2014-07-22 – I get angry at my fellow liberal Jews who are unwilling to give Israel the slack to defend itself from attack. A military defense is not going to be perfect. Mistakes will be made in the heat of the moment. You give plenty of slack to the other side. Give your own side some slack too! Jews have a right to live, just like everyone else. Give your own side some slack!
But not too much.
Jews and Arabs have been at each other for generations. The tactics have been the same for all these years. Innocents die on both sides. And no progress is made one way or the other. It’s not because of giving your side some slack to defend itself. It’s from giving your side slack in . . . well, every other way. On both sides.
It’s not just the perpetrators of the violence. It’s the middle-of-the roaders that give the extremist license to kill innocents. To block peace.
And not just in the Middle East. Who in Ukraine is rushing to cover for the madmen who shot down a civilian airliner? I don’t have an answer to this (though I have a suspicion). But if it is the separatists, Russia is covering. If it is Ukraine, the United States is covering.
It seems like everyone is an accessory to murder. Everyone except the innocent but dead.
I see a key difference in this fight. One side has been hijacked by extremist thugs that advocate the end of the Jewish State of Israel. I do not see Israelis advocating the equivalent end of Islamic states. And frankly, as someone who knows the long history of Ukraine, I do not understand how anybody can stand by and let the aggressors terrorize and pillage that country, that area, yet again.
I am not saying that the sides are equivalent. I’m saying just that the bystanders let their teams get extreme. We can support self defense, but not terror. I have a side in the Middle East and that is Israel, but I don’t approve everything Israel does. I have no side in Ukraine, but I have a suspicion that the separatists shot the plane down, probably by accident. But I do see supporters of both sides providing alibis for whomever shot down the plane, without any definitive answers. We can support people’s rights without giving up the right to hold them accountable.
As for the Middle Easter fight being hijacked by extremists: I think that these extremists are not a new element. The desire to destroy Israel has been there since the beginning. A new element might be folks who want peace. I would like to see them come forward. And that’s where the bystanders could come in. Bystanders ought to be supporting peace, not silently supporting war and killing.