The World

The World and our Obligation to Educate about Israel

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Not long ago a friend from the States asked me what she could be doing to help with the current situation in Israel.

It was an excellent question. One I was happy to answer, but felt a bit under-qualified to do so. But I tried my best, since I wasn’t sure she’d find a better source.

How You Can Help

I said three things:

  1. People are coming to Israel to volunteer. Just make sure to research the trip well, so that you’re actually coming to make a difference.
  2. Donate. Similarly, do your research. There are plenty of very good places to give your hard-earned money, but just as many others that would be happy to rob you blind and not use it for any useful purposes.
  3. Educate yourself to the best of your ability, and see yourself as a PR agent for Israel. Stand up and speak out, since there are so many voices throughout the world that are condemning Israel.

Volunteer and Donating


At the beginning of the war, it felt like the whole nation was coming together to make a difference. But like in everything else in life, normality settles in. And as much as the question of what we can be doing applies to someone living far, far away, I find myself wondering it all the time as well, despite being a short drive away from the terrors of war.

The role of our soldiers is obvious. The rest of us: It’s way harder to figure that out.

Volunteering is, of course, extremely important. However, as life has basically returned to relative normality, most of us don’t have the opportunity to volunteer. Despite the war, we have jobs. We have responsibilities. Our day is already jam-packed. On occasion we may have a day or two to take a bus somewhere to pick some strawberries. And whatever we can do is great. But it’s too seldom to feel like it matters.

And sadly, more than a few of us barely has any cash to make much of an impact on what’s happening around us.

Educating the World

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Which is why I want to speak about the third option I gave. It costs little to nothing to educate yourself. And opportunities to speak out and stand up for Israel are everywhere. In fact, they tend to come to many of us without seeking them out.

I’ve debated with some friends about the value of trying to educate the world about the truth of what happens in Israel. Those who are opposed make very valid points. Most people have already chosen what to think, and nothing will sway them otherwise. And there is a driving force of antisemitism that can’t be ignored. Obviously if someone comes from a place of Jew hatred, good luck convincing them that Israel is not committing apartheid.

But there is a sphere of influence. There exists the few out there in the world who either have not yet formulated their opinion, or have some room for movement in what they’d be willing to adjust. And we can’t shake our obligation to reach those people. It is a powerful responsibility, and it belongs to all of us.

Collective Responsibility

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And that’s where we all come in, where every one of us has some level of responsibility.

We’re all online. We’re all out there in the world. And we all see and hear things we wish we didn’t. So the question is: What are you going to do about it?

The easiest thing in the world is to do nothing. To sit back and let the world think what it wants to think. To make excuses why we don’t wish to get involved. And to preserve friendships even though we fundamentally disagree about a very controversial and heated topic.

But is it the right thing to do?

I seriously doubt any of us will look back ten years from now and feel pride for the moments we stayed silent. For the moments we didn’t speak up when our people and our country were being relentlessly maligned by those with very ill intensions.

But we can’t ignore the fact that the task before us is a challenging one.

I seriously doubt any of us will look back ten years from now and feel pride for the moments we stayed silent. Click To Tweet

Defending Israel and Losing Friends

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We need to be better educated than those we wish to argue with. That takes time and energy. It means exploring complex topics. And it means exposure to things you never really wanted to think about.

It means conflict. It means heated replies to your statements. Our soldiers are dying on the battlefield. I think the least we can do is take a little heat from an ignoramus on Twitter.

And yes, it means we might lose a few friends.

This last one is the one I struggle with the most. I know intuitively that if someone will relentlessly criticize Israel for defending itself while ignoring the rape, massacre, and cruelty of October 7th, they’re probably not someone I should be friends with in the first place. And deep down they may have always hated me just for being born a Jew.

But I love my friends. I care for them greatly. All of them. Even long after they stop caring about me. And the hardest thing for me is to just turn them away.

Our soldiers are dying on the battlefield. I think the least we can do is take a little heat from an ignoramus on Twitter. Click To Tweet

Can’t Shirk the Obligation


But this isn’t just an activity or a hobby.

This is an obligation.

We are obligated to know what’s happening and to explore what happened in the past as well. We can’t just look past Israel’s history. We need to pick up a book or read some articles or listen to some podcasts. We need to form educated viewpoints.

And even though some of us might keep an eye out for opportunities to give people a different perspective (my world is Quora), the rest don’t have to look. The possibilities will likely hunt you down.

Someone on your Facebook or Instagram page will accuse Israel of apartheid or talk about the moral equivalency of Israel and Hamas. And you’ll want to stay out of it, for all the aforementioned reasons.

But you can’t.

If you have the ability to shift even one person’s viewpoint, don’t you think you at least need to try?

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