A Statement by Rabbi Trugman on the Current Situation in Israel and Operation Protective Edge
Once again Israel is being shown around the world as a cruel monster, the killer of innocent women and children. Once again all our attempts to protect civilians in war is ignored by the media. All they can do is count the dead and blame us as if thousands of rockets fired at us never happened, as if our leaving Gaza to the last Jew never happened, as if self-defense is not a natural right. Once again Hamas has turned our righteous cause of simply wanting to live without the constant danger of attack into us being the aggressor. And how is it that we feel guilt and pain that so many have died when Hamas has engineered the situation so that exactly this would happen.
This is the blessing and curse of a double standard. Jews should be different, somehow more moral, ethical, righteous, spiritual, and sensitive to suffering and pain. The world intuitively feels this to be true and thus holds us to a higher standard which is in a sense a blessing as it recognizes our soul qualities and our role in the world. Yet in far too many cases it brings in its wake jealousy, hatred and glaring hypocrisy. The world cries foul when we do not live up to the rules it makes for us – for the double standard is ultimately a mechanism to bash Jews whenever the world so pleases. And we bash ourselves as well because it hurts us to be seen this way, to have to kill on the battle field even when it is clear why, to be so misunderstood and demonized, to be the quintessential victim of a double standard.
And while we are being judged again and found guilty in the court of the media, where is the anguish in the world as hundreds of thousands die in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Congo, Mexico and in scores of smaller conflicts that do not even make the news. And where was the world when tens of millions died in Biafra, Cambodia, Rwanda, the Sudan, the Shoah….
My heart cries for our three boys and their families, for our fallen soldiers and all the victims of terror. And yes my heart cries for every man, woman and child who dies as a bystander as a result of war. But we must not be deterred in our right to a normal life, for the right to not be attacked whenever our enemies want. We must not forget how this all started and why we are fighting, what our enemies desire to do to us if they could and why we are in Israel. And we must not lose hope or belief in a better world and the redemption that will ultimately come to Israel and the entire world.
The world’s double standard towards Jews and Israel is sometimes a curse but also reveals a profound blessing for it moves us to always strive to a higher standard of morality and self-reflection and to fulfill God’s appointment despite all obstacles to be a nation of priests and a holy nation.