Open Letter to a Fellow Israel Supporter

Michael Yadov,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Michael Yadov
Michael Yadov is a Director at the American Forum for Israel and a teaching staff member at Fuel For Truth.

Dear Israel Supporter,

I am glad that you care about Israel. I know about your support for Israel from our conversation at a Jewish event some years ago. And, as we are connected on social media, I see the articles that you post periodically. You are troubled by the plight of the Israeli communities in the South due to Hamas’ incessant attempts to claim Israeli lives or cause massive environmental and property damage. You are deeply concerned about the danger posed by Hezbollah and Iran in the North.

You have expressed outrage at the often-cynical position taken by the media in covering the Arab-Israeli conflict. The same goes for academia. I clearly recall your displeasure with the City University of New York when a vehement opponent of Jewish liberation, Linda Sarsour, was invited by one of its schools as an honorary commencement speaker. You have made astute comments about anti-Semitic votes in favor of BDS in several colleges. You have shared articles about BDS finding a footing in several European countries whose governments shamelessly hold Israel to a different standard than any other nation in the world, as they malign the Jewish State for defending itself.

When you don’t post about Israel, you share vacation photos. You are a skilled photographer. Seeing your photos makes me want to visit those same places. I remember the pictures from your vacation in Israel. Amazing! You took stunning pictures of Jerusalem’s Old City and the sunrise over Kinneret. You had fun at the Dead Sea and in Tel Aviv. You beamed with awe having hiked to the top of Masada. You also mentioned that you would come back to see all the things you did not get to. That was at least four years ago.

Since then you have gone to a bunch of beautiful places. Your recent vacations have been to countries that unfortunately have bought into the delegitimization campaign against Israel. Having invested a great deal of emotional capital in supporting Israel, you have chosen to spend your vacations in countries where BDS has been embraced while Israeli democracy has been denigrated. Perhaps this consideration did not factor into your decision. I can judge by your pictures that you are enjoying yourself, and yet I am sure that there are many other places that could have brought you the same if not greater satisfaction.

You are so passionate about supporting Israel, and yet, you chose to invest in the economies of countries that promote divestment from towns and communities in Judea and Samaria and go so far as to deny Jewish connection to Judaism’s holy sites. Beyond just spending your vacations in these countries, you have, perhaps unintentionally, become an ambassador for them on social media. While the pro-Israel articles that you share only register within the confines of your echo chamber, the beautiful pictures that you post serve to entice your network to travel to the very countries that undermine the Middle East’s only liberal democracy.

I too would like to visit these countries one day, as they doubtlessly have many fascinating stories to tell. However, I will defer indulging them until the day they stop trying to erase and mischaracterize the story of my people. Until that day comes, I will gladly express to the BDS-supporting governments my desire to visit their country or municipality and the precise reason why I refuse to do so.

You are certainly entitled to spend your time and money as you see fit, and I fully support your right to do so. It may be that the vacation destinations that you chose were selected after a diligent and all-encompassing assessment. However, knowing how much you care about Israel, I am confident that you would not purposefully support and promote the hypocritical detractors of the world’s only Jewish State.

I hope that you appreciate the spirit of this letter. And perhaps, you will re-embrace that which matters so much to you and consider spending your vacation next year in Jerusalem.

Your Fellow Israel Supporter