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Shocked by the abandonment of those we thought were our friends

Illustrative - Pro-Palestinian demonstration, Oct. 2023 (Photo: Ted Eytan)

For some, within the Jewish community, the biggest slap in the face, following the cruel, barbaric attack of Oct. 7, has been the abandonment by those they genuinely believed were their true friends – who would come to their rescue in a time of need.

That time has come, and instead of feeling embraced and enfolded in the loving arms of faithful companions, who cry together with you, the tragic events have, instead, released a demon of hate and unbridled prejudice, which just needed “a cause” to be unleashed in full measure. That cause was the resulting declaration of war, the natural progression of a savage massacre that demanded the actions that have been taken.

What citizen would not expect their country to react in the harshest manner after having invaded their sovereign land in the early morning hours of their sabbath, systematically slaughtering whole families, brutally raping women, beheading innocents and torturing little children and babies? Who, among the protesters would be okay with their pregnant sister’s stomach being cut open and the fetus being severed from her body while they taunt and then kill her?

Faced with these kinds of sobering images and accounts, it truly is incomprehensible how any sane individual could choose the dark side and abandon friends who are members of the same ethnic community that suffered these unspeakably barbaric acts.

Yet, as unfathomable as it all is, well-known Jewish actress Julianna Margulies was so distraught over the complete apathy and total abandonment by her friends, that she decided to express her shock and disbelief in an op-ed/open letter forum. Incredulous over their silence, she asks her non-Jewish friends why they have failed to reach out to her after all that is now known. Reminding them that she was there for each of them, during their dark days, Margulies couldn’t imagine that she’d be going through these tragic days of her people’s suffering, without the support she always believed she’d get when needed. 

Internalizing the moment in which she lives, she asked, “Who will hide us when they come for us? If we have to flee, where could we go? Most especially disappointed by the black community, from whom she apparently expected more, given her own commitment to their plight, she reminded them that “Jewish people were the ones who ‘walked side by side’ with them during the Civil Rights movement. Because the fact that the entire Black community isn’t standing with us, to me, says either they just don’t know or they’ve been brainwashed to hate Jews. But when you’ve been marginalized so much, as a community, the way I feel we have, isn’t that when you step up?”

For these sentiments, Margulies was duly castigated, to the point where she immediately had to recant her words and do a mea culpa, with full groveling, in order to redeem herself before those she insulted by inferring their lack of loyal friendship and needed support when she felt vulnerable and frightened.

This is the price demanded in Hollywood. Fame can only be retained by bowing to the gods which grant popularity if you are loyal to them, but never expect it in return! In the end, Margulies did what she had to do to remain intact, but there is no question that she now knows to hold her tongue, even at the price of her own integrity and conscience.

Similarly, Avi Mayer, editor of the Jerusalem Post, in last Friday’s editorial asks the identical question: “Where are our allies?” He says that although the NAACP and the NAN (National Urban League) originally condemned the terror attack, on Nov. 15, they put out a statement, calling for a “‘de-escalation of global hate and violence’ in light of the ‘humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Middle East,” mentioning neither side.

He recalls how on Oct. 10, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapter in Chicago posted an image of a paraglider – a clear reference to the paragliders used by Hamas terrorists to infiltrate Israel and murder Israelis three days earlier – with the text, ‘I stand with Palestine.’” Likewise, the “Phoenix chapter of BLM stated that ‘Palestinian freedom fighters are not terrorists,’ adding ‘we will stand in full support of the resistance happening in Palestine.’”

But why should any of this come as a surprise when Mayer, himself says that “the Movement for Black Lives has shared a constant stream of content hostile to Israel on its platforms, including multiple posts accusing Israel of ‘genocide.’ And ‘apartheid,’ portraying Jewish Israelis as oppressors and Palestinians as the oppressed, justifying acts of ‘resistance.’”

It is because, just like Margulies, there was an expectation that because Jews, in the past, supported them, they’d return the favor. Well, they didn’t, and that is because the two groups – Hollywood and BLM have something in common.

Both groups are comprised of fame-seeking, narcissistic individuals who found a way to get to the top by employing a superficial veneer that promises a commodity, whether that’s a virtuous social justice aspiration or a 90-minute escape in the form of amusement. One is merely temporal enjoyment and the other is being marketed as a moral obligation.

In the end, both are nothing more than vacuous, empty bubbles which neither provide anything meaningful or lasting. Hollywood has been responsible for selling us decades of lies, immorality and vulgarity while BLM has been nothing more than a monetary shakedown of guilt-laden individuals who somehow feel they contributed to an inequality that could be rectified by their monetary contribution.

Neither of these entities were ever loyal, true-blue friends of the Jews or anyone else for that matter. They were wholly devoted to themselves and whatever benefitted their cause. So why the shock of expectation upon which no one should have ever relied.

All of this has provided a great reset (to borrow the term) in order for Jews to re-evaluate who their friends really are and who will stand with them through thick and thin, at a time when many lack a moral compass to differentiate evil from good. In that regard, many evangelical Christians, of all races, have been the best friends of the diaspora Jewish community as well as the State of Israel. They have shown their support by standing with us during these days when a dark history is, once again, emerging, coming to the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 14 to express their love and solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people. 

Others have assured us of their constant prayers for our well-being, expecting nothing in return. Those are heartfelt demonstrations of true friendship. Sadly, in the past, some Israeli government officials, as well as individuals from the ultra-Orthodox community have held Christians in contempt, accusing them of missionizing or having an axe to grind, as the only reason they would want to befriend Jews. 

But they really care about us because they, too, know that they’re next to be betrayed and persecuted by the very same enemies of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, providing a unity of brotherhood in our shared faith and culture. 

Jews needn’t look much further for allies, friends and defenders, because we know who they are. It’s called Judeo-Christian values, because they unify us in the fight against the dark forces of evil!

A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.

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