You Have A Voice

Today, the International Court of Justice will render a response to a request from the murderer-coddling representatives of South Africa to demand Israel stop its operations in Gaza. As I wrote this message yesterday, I don't know for certain how their decision will go. But I have a sense that it will not be favorable to Israel. After all, international institutions of similar scope and makeup have been perfidiously undermining, attacking, and trying to handcuff Israel for more than seven months. I have no confidence in, respect for, or patience left for any of them.

I don’t believe you should, either. And you have a voice.

If you recall, in the magnificent movie “The King’s Speech”, Geoffrey Rush’s character goads Colin Firth’s King George VI in the middle of Westminster Abbey until he yells “I HAVE A VOICE!” He felt hemmed in and spoken over, he felt insulted, he felt angry, until he finally asserted himself.

You can do the same. You. Maybe it’s demanding action needed or thanking for action taken at the town, village, school board, state, or federal level. Maybe it is educating yourself, your children, your peers. Maybe it is walking proudly and without fear in spaces that are now being denied to you as a Jew or a Zionist. You have a voice too!!

South Africa. Spain. Ireland. Norway. These last three determined to recognize a Palestinian state right now, not within the context of negotiations or final status, but now. In the shadow of rape, torture, murder, hostage taking and diabolical antisemitism from every corner of the globe. How can we stand by as these states act in these ways?

We can’t. For them, and for every institution, public figure, business, educator or politician who uses their position as a bully pulpit to attack the legitimacy, safety, or existence of the Jewish people and the Jewish state (not simply disagreeing with it’s policies, which many Israelis are critical of), there must be consequential action to demonstrate that it will become more and more costly (in legal, legislative, financial and social terms) to act in an antisemitic way or allow antisemitic actions when you have the means to stop them, than to leave us, our people, and our homeland in peace. I’ve often wondered what level of legal, legislative, financial or social pressure can be brought to bear on a country, or on its representatives, before it feels discomfort. Maybe it’s finding a way to cancel an office lease? Maybe it’s refusal to do business as usual? Maybe it’s seeking enforcement of city, state, or federal laws against these bad actors? I don’t know. What I do know is that I have a voice, a heart, and a refusal to accept the emerging status quo.

We have work to do to determine how best to comprehensively make this clear and implement it. But it should become clear across our community and across the country. Acting in an antisemitic way or enabling it through inaction must come with a cost, and that cost must be sufficient to diminish what we are all experiencing.

You Have A Voice.