Featured Ads

Altruism vs. BDS

Thinking back all those many years ago, I believe that I was in college when I vividly recall hearing that “the Jews control the world.” Some specifically claimed we, as a people, controlled all the banks and Wall Street, ran the majority of the media and its various outlets, likewise Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

What really depressed me was hearing that “Jews” have all the money. Wow, I must have overslept or otherwise missed being there when all the gelt was handed-out. Just my luck.

As the years have flown-by, now that I’m in my 70s, a couple of points have continued to both confuse and dismay me.

First, if “my people” control both the media (in general), and Hollywood (specifically), then why are we unable to adequately tell our story? If we have such a wide variety of media moguls, writers, directors, producers, acting talent and other creative geniuses that garner awards and other accolades, I fail to understand our inability to “set the record straight.”

Is it simply because we live in such an anti-Semitic world that our previous efforts have simply fallen on deaf ears?

Now, what about this BDS issue with regards to Israel? And, the overall response, or lack of goal-oriented responses, from the general population that comprise the entire Jewish community? Let’s examine a few items of worldwide interest:

When the devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, Israel immediately responded with medical teams. We even witnessed on television Israeli medics delivering a Haitian baby in addition to treating so many of the many injured.

In 2015 when a major earthquake struck Nepal, Israel was one of the first countries to send aid. Two hundred and sixty-four Israelis responded for search and rescue missions, and over 95 tons of equipment including a large field hospital was brought to the Nepalese by Israel.

Last year when an 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Southern region of Mexico and the northernmost portion of Central America, IsraAid, an Israel-based humanitarian organization that responds to emergencies “all over the world,” and in conjunction with the Israeli government, immediately dispatched aid to the affected areas.

Again, and closer to home, when Houston, Texas, was victimized by Hurricane Harvey, Israel’s ZAKA (their primary rescue and recovery volunteers, on-call 24/7 to respond to any terror attack, accident or disaster) was sent to the Lone Star State to assist in recovery efforts.

Where, I ask, were the Arab nations, and even more specifically, the Palestinians, when it was time to come to the aid of their fellow human beings?

And finally, look at all the innocent Syrians that are being treated with such loving kindness by the Israelis. Medical services, often life-saving, food, clothing, portable generators, etc. have been provided to these suffering people.

What are the other surrounding Arab countries doing to offer aid, comfort and support to the Syrians who have been “caught in the middle” of this most-recent conflict? Are Jews more compassionate than their fellow Arabs? I don’t know, but often wonder.

It is both outrageous as well as hypocritical that the BDS movement has been allowed to progress to the point that it has. Is it simply a political gesture?

Where’s our talent to instruct, inform, and yes, defend Israel’s commitment to mankind? We’ve heard for generations now that we Jews control so very much. Let’s apply our yiddishe kops to our many talents and offer a stronger reply to those who continue to slander Israel and all that she stands for! 

Benjamin Silk lives in Roeland Park and is a retired criminal investigator. He has been published in several publications including The Kansas Trooper magazine, Kansas City Corporate Report and the Kansas City Star.