By Stanley Walinets
November 26, 2010
I am full of admiration for UJIA leader Mick Davis for speaking out, and for the JC for giving his views such prominence. At last we in the diaspora are realising the true responsibilities of friendship. To be a friend of Israel does not mean we must never voice our concerns. A true friend shows his sincerity by telling his friend when he is harming himself. It is false friendship to encourage your friend to believe he can do no wrong, to encourage him to ignore uncomfortable truths.
Davis said Israel's actions impact on Jews in London. Absolutely true. But US Anti-Defamation League Abe Foxman's re-action is that that's "arrogant nonsense". Abe -- you are talking like an ostrich with its head deep in the sand. We need only read the regular reports in the JC of anti-Semitic acts over recent decades, to realise that the growth in anti-Semitism has gone hand in hand with Israel's increasingly unacceptable behaviour. After the Hollocaust, sympathy and respect for Jews was world-wide. The undeniable growth in anti-Semitism since then has been an inevitable response to Israel's behaviour since then. And we in the diaspora are its victims, along with our brethren in Israel itself. So we are very much entitled to comment on Israel's mistakes. We suffer too.
A simple analogy. If I'm in a car with my best friend and he's driving dangerously I'd certainly better tell him, before he kills us both. Mick Davis has bravely opened this discussion. It's time to say to Israel, especially its self-important, self-deceiving, extremist frummers, "Israel -- stop. Your behaviour as Jews cannot go on. You are destroying yourself. And you're destroying the rest of us with you."
We must speak out and say that to Israel. Then we can talk seriously about how to make Israel the State we can really be proud of -- humane, intelligent, achieving, an example to all nations. A legitimate State, in fact.