By Rabbi Daniel R. Allen
Doron facetimed when he arrived home from kindergarten yesterday. It was earlier than usual but he wanted to tell me about his day at school. “Saba” he said “today the whole school went on a field trip to another school.” He was just excited to explain the change in routine.
In fact, his Jewish day school, like others around America as well as Jewish Community Centers, were once again subject to anti-Semitic terrorism. Two years ago, along with colleagues and lay leadership representing the Jewish Agency for Israel we stood in front of a grocery store in Paris, we visited Jewish day schools with guards, and we met with the French Prime Minister in his office as he denounced anti-Semitic and other forms of terrorism.
I have heard the pronouncements from the White House. I have listened to the “outpouring” of congressional, gubernatorial, and clerical statements aghast at what is happening in or country and to the Jews. Alas, for the most part the statements, while genuine, are demonstrating an underlying though perhaps gentle unease with “others.”
I do not know President Trump nor his heart so I cannot characterize him as an anti-Semite. However, from his campaign statements and his actions as President it is clear to me that he has unleashed forces that make life less hospitable for so many in America now including us Jews.
One of the ironies is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has done or has allowed through his coalition the same sort of intolerant forces in Israel. Yesterday – Rosh Chodesh Adar – again, with the encouragement of the Chief Rabbinate intolerance and hatred of Jews toward other Jews was on display at the Kotel. It was another day that the Government failed to implement the Kotel agreement. It was another day that too many Jews denied the Jewishness of other Jews on both sides of the ocean. And it was another day that the Government senselessly destroyed Palestinian homes.
I am worried about what my grandson’s America and his Israel will be like in a few years. Yes, I know it is a tough world. But as Jews, Israelis and Americans we were always the good guys. Due to the actions as well as inaction of the President and Prime Minister, some would say with their encouragement, our world – as Jews, Americans, and Israelis – is more dangerous for Doron.
Rabbi Daniel R. Allen is the Executive vice Chairman Emeritus of the United Israel Appeal.