Each day I read about the war in Israel, I get increasingly upset because I realize that this is a war over the values that we hold dear. I see the anti-Zionist protests throughout Europe and I understand that this is not about “Free Palestine” but about fighting against western society, a society which promoted the freedom of women, gays and lesbians and people of all religions. As the model democracy in the Middle East, Israel is a country where everyone can live freely as he or she chooses, as opposed to most of its neighbors, where people confirm to the majority out of fear of being persecuted or killed. I see this as the primary reason why the United States has been such a staunch supporter of Israel: it recognizes that Israel promotes the same freedoms on which our country was founded.
What scares me the most is what will happen in the years ahead. I look at European cities with 40% Muslim populations which have 3 times the number of kids as the typical European family and realize that Islam will become the majority religion in parts of Europe within a decade. The Muslim population in the West Bank is also growing at a staggering rate and will likely surpass the Jewish population within a couple decades. What does this mean and why is it important? As others have said before me, there are two wars going on. One is the current battles between Israel and Hamas. The other is the “waiting game” where Islam is gradually growing in numbers in western countries and will eventually attempt to take over through the western democratic process or through sheer numbers. Why is this an issue? As we see in Muslim countries, there is an emphasis on the need to conform to the practices of the majority religion and to oppose those western values of liberty that we hold dear. It is also the difference between a people that values life (as it says in Deuteronomy “Choose life”) versus one that values martyrdom and sacrifice as a means for obtaining its objectives. Israel, through promoting life, stands out as a beacon of hope throughout the Middle East.
As Israel needs the support of each and every one of us, now more than ever, I would urge you to join us as the Israel Bonds Breakfast on Sunday August 10 at 10:15 a.m. in the Jericho Jewish Center Ballroom. My colleague Cantor Barry Black and his family will be honored at the event. Please join us to support a strong, secure Israel.