It is a very troubling trend that good people support ideologies or causes that go against their interests and values due to heavily financed deception and misinformation about historical and current events.
This misinformation and deception also driving an alarming increase in anti-Semitism that is affecting our society in numerous ways. We can see a upsurge in violence, an increase in economic challenges, and a deterioration in the objectivity of reporting by individuals and organizations tasked with maintaining a certain level of objectivity.
A few recent examples are Amnesty International’s totally distorted report on Israel, the US government considering removing Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), one of the most dangerous terror organizations, from the list of the internationally recognized terror organizations, and respectable American universities buckling to pressure by malicious BDS operatives and are implementing anti-Israel and anti-Jewish policies.
One of the most troubling outcomes of this anti-Semitic pressure and deception is the fact that some uninformed and misinformed Jews are turning away from their traditional support of Israel and their Jewish peers. These individuals are falling prey to the relentless wave of deception which is promoted by the enemies of the Jewish people against the State of Israel and the free society that we cherish.
Unfortunately, recent statistical studies show that oblivious Jews are more likely to support the Palestinians than the only Jewish State. This is probably because they have no clue about the real destructive agenda of a well-financed deceptive effort by anti-Israel operatives who hide their true and viciously anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, and anti-free world agenda.
When Iran claims that Israel is the “Little Satan” and the U.S. the “Big Satan,” they do not distinguish between Zionist Jews and anti-Zionists or pro-Israel Americans and all the others. When the Iranian proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, work towards accomplishing their stated goal of exterminating all the Jews and non-Jews living in the free and democratic State of Israel, launching rockets into Israeli civilian areas, they don't distinguishing between “good” and “bad” Israelis. In an identical way, when the Russians shell the civilian Ukrainian population, they do not distinguish between Russian-speaking and Ukrainian-speaking civilians. They are just trying to terrorize a country and follow their self-serving agenda.
In order to combat this scary trend, Jews need to stand together against anti-Semitism organizations like the BDS and discredit them, because just as they’d like to dismantle the only Jewish and democratic state in the Middle East, they also support terror organizations who not only want to destroy Israel and kill Jews, but also want to dismantle the free, democratic values of the Western world.
Even if Jews disagree with some of the policies of the Israeli government, they should not fall for anti-Israel operatives that tell them they want to “change Israeli policy” while not accepting Israel’s right to exist in the first place.
All responsible parents, adults, community leaders and educators must focus their attention on the younger Jewish generation, providing them with the tools to see the big picture and the facts about Israel as a haven for Jews around the world. Even if it’s not perfect, we must support it and work together to make it better. However, we should never abandon it or worse – work against it.
As Ukrainian Jews are realizing now, a strong, thriving, democratic and Jewish state is the core interest of Jews around the world. Those who undermine it and try to lure young Jews to hating Israel should be challenged sooner rather than later.
Dr. Shmuel Katz is a Zionist-American leader, speaker and philanthropist.
This op-ed is published in partnership with a coalition of organizations that fight anti-Semitism across the world.