From the President-Nov. 28, 2019

Israel is in a political crisis. The United States is in a political crisis. I have my opinions about both, as do you.

The interesting, or challenging, part of all this is how people react to it. If you know me, you know my views on US politics. And hopefully you also know how much I love my country – I love it enough to criticize and actively engage to change it. I haven’t been called anti-American since the early 1970’s.

Many of my Gentile friends who are supporters of Israel are also less than thrilled with some of the current politics and actions taken by the government. And they are afraid to mention their disappointment to me, for fear that my Judaism makes me take an “Israel – Right or Wrong” attitude. When I explain that my attitude toward Israel is the same as my attitude toward the US – both are flawed and wonderful – they are usually relieved.

What I really fear is when I hear that any criticism of Israel in inherently anti-Semitic. But then again, the people who say that can often be heard saying that any criticism of the United States is anti-American.

It is a Jewish tradition to argue, even with God. I love both my flawed countries and am grateful for the opportunity to argue over the best path forward – to engage in the politics of the day.

We are what we do.

Neil Zarchin