As an environmental, abortion, and civil rights attorney and activist, I spend much time with liberals. As a strong supporter of Israel and outspoken critic of violence in the Koran, I also have many Conservative friends. After my long experience working with both groups, I am convinced that the extreme liberal and conservative position pose a significant danger to Israel.
Conservatives claim that liberal Jews are either naïve or are outright enemies of Israel, and are condemned for seeking peace. These conservatives claim that peace is impossible and thus, the only answer is a constant and permanent state of war with Israel’s neighbors and with the entire Muslim world. In this regard, these conservatives mirror the attitude of their conservative Muslim and Arab counterparts who also claim that peace is impossible and talk is useless.
The militant Arabs know that a continued state of conflict is the greatest threat to Israel, because if they get enough chances, they may win one of the wars against Israel, which is sufficient to wipe out the Jewish state and kill millions of Jews, which is their ultimate goal.
Our country was founded with a war against England, followed by another war with England in 1812. Today, England is among our closest allies. It was difficult for some Americans in 1776 or in 1812 to imagine a time when America and England would be close allies, fighting together to defeat Nazi Germany, but this is only due to a lack of imagination and a failure to look beyond the moment.
Extreme liberals tend to view the United States as the big world bully, and thus any country that is allied or supported by America must be the bad guys. In this warped way of thinking, Israel, one of America’s closest allies must be the aggressor and the poor Palestinians, the victims. The fact that the Jews in Israel are far outnumbered by the vast number of surrounding Arab states, and that the Palestinians murder innocent people, is lost on them, because it does not fit their biased narrative of the Palestinians as victim.
Extreme liberals need to understand that we did not attempt to negotiate with Nazi Germany or with Japan. We defeated them in battle and destroyed their military capability, which allowed the people to wrest control of their countries from fanatic militants and make peace with others.
Jews must transcend politics and political labels, to view the situation objectively, in order to serve as a catalyst for transformation in Islam into a religion that promotes harmony not conflict. Many conservative Jews say this is impossible, forgetting that Christianity committed countless atrocities and violence against Jews and others for centuries, before it reformed and became for the most part a friend of the Jewish people and a strong supporter of Israel today.
The Jewish people should also apologize for the violence and the intolerant God of the Torah, which morphed into the violent Allah in the Koran and the intolerant God who throws non-believers in a Lake of Fire in Christian Scripture. Once we acknowledge the source of the violence in the daughter faiths as originating in the Torah, then we can achieve the moral authority to show them how we reformed and help them to do likewise. A people that strives to be a light unto the nations and whose Bible instructs us to love our neighbors and the stranger as ourselves, can do no less.
On Wednesday, June 21 at 7 p.m., Silver will present his 10-point plan to put a stop to Islamic violence and terror at Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor in Boynton Beach.