I’ve written that the only logical conclusion to the Israel-Hamas war is moving towards a two-state solution. Now, let me clarify that.  

“Moving towards” does not mean Israel acknowledging Palestinian statehood now. Canada considered recognizing a Palestinian state but decided against. Reality intruded. The subject also has been broached by several European leaders. But Gaza is run by vicious Hamas. An enfeebled Palestinian Authority runs the West Bank under Israeli control. 

A two-state solution is aspirational. It demands clear-eyed vision and rock-solid patience. Despite the best of intentions expressed by the world community—Tehran the key exception—success will not be guaranteed. 

Tom Friedman noted in the March 19 New York Times (“What Schumer and Biden Got Right About Netanyahu”), “there are a million moving parts, any one of which could fail.” But the same-old-same-old risks Israel’s isolation from the world, including the United States. That would jeopardize Israeli peace and security.

This brings me to the multiple, and conflicting, opinions held by American Jews. The vast majority support Israel’s right to exist. Some want Bibi Netanyahu to continue the war to wipe out Hamas, whatever the costs to the people of Gaza. Others seek an end to the fighting. Most recognize the horrible reality blocking a cessation of hostilities. As Friedman asserts, “If you are calling for a ‘cease-fire now’ in Gaza and not a ‘cease-fire and hostage release now,’ it’s making the problem worse.”

Joe Biden has come down hard on the Israeli government while maintaining support for Israel. Biden walks a difficult line given November’s approaching election. Bibi doubtless favors Donald Trump. 

Recently, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D.–N.Y.)—a stalking horse for Biden?—mixed himself into Israeli politics. Friedman notes, “What has gone so haywire in the U.S.-Netanyahu relationship that it would drive someone as sincerely devoted to Israel’s well-being as Chuck Schumer to call on Israelis to replace Netanyahu . . . ?” 

Were I in Schumer’s position, I would not have publicly called on Israelis to replace their prime minister. (Yes, I believe Bibi has to go—and soon.) Let Israelis decide. Still, Chuck Schumer is a proud Jew and a Zionist.  

Or is he?

In a recent podcast, Trump proclaimed, “Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion. . . . They hate everything about Israel, and they should be ashamed of themselves because Israel will be destroyed.”

Really? About 70 percent of American Jews are traitors to Judaism and Israel? If so,  can Christian Americans trust Jews? If Jews are so vile, can they be good Americans? Should we be allowed to maintain our positions in American society? Vote?

If you’re looking for another example of antisemitism, Trump offered it. Because in his world, only one opinion holds sway, no matter how outlandish and offensive—his.

Opposite Trump, Jewish tradition upholds difference of opinion. The Talmud, in its discussions—arguments—concerning the law, always includes the minority report. Certainly, Jewish Republicans and Democrats have every right to their disparate political views. 

This November, I’ll vote for Biden and other Democrats. When it comes to America’s future, a million things also can go wrong. Trump and MAGA embody two. And tonight, I’ll be in synagogue for Kabbalat/Purim Shabbat services. I’ll also continue to be a Zionist. Go figure.

Happy Purim! And please pass on this post.

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