Continuing The Debate


I feel it is very important to continue the conversation with Seymour Reich, (Opinion, April 29, and Letters, May 20), because the discussion represents one of the most crucial issues facing American Jewry today: do we keep extending the “Jewish tent” to the left or do we recognize that, as in all of life, there have to be “boundaries?” Not every position is acceptable.

His “most important” point is that Israel is losing the support of younger Americans. I agree that this is a serious issue. But more criticism of Israel is not going to garner anyone’s support.

Education of our young is the only answer. That means instilling the next generation with a love for Judaism and a connection to Israel. If social justice (with a Jewish flavor) is one’s religion, then you will bond together with all the other social justice groups that are screaming out there and see the Palestinians as the poor underdogs occupied by the Israeli Goliath (or Nazis, if you go far enough to the left).

On the other hand, if we educate our youth about our Jewish heritage in all its facets, the youth will grow up understanding our 3,500 year connection to the Holy Land, our need to defend ourselves (while simultaneously trying to minimize oppression of others), and that Israel is the only vibrant democracy in that part of the world. At that point, the youth will have the understanding to differentiate between those that criticize certain Israeli policies but love the country and those that use those criticisms as a cover for otherwise blatant anti-Semitism.