EVEN IF THE COURTS SAY THIS POSTER IS THE VERY DEFINITION OF FREE SPEECH – WORDS WON’T HELP
As surreal as it is, bus and subway posters advertising Jew killing are becoming mainstream in America’s proudest cities.
What’s more disturbing: that the New York, Chicago and San Francisco metro transit authorities are running the advertisements or that the advertiser is a professed “pro-Israel” organization? As an American Jew, are you beginning to feel the groundswell of Jew-hatred roiling beneath your feet yet?
The impulse behind the poster is right but these kinds of political actions don’t change anything. Merriam Webster defines “jihad” as a crusade for a principle or belief. In other words, what this poster says is that carrying out anti-Semitic beliefs to the fullest requires killing Jews in order to please Allah. And they seem to be going about it with some zeal. What’s really being demanded of us is that we ask ourselves what principle and purpose propels us toward audacious action and then act! Implied in this shocking attention-getting stunt is that the fearless, goal-driven deeds of those who want to kill us must be met with a positive counter force just as formidable. But not one on the same level as the problem.
Look, it’s as simple as this: As Jews, we carry in our heritage a sort of manifest destiny to role model and promote a society of mutual concern to bring about the repair of the world. The core enabler of mutual concern is a radical shift from “me-ism” to “we-ism” that can only be accomplished through solidarity. Jews are horrendously disconnected as evidenced by the fact that a pro-Israel organization is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for the right to advertise Jew killing.
And guess what? We have between us and deep within us this very force—one that will engender in us the ability to manifest the peaceful truth “Never again!”
Would black Americans sit back idly if our buses and subways displayed posters reading “Killing Blacks is an Act of Worship?” No, they’d riot in the streets and the National Guard would have to be called out. When any people unite, they are a force to be reckoned with because unity is a force to be reckoned with. Our history clearly shows us why there is Jew hatred. It compels us to unite, and solidarity is the first step toward our manifest destiny which our tradition calls “being a light to the nations.”
The message becomes: Loving your friend as yourself as a global reality. This is our passion. What’s yours?
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