaders would draw a necessary line. Finally, despite Iran’s vow to destroy Israel, too many Jews allowed our politicians to accept Iran as a nuclear power and regional “player,” lest they offend President Obama.
In short, we have abandoned our well-founded sense of outrage. We have lost our sense of urgency to defend Israel against people and movements which, in many instances, such as BDS, only thinly disguise their ultimate objective of destroying Israel as a Jewish state, or worse. We are too willing to smile politely and “go along.” Hence, while Rabbi Blumofe’s critics may have been rash and undiplomatic, they were substantively correct and, thankfully, did not accept or tolerate the proposed visit, thereby eventually legitimizing Arafat’s rejectionism and terrorism.