Jan 15 2009
A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. – Ariel Durant, writer
Here’s an interesting strategy: while your opponents gather in their hundreds in the main squares of cities, you gather your own hundreds of supporters in large but easily-overlooked buildings out of sight of the public.
The other side gets widespread media coverage from their giant rallies. Meanwhile, your non-confrontational tactics have earned some lackluster column space and a few late-night sound-bytes.
And when members of the other side start chanting vile slogans attacking your people, you resort to the awkward tactic of asking for an apology, instead of rallying your numerous supporters into the streets to face down the idiots with a show of solidarity.
I’m extremely heartened by many of my colleagues who have gotten involved and stuck up for human rights and peace for both Palestinians and Israelis in a way that lends no mercy to those who condone terror and aggression.
I can also at least understand the hesitancy of those who don’t want to get involved. To many, it must seem like an intractable ethnic conflict rather than a fight between an embattled democratic UN-member state and a ruthless fascist movement that knowingly use their own civilian population as human shields for conducting terror attacks.
I can even understand those who decide to stay home out of disgust with the bloodletting from both sides happening in Israel and Gaza. Anyone with compassion wants to see the violence on both sides ended as soon as possible, with a sustainable peace in place for both Israelis and Palestinians.
But the so-called leaders of Canada’s Jewish community, a group which every day is largely asked to defend itself from aggressive and relentless rhetoric, have lost touch with reality, when they think that gathering the community in temples for cheerleading sessions and going after leaders of the pro-Hamas rallies to “apologize” is going to do anything. It’s not merely ineffective. It borders on cowardice.
The war of ideas will not be won hidden away in community buildings. It’s long past time to get into the streets and start shouting back.