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Let Rhetoric Reign
By Jason Hariton
"Uncompromising men are easy to admire."
Although it may go against your mother's teachings, sometimes it does pay to have a big mouth. As the current Israeli-Lebanese conflict rages on, world opinion has become increasingly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. This conflict has the potential to explode and play itself out on the world stage; and thus, it is very important that the world populous believes in, or at least understands, the justness of the Israeli position. Otherwise, as has happened in the past, Israel will be thrown to the wolves.
The hard truth is that the only way to combat this hatred of Israel is to verbally and publicly attack those key global (and local) players who seek to propagandize in the world media. We must be uncompromising and direct. It is the other side's fiery and hateful rhetoric which stirs the dormant anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli feelings of millions throughout the globe. We must counter with an equally fierce united front that is consistent, passionate and factual. While this was the modus operandi of the pro-Israel campaign in the past, I believe the current leadership, justifiably, seeks to win hearts and minds via outstretched arms and offerings of peace. Yet, we must remember that one cannot appease a lion with a slice of meat. He will only get hungrier. As was the case when the modern Israeli State was born, we must again fight fire with fire in order to preserve it.
In the world forum, determination and unwillingness to compromise our beliefs should be our mantra. While we debate, offering facts and seeking sensible discourse, the enemy publicly wishes for our demise and is lauded for it. The Arab desire to eliminate the State of Israel and drive the Jews into the sea is seen as an exaggerated proclamation of a valid moral cause. The Arab leaders have realized that outlandish statements and delusions of grandeur are much easier for the public to swallow than the sad truth. It is easier to believe that there is substance to an argument when someone is cramming it down your throat.
The leader of the oppressive, human rights violating Iranian regime says publicly that Israel should be wiped off the map and opens his capital to "scholars" who wish to come and discuss the myth of the Holocaust. He supplies Hezbollah with arms and rockets despite UN resolution 1559. But, when the American President calls Iran part of an "axis of evil" somehow the world condemns him for libel and slander. Iran's steadfast fear mongering has instilled fear in government capitals and global cities, while at the same time garnering increased admiration and devotion from like-minded anti-Semites the world over.
Israeli activists and politicians, like their American counterparts, spend too much time carefully choosing their words to realize that they are not affecting world opinion in favor of the cause of truth and freedom. Political correctness may sway political minds but it is passion which bends the minds of the masses. The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has it right. He stands proud in front of the world, especially the Arab street, proclaiming that Israel is evil, must be destroyed, is the cause of all suffering, and most importantly, that the Holocaust was a Jewish lie invented in order to steal Arab lands. We should view his brutal comments as a veiled blessing. Finally all can see the true desire of the Islamist movement. Still, we must be careful not to let Ahmadinejad and others use one group as the scapegoat for peoples' suffering and anger. We do not need another Adolph Hitler.
Let us increase the rhetoric and condemnation of fanatical Islam and the people and countries that support it. More importantly, let us condemn those who do not condemn it. Let us learn the simple facts so that we can more fervently defend them. Let us be vocal in our homes and offices and anywhere else. Let the decent media pundits and politicians figuratively blast these haters in the public forum. As American Jews living safer and socially integrated lives, we must remember that just because our lives extend beyond our Judaism, others will exploit us for who we inherently are. I don't know how you feel when you read or hear about anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli actions. I remember that my mother and father are Jews, my brother and sister are Jews, my Grandparents are Jews, and I will not sit idly by while their character is defamed or their safety is being threatened.
from the September 2006 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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