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Lane: Anti-Semitism flares up again

BY JOE LANE | SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 5:00 AM

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Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gave the keynote address at a conference held by In Defense of Christians. According to the Huffington Post, the group, whose mission is to raise awareness about persecuted Christian and minority communities in the Middle East, booed Cruz off stage as he addressed the United States’ relationship with Israel.

In the video that accompanies the Huffington Post piece, there appears to be a confrontation with Cruz in the middle of his speech from a member of the audience, to which Cruz responds, “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you. Thank you and God Bless.”

Amid cheers and boos, Cruz walks off the stage, as if the only thing he was missing was a microphone drop.

As a Jew and an American citizen who staunchly supports Israel, Cruz might as well have been wearing an “S” on his chest as he walked off the stage.

It has been weeks since the long-term cease-fire was signed and the conflict in Gaza began to die down. But it will be years or even decades before the struggles in the Middle East begin to subside entirely, if they ever do.

Unfortunately, because of the propaganda that Hamas was able to expertly spread through the media, Jews (around the world and within Israel’s borders) are being persecuted in numbers unheard of since the Holocaust.

I am truly confused by the support of Hamas. I am shocked by how people look at the death tolls of the latest conflict in Israel and without hesitation support a terrorist organization and condemn Jews around the world, as if I am responsible for the horrible and unjust death of thousands of Palestinians.

For years, Hamas has fired rockets into Israel, has used hundreds of tons of concrete and hundreds of thousands of dollars to build terror tunnels into Israel, has sent suicide bombers into heavily populated areas of Israel, has used the civilians of the Gaza Strip as human shields, and has turned homes, hospitals, and schools into weapons storage. Yet I, a Jew who has never fought a war for Israel, am to blame?

The reason that the Palestinian death toll was so high in this latest confrontation is best explained by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who says, according to Haaretz.com, “Here’s the difference between us: we are using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

When my non-Jewish friends ask me about my opinion on the conflict in Israel this summer, I explain to them that the biggest problem is that because of the Palestinian civilian death toll, the conflict appears to be “Israel vs. Palestinians” when in reality it is “Israel vs. Hamas.”

No matter which “side” you choose in this debate, it is undeniable that the death of civilians, regardless of their nationality, race, or religion, is disgraceful and terrible, especially when it can be prevented. I am horrified at the number of innocent Palestinian deaths, but this does not sway my distaste for Hamas.

Once people realize that Israel’s goal is not to destroy Palestinians but to protect itself and its citizens (contrary to Hamas’ goals) then perhaps I can stop worrying about whether= the expression “Never Again,” in regards to the Holocaust, carries any meaning anymore.


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