Kudos to Mitchell Kaye for an excellent analysis of the current state of affairs (“Hate in Charlottesville,” Aug. 25). He is correct that the extreme left is more dangerous than the extreme right because many in our society are in denial about the challenges the leftists present.
President Obama refused to utter the words “Islamist terrorism.” The Southern Poverty Law Center, which did much good work in fighting discrimination against African-Americans, labels opponents of Islamism “Islamophobes” and calls their organizations hate groups.
Perhaps the greatest irony is that the anti-Israel factions in such groups as Black Lives Matter and the organizers of the Chicago Dyke March, who present themselves as pro-Palestinian, are not in fact working to better the lot of the Palestinians, descendants of Arabs who fled Arab-initiated wars against Israel and have been forced into decades of refugee limbo by their own leaders.
In Gaza, supplies intended for building houses and schools are diverted to the construction of tunnels to facilitate the abduction and murder of Israelis. In the West Bank, a good portion of international funding is used to provide generous stipends to Palestinians imprisoned for attacking Israelis (or to their families if the attacker was killed in the act). The self-proclaimed pro-Palestinian groups don’t ask how leaders who won’t negotiate on Israeli proposals for the establishment of a Palestinian state dare to urge their people to “violently resist the occupation.”
As Jews, we are taught to look beyond our self-interest and to speak out against injustice wherever it is found. But we are also taught that we cannot ignore our own needs. Hillel said, “If I am only for myself, what am I?” But he also said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?”
In calling on Arab states to rescind their laws barring Palestinians from citizenship and economic opportunity; in calling on Palestinian leaders to direct their efforts away from trying to destroy Israel toward building a viable state willing to co-exist with the nation-state of the Jews, in which the Palestinians can become productive citizens, we will be fulfilling both portions of Hillel’s dicta. Indeed, if we demand that attacks on Israelis be condemned by world leaders and the media, we will have taken the first step in ending Islamist attacks on Americans, Europeans, Africans, Asians and Australians.
— Toby F. Block, Atlanta