Friday, March 23, 2012

Why I Love the American People

From time to time, I marvel at just how fortunate those of us who live in America are to live here. Not that life is perfect. It isn’t. But when it comes to religious tolerance – at least at it pertains to the Jewish people in our time – the American people as a whole have unprecedented tolerance for us.

This is not to say that anti Semitism doesn’t exist. It does. In its most current incarnation one will find it mostly on college campuses in the form of being anti Zionist. This gives those who espouse these views cover. They can deny being an anti Semite if it is only Zionism that they oppose.

While this is true in theory, I have to dispute that contention on the part of most of those people. In fact I can’t believe that they can actually say with a straight face that their anti Israel rhetoric doesn’t contain even a hint of anti-Semitism.

I hear it all the time in ‘Muslim-speak’. They will always say that they don’t hate the Jews. They just hate the Zionist entity. But every once in a while they slip up. When they get emotional and angry they will use the term “The Jews” instead of “the Zionists”. Freudian slip? I think so.

The truth is that much of this anti-Israel/anti-Semitic rhetoric in Academia is fueled by liberal sympathies for the ‘underdog Palestinians’. These people are of the same mentality as those who were pro Israel when Israel was the underdog. They rarely look at history and context. They only see the “now” of the “oppressed” Palestinian masses on the West Bank and their military oppressors: the “apartheid” State of Israel”. The Jews are now the bad guys. Before the 6 day war, the mighty Arab armies were the bad guys against little underdog Israel.

But Academia - though a very powerful force and influence on the young minds full of mush who populate universities - is miniscule compared to the vast majority of Americans. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be vigilant and counter those influences. We absolutely should. But as it stands now, the vast majority of the people of United States believes in the American credo that ‘All men are created equal’. They also believe in the constitutional protection to pursue and practice religious beliefs unfettered by government interference. The United States is all about tolerance and respecting each others differences.

It is because of that that being a Jew in a land full of Christians that is America that I consider it a privilege to live here. Unlike any other country in the world, I feel I am treated as an equal by my American peers, the vast maojrity of which are of the Christian faith. I believe that if I were to be harassed by the occasional anti Semite one finds from time to time, the typical American Christian would stand up for me. Or at the very least be disgusted by such treatment if they were to witness it.

How do I know? There have been countless examples of Americans standing up for their fellow Jewish citizens. I keep encountering story after story of typical Americans who do this – and have written about some of them.

But if you still don’t believe it - watch this excerpt* from a 2010 episode of the ABC Primetime series, “What Would You Do?” Even for a cheerleader like me - it is amazing!

*The embedding feature has been disabled