The Jewish community in the heart of New Jersey is fortunate to be represented by elected officials who, generally speaking, have understood and supported our pressing needs and concerns.
Many of them have shown up, stood with us, and spoken out since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel - at (multiple) solidarity events here at home, in public forums and stataments, and through legislative or executive actions.
When we learn that the words and actions of a representative, perhaps even well-meaningly but misguidedly, promulgate and play into false narratives designed to erode support for Israel and incite anitsemitism, we reach out.
We meet; we lay out the facts and the Jewish community's position.
If you, yourself, would like to review the facts and the Jewish communty's position, consider the following.
The Jewish community needs the support of all our elected officials for Israel’s mission to destroy Hamas even when there is pressure to implement a cease-fire.
We suggest certain officials shift their focus from demonizing Israel to pressuring Egypt to open the border and calling out Hamas for preventing Palestinians from moving out of harm's way.
Refer to information from the U.S. government and Israeli media sources: Haaretz, The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, and I24, rather than the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
Additional points included:
- Statements about antisemitism do not always have to mention other forms of hate as well; at times like this, with a 400% increase in incidents, a standalone condemnation is warranted.
- The blame for Palestinian suffering in Gaza rests on Hamas.
- A general full cease-fire is not possible. Hamas must be destroyed for the sake of Israelis and Palestinians. To call on Israel to deescalate would be like having asked the U.S. to stand down after 9/11 or asking the allies to stand down and deescalate the war against the Nazis. Forcing Israel to stand down is holding it to a double standard.
- Equating the deaths of innocent Israelis with innocent Palestinians within certain contexts reflects a false equivalency. Every innocent life lost is a tragedy. In the events of Oct 7 and since then, Israeli civilians were deliberately targeted - elderly, children and babies and were not caught in a crossfire between Hamas and the IDF. Palestinian civilians are forced by Hamas to be human shields, prevented from evacuating to safer areas, prevented from using Hamas terror tunnels as bomb shelters. Their neighborhoods are being used as ammunition storage facilities, rocket launching sites, command centers, and the like.
At a time when many among us are subjected to narratives in the media and public discourse driven by misinformation, disinformation, and bias, reviewing the facts is important for everyone.
Once again, we thank all our elected officials for working with us to pursue peace against a backdrop of truth.