LOS ANGELES, July 10, 2014 — What are you doing this summer?
As I sit in the sunny Los Angeles house that I grew up in, visiting from Israel due to a death in the family, it has become abundantly clear to me that Americans know how to enjoy their summer.
So as Israel, America’s supposed “beloved ally,” is experiencing one of the most painful summers in its history, America, run currently by the leader of the compassionate Democratic party, has not only felt comfortable ignoring Israel’s pain, but reprimanding Israel for attempting to extricate herself from her sorrow.
So again, what are you doing this summer?
In Israel, early summer began with mass gatherings. These were not for Bonnaroo or some other hippie summer music festival; these were rallies to raise awareness for three teenage boys who were kidnapped on their way home from school simply because they were Jewish.
Please remember, in the summer of 2014, as most Americans screamed out the lyrics to the latest Taylor Swift song, Israelis were screaming to G-d and the world to help bring back its boys.
As the early days of summer continued, Americans packed sports bars and viewing parties to cheer on the American Men’s National Team in the 2014 World Cup. In Israel, hundreds of thousands of Israelis came together to show their support as well. Sadly, this was a grave-site gathering, as Israel said goodbye to those three boys after their bodies had been found three weeks later after their abduction.
Please remember, in the summer of 2014, as most Americans were chanting “U-S-A” from the rooftops, Israelis were tearfully chanting the Kaddish prayer (prayer of the mourner) over children cut down in the prime of their lives.
In the past few weeks Americans have kissed their sons and daughters goodbye as they head off to summer camp. Weeks of swimming, sports and teenage drama are underway across American campgrounds. In Israel, many summer camps have been canceled due to rocket fire, and the ones that have remained open have the fun-filled activity “race to the bomb shelter” firmly dominating the day’s schedule.
Please remember, in the summer of 2014, as your children enjoy their wet, hot American summer, Israelis are throwing their Barbie dolls and board games into the safe room so their kids will be distracted when the impending missile explosions echo throughout the summer sky.
Here in sunny Southern California, summer is time to flock to the beach. Tanning, surfing and other fun in the sun are going down all along the U.S. coasts. In Israel, terrorists from the Gaza Strip took to the sea, landed on an Israeli beach, and looked to slaughter civilians indiscriminately. Israelis could not go to that beach on Tuesday because it was, thankfully, riddled with bullets and terrorist corpses.
So please remember, in the summer of 2014, while everybody has gone surfing U.S.A., Israelis are ensuring their beaches do not becomes ports of their destruction.
In the past few weeks surely thousands of Americans have put their tops down, turned their radios up and embarked on a good ol’ fashion American road trip. Exorbitant gas prices are their most critical concern. In Israel, a checkpoint set up just north of Tel Aviv apprehended a Palestinian car fashioned with a gas-powered explosive device to be used in a terror attack. So please remember, in the summer of 2014, as Americans enjoy the open road, Israelis are making sure they reach their final destinations unharmed.
So why is it important that you remember these drastic differences in summer experiences?
When I was in Jewish day school, the last day of classes always ended with the same speech. “Remember,” our principal would warn us, “just because you are out of school doesn’t mean you can forget who you are.” “We are the Jewish people,” he explained, “people see us as such and we want to be seen as such. That being the case, in or out of school, you are an ambassador of G-d and your nation and you must act accordingly.” The gist of the speech was that summer was no excuse to forget your morality.
Thus, just because there is a holiday atmosphere in the U.S. you are not excused from speaking out when you hear Philip Gordon, a special assistant to President Obama and the White House coordinator for the Middle East, make unconscionable statements blaming the endless Hamas rocket fire on the Israeli ‘occupation.’
When the United Nations continues to issue calls for restraint, you do not get to bury your heads, and your sense of right and wrong, in the beach sand.
When CNN, MSNBC or any of the other yellow news channels lob softball questions at Gazans being used as human shields by Hamas, allowing them to blame Israel for a terror brought on, in fact, by their very own elected government, while bombarding Israeli army chiefs and censoring pictures of Israeli children running from rocket fire you do not get to sip some iced tea and shut your eyes and ears.
Moral outrage is not seasonal.
Do not allow the answer to the question “what did you do this summer?” to be that you allowed a just and democratic people to be continually terrorized at the hands of violent Islamic extremists because you were too busy having a good time.