The June 25 webpoll in The Jewish Standard was: “Does being ‘pro-Israel’ mean supporting whatever Israeli government is in power?” Over 68 percent voted no. I don’t understand why the “no” vote was not 100 percent. The answer is no different than being “pro-American.” Of course it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the current government of Israel or the current administration of the United States. The loyalty belongs to the State of Israel and to the State of America. In fact, a democratic nation depends on a loyal opposition to maintain its democratic attributes. I would say that it is a requirement on all of us to state our support or opposition to a government’s behavior. We all have to be activists in support or opposition to a nation’s policies. The question becomes: What is a “loyal opposition”?
Israel is a unique country for many positive reasons: the only Jewish nation in the world, the only democracy in the Middle East, a thriving democracy in a short 62 years of existence, etc.
Israel is also a unique country because it faces extreme dangers to its very existence. Its enemies can and have lost many wars and still remain nations. Egypt is a good example. If Israel loses one war, it is the end of Israel and its people face a second holocaust. This fact must be recognized as we evaluate the conduct of Israel.
The world, including our own administration, has imposed impossible, near-suicidal standards on Israel. The U.N. concentrates on condemning Israel. Israel’s enemies get a near-free pass. Jews are loved when they are victims and hated and condemned when they can protect themselves.
So my definition of a true “pro-Israel” supporter, Jew or non-Jew, is one who recognizes the unique dangers that Israel faces. Israel’s security and existence must be considered in all evaluations of Israel. Even-handedness between Israel and its terrorist enemies is not even-handedness.