Since the outbreak of violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the GW Jewish community has remained proud and ardent in its support for Israel. Yet except for bi-partisan calls for peace, it has remained largely silent. In the face of graphic photos deriding Israel posted on campus walls, as posters professing the truth about the recent events have gone up around campus, and as letters in The Hatchet imply that they are sign-tearing cowards, the Jews of GW have chosen not to respond with posters or protests of their own. This silence by no means indicates concurrence.
Entering a war of words, a tit-for-tat propaganda battle can only serve to further strain tense on-campus relations and will by no stretch of the imagination bring peace. And so, with the ultimate goal of co-existence in mind, Jews turn a blind eye to accusations they know to be false or half-truths.
But while supporters of Israel justly take no action to challenge Palestinian activists and their incitement – except, of course in attempts at dialogue and reconciliation – this is the time for them to demonstrate their pride and solidarity with Israel.
Positive, public support for Israel is needed to remind GW there is another side to this issue, that Jews remain unwavering in their encouragement of Israel. Avoiding negative responses to Palestinians will show that Jews share in Israel’s will for peace.
Members of GW’s Israel-supporting community may light a candle Monday on the ground floor of the Marvin Center in memory of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In this act, they affirm their own values of peace and co-existence without entering a hateful confrontation with Palestinians and their supporters that no one can win.
The Jewish community will not stoop to a war of words, but it will always stand behind Israel.