Thursday, November 2, 2023
I am not a politician. I am not an activist. I’m just a Jewish person who sees the situation with crystal clarity. Like many of you, I find myself having daily conversations about the war, explaining Israel’s side to people who are misinformed. Yes, there are nuanced components, but my thinking is always on simple, straightforward terms and I present my thoughts in very direct ways. Sadly, however, I have learned that with some people, there is simply no reasoning.
How can you tell which people? How can you gauge whether you are speaking with someone who will listen to you, process what you say, engage in a reasonable discussion? As I said, I think on simple terms, so I have come up with a simple way to know when to talk and when to just walk away.
Read this. Rehearse this. Memorize this. And say it to anyone who begins to talk about the Israel-Hamas war in a way that suggests that Israel is doing anything other than defending itself. Ask this:
“Do you condemn the October 7th Hamas massacre? If you cannot condemn those atrocities unconditionally, unequivocally, if there’s a ‘but’ at the end of your sentence, if you Can-Not-Do-That, then you are supporting genocidal terror. The Hamas charter sets to annihilate the State of Israel and murder Jews (like Mein Kampf). So, again, straight up, do you condemn the October 7th Hamas massacre?”
If the answer is “Yes, I condemn it. Period.”, then you have a starting place to discuss all of the issues arising. If there is any “but” or clarification attached, don’t waste your time. You are speaking with someone who –in one way or another, intentionally or because of misdirection– supports the organization that wishes to see you and your People dead.
From hour to hour, things are more and more tense. Take care of yourself. Take care of your mental health by avoiding pointless, stress-inducing exchanges with people who are either stubborn and ignorant or merely plain old anti-Semites. Your health and your time are worth too much to waste on them.