Last night, three Israelis – Or Asher (32), Rotem Mansano (34), and Michael Osdon (36) – were attacked by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv. Asher is in critical condition at Ichilov Hospital. Mansano is in the emergency neurosurgery ward at the same hospital. Osdon, who suffered light to moderate wounds, is also at Ichilov Hospital. I know you join me in holding these three men in your hearts as they, G-d willing, recover and resume their lives.
Like many of you, I am paying close attention to the current Israeli government’s attempts to push through extremely controversial judicial reforms, reforms that I oppose (see my previous blog post on my opposition to these reforms here). I am also following the enormous protest movement that has spread to the reservists of various Israeli military units within Israel. It is all extremely troubling, heartbreaking, and worrisome. Quoting one of my friends, who just returned from an extended stay in Israel, a mother of two women who call Israel home, the entire country is a “tinderbox.” Last night’s attack was not related to the judicial reforms and resulting protests. Hamas has taken responsibility for this latest attack on innocent Israelis.
While the far-right’s attempts to reform the judiciary and the subsequent protests that are rocking Israel are unsettling, we must realize that what we are witnessing – weeks before Israel marks her 75th anniversary as a modern country – is the Jewish state in action. We want this Jewish state to be spiritual, idyllic, peaceful, but, just like any country, there are often tremendous conflicts that spill out into the streets. Israel is far from perfect. Israel is complex and controversial. Whether you support the judicial reforms or stand with the protestors – or fall somewhere in between – this does not necessarily make you any more pro-Israel. Remember, Zionism is the belief that the Jewish people have the right to self-determination and statehood in their ancestral homeland, the land of Israel. I would argue that, while I disagree vehemently with those who support the judicial reforms, most of us (no, not all of us) taking a stand on these reforms are Zionists. Most of the Israelis who are supporting or fighting against the judicial reforms – and those attempting to work on negotiations between the two sides – are fighting for their country even though they stand in opposition to each other. In light of last night’s attack, please, let us not forget that even in the midst of the turmoil in Israel, most of us share the same goal even though we disagree intensely. Turning against each other is the worst thing we can do right now. History has shown us that when we have done so, we give our enemies just what they need to crush us.
Hamas attacked Zionism last night. Hamas’ goal is to murder Jews, destroy Israel, and take over what is the Jewish State. They do not believe that the Jewish people have any right to our ancestral homeland. Last night’s attack was just one of countless other horrific ways Hamas has tried to send their message. 
Amid this current battle within Am Yisrael – the Jewish People – we must remember the words of the Talmud: Kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh – all of Israel, all of the Jewish people, are responsible for each other. We can vehemently disagree. We can protest. We can vote for or against each other and specific policies. But, when it comes down to it, we must work together to build Judaism, the Jewish State, and a better world for us all. Go ahead, pick a side. But, in doing so, never forget that you a responsible for all of your fellow Jews. Make sure your actions reflect this.

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