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Rabbi’s Blog: Compare & Contrast

11/08/2023 02:13:03 PM


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Dear OZ family,


A few contrasts: A peaceful rally in support of Israel took place on Central Park West this week with over 11,000 Jews in attendance on very short notice. Yasher Koach to Hindy Poupko for putting together the logistics. There was singing and chanting. There was Hatikva and Am Yisrael Chai, and Achenu and a tremendous amount of love and good will. Contrast that with a counter protest scheduled the same night on 81st. St. All the shops, restaurants and stores closed in the near vicinity, in anticipation of what could happen at such a rally. Contrast Israel, who puts her own soldiers in great risk to avoid civilian casualties with Chamas’s vicious attack, and its cynical placement of civilians in harm’s way. When you see the word, “Ceasefire” written across the signs of kidnapped Israelis, you know that was written without thought of reality. In fact many world governments and the UN have begun calling for ceasefire. Do you hear any of them calling for a release of hostages or laying down weapons, or a cease on indiscriminate rocket attacks all over Israel? Where is the Red Cross?


Our demonstrations are peaceful and orderly. Our chants are about life and hope. They chant, “Gas the Jews”,  “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free”. What they mean is free of Jews. Students who somehow made their way to elite institutions of higher learning are brazenly calling for genocide of Jews. At Universities where you can be fired for using the wrong pronouns, these are considered protected forms of speech. Thank God my father did not live to witness this. But Jenny Michael, who has vivid memories of Kristallnact, from 85 years ago tomorrow, says it feels like Germany in the 30’s again. Of course, the difference is that thios time we can defend ourselves. In a world where everyone is divided between the oppressors and the oppressed, the Big and Little Satan will always be condemned. Thess small minded academics, media personalities, and some in politics, use the freedoms of this great country to sow fear and hatred against successful people. They are taking pages out of Stalin’s and Mao’s playbook, in their hatred of Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian values that helped create this country.


They will accentuate the original sin of slavery of this country, while ignoring that slavery still exists in the Arab world. They will join hands with Chamas, Iran, Russia and China, ignoring the horrific persecution of Chechen and Uyghur Muslims in those countries. They forget that Arabs living under Jordanian and Egyptian rule from 1948-1967 had no rights at all, and no one clamored for a Palestinian State all those years. They speak about occupation when Israel has been out of Gaza for close to 20 years. They speak about suffocating conditions in Gaza that had to be overthrown on Oct. 7th when those conditions are in place only because of the murderous intentions of Chamas that bore its fruition so tragically as we were hoping they are finally paying some attention to the needs of their own people. Their leaders from the comforts of their palaces in Qatar, claim that they intend to and will visit such atrocities upon Israel again and again and again. Who in his right mind can consider a ceasefire under such conditions?  We must make sure that our politicians hear these arguments and stay firm in their support for Israel. The other side speaks loud enough to make store and shops close. We must speak truth to power in our love and support for Israel


Chazak!  Am Yisrael Chai!

Rabbi Allen Schwartz


* I have included information of contacting our elected officials from the AJC - click HERE.


Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street

New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200 






Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyyar 5784