July 22, 2014
Jon Stewart had a rather amusing bit on his program last night. Each time he would mention the word “Israel” all of the “correspondents” on his show would pop up and begin yelling at him. When the yelling calmed down all but one of the commentators disappeared. After a pregnant pause the man looked at Stewart, scowled and, with disgust said “a self-hating Jew.” Then he too disappeared.
“Look,” Stewart opined after the bit had run its course, “obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
I could not agree more.
At the same time, while there are indeed, “many strong opinions,” not all opinions are equally valid. And while I know it is not politically correct to say so, some opinions are simply wrong.
I get the fact that there are knee-jerk reactions to the current situation. I know I have mine. I also know where they come from. My knee-jerk reactions come from the fact that it is my family and friends running to bomb shelters on a regular basis. It is my friends’ children who are currently serving in the IDF. My knee-jerk reactions come from the fact that whenever the names of fallen IDF soldiers are released I read them hoping my friends’ kids won’t be named. And my knee-jerk reactions come from the fact that, for the first seven days of the current crisis, 19 colleagues and I were in Israel and jumped whenever the red alert app told us a missile may or may not be headed our way. (Since returning to the U.S., I have left the app running lest I lose perspective and a sense of urgency.) Yes, I understand the knee-jerk reactions.