I recently read Rabbi Rosenberg’s opinion piece in the March 4 edition of the Voice. The more I read, the more concerned I became. In this day and age, was he really trying to disparage a fellow Jew who has only the safety and security of Israel and the Jewish people in mind? Perhaps Rabbi Rosenberg’s approach might have worked in the 20th century, when the penumbra of the Holocaust suppressed overt Jew-hatred, and Jews could naively believe that by being open and tolerant, their views would be reciprocated by an adoring world. It is a beautiful, utopian view. But the world has changed. The polite, above-the-fray approach has been (or, at least should have been) discredited in view of the constant hate-filled, eliminationist rhetoric targeting Israel and the Jewish people spouted by the Iranian leadership, Arab countries and the Palestinians; by the BDS movement which intimidates Jews on campus; and by the world’s indifference to the launching of thousands of rockets at unarmed and defenseless civilians during the Gaza war. A person who stands up for the Jewish people and their safety should be applauded, not vilified.
Our leaders should consider the damage that has been done by the author’s benign approach. It is a philosophy many of us have been taught, and, in a different environment it has much to commend it. But as Winston Churchill said, “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” I would encourage all of our leaders to consider the results that have been achieved by passivity in the face of danger, and to join with Mr. Brown in raising the alarm about real, imminent threats to the Jewish community, both in this country and abroad.
Russell D. Raskin, Esq.
Rhode Island Judges and
Lawyers for Israel