Last week I posted some of my thoughts and concerns regarding the move among some churches organizations to divest from Israel as tool to promote peace.
I meant to follow up with comments regarding the April 29th JTA news piece about one of the Jewish responses to this move.
I was happy to see this letter and think that we need to present our side very clearly. I also think that we must be more proactive in confronting this topic because it is very easy to take a very simplistic perspective and make this divestment appear to be a legitimate tool.
But I also think that ending dialogue is a mistake. Now is the time to be very active and to make it very clear that this is unacceptable and why. If we shut down communication we lose the ability to do this from the inside and that could be problematic in the future.
I think that the next section answers the question. Hasbara is a huge problem and it always has been. Many people enjoy a simple point-of-view. It is easy to look at pictures of people throwing rocks at tanks and see it as the story of an underdog. It is harder to express in those pictures the layers upon layers of complexity and the reasons why some measures are necessary.
Again this tells me that now is the time to continue dialogue to redouble efforts to provide a balanced perspective and not just a onesided point-of-view as to what is happening.
The more I read about this the more I am convinced that there needs to be more communication. We may reach a point at which we determine that there is a more serious underlying issue in why the move to divest exists, but then again we may not.
But it is critical to try and get to that point because this has the potential to impact relations for years to come. It is not a matter of being subservient, because we are not. It is an issue of confronting a challenge head on so that it can be handled in the most effective and proactive manner.
Life is about how you act, not react to the world around you.