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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777
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Modern King David Fighting the USA Campus Goliath

We are the lost unit of the IDF Spokesman’s Office, we are the students who stayed up until 5 a.m. to watch the victorious fight against BDS at UC Berkeley, we are the students who laughed off being called 'imperial genocidal maniacs' by an employee of our university.

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Justin Hayet (second from right) at the State University of New York at Binghamton, supporting Israel against anti-Israel attacks.

Justin Hayet (second from right) at the State University of New York at Binghamton, supporting Israel against anti-Israel attacks.
Photo Credit: Facebook

On Shabbat I read a disturbing open letter in the Jerusalem Post and decided to blog about it. Unfortunately, it’s not one of the op-eds on their site. After a mercifully quick Google search, I found it someplace else.

An open letter to the FM By Justin Hayet

Dear Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and the entire Netanyahu government,

I asked you, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, a question this Sunday at the Jerusalem Post’s Annual Conference in New York. My question, I thought, was simple; “What is the Foreign Ministry of Israel doing to stand with college students, like myself, to fight BDS [Boycott, Divest, Sanction] on campus?”

Your response was nothing but loaded rhetoric downplaying the existential BDS threat and downplaying the attacks against me on my campus for being a Zionist. Perhaps worst of all, you downplayed the anti-Semitic attacks on students across the United States, Europe and soon the world. These attacks exist because we are proud Zionists.

You should have responded with a big fat “nothing,” because the Foreign Ministry of Israel has decided to focus its attention elsewhere. Though it may be more practical to allocate time and resources elsewhere, in doing so, Israel is taking a risk it cannot afford to take. By focusing all of its energy on its adversaries, many of whom will never recognize Israel either on a map or as a Jewish state with a right to exist, Israel is putting the passion of North American Zionists, many of whom are Jews and many of whom are not, on the back burner. This, I believe, is of a greater existential threat than a nuclear-ambitions Iran.

I was not born in Israel. I was not born in an Israeli home in American. I am a Jewish American. But before I am anything, at the most fundamental level of my existence; like Foreign Minister Liberman, like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, like every soldier my age in the IDF, I am a Zionist. And you, Mr. Foreign Minister, overlooked the fact that, unlike Israelis, I and the thousands of students made the active decision to fight for Israel, a country which has redefined and challenged our perception of what “home” really means.

Though five thousand miles away from Israel, we awake to Israel each morning as we flinch our eyes to see the Israeli flag hanging in its infinite blue beauty above our beds. We do so with pride. Israel is with us as we wake to see the news from the past day in Israel as we slumbered in our secure beds in upstate New York. Though not wearing a Magen David every day, we carry our Zionism on our backs each day, and people try to slander us for it as if “Zionism” is a dirty word.

We are the lost unit of the IDF Spokesman’s Office, we are the story of SUNY (State University of New York) students who stayed up until 5 a.m. to watch the victorious fight against BDS resolutions at UC Berkeley, we are the students who laughed off the libelous labels of being called “imperial genocidal maniacs” by a paid employee of our university. And we carry out these increasingly routine acts of educated-backed passion, not because we are in contract with Israel to do so or because we want accolades; we do it because we are Zionists. Contrary to those closed-minded individuals who say Zionists must live in Israel, the movement of young college students in the States fighting for Israel represents the very core of Zionism. That is, young people doing incredible things for the State of Israel.

You have given us MASA, you have contributed to the founding of Birthright-Taglit and this was your gift to us. We, now, have a gift for you, Mr. Foreign Minister and Mr. Prime Minister. Its called hasbara (public diplomacy). It’s free, it’s our duty, it’s our calling, it’s our obligation and it’s our gift to you and the Jewish state and the flag we awake to every morning. What do you think?

Batya Medad

About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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Imported and Older Comments:

  1. Liberal on campus becoming

  2. Education has been taken by the left. At UIrvine in CA, graduates wore green arm bands. Che, Castro and Hitler is more popular in ideology….at least that seems the way it’s going. Christians are not welcome, either.

  3. Mandy Jacobs says:

    No different to what’s happening in the UK it’s a disgrace and it seems funny since Obama has got into the Whitehouse it’s got much worse !!!!

  4. Loren Renee says:

    First, blaming zionism for antisemetic attacks is like blaming the victem of a rape for being female and thus rapeable

    Second, The foreign minister would do well to remember that Jewish students around the world are at the front line of public sentiment and the public battle over Israel. Each Jew is an ambassador for all Jews when they go out in the world. That’s just how the bias goes. When Jewish students are strong, there is no room for antisemetic BDS. When we are weak in the court of public relations, the BDS fills that vacuume and poisons the hearts and minds against Jews and Israel. Roger waters spews his hate because some Antisemite got to him first. Remember there are about 15 million Jews on the planet and 1.5 billion followers of Islam who are taught we are the cause of all the worlds problems. It’s literally in their text books from grade school onwards.

  5. Lisa Herzog says:

    Wonderful sentiments!!! I couldn't agree more….thank you for keeping strong and continuing to battle this very real threat in today's world!

  6. Keep the Star of David flying.

  7. Keep the Star of David flying.

  8. Nathan Katz says:

    Inspiring, truly inspiring.

  9. But I chose Jerusalem for My Name to be there, and I chose David to rule over My people Israel.

    וָאֶבְחַר בִּירוּשָׁלִַם לִהְיוֹת שְׁמִי שָׁם וָאֶבְחַר בְּדָוִיד לִהְיוֹת עַל עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל
    דברי הימים ב ו:ו

  10. Israel is Gods country

  11. Morry Barak says:

    The fish rots from the head down.

  12. Alan Kardon says:

    I applaud you for your position. I support you and your efforts 100%. Please keep up this great work that you are doing.

  13. Allan Radman says:

    Just one comment. If a paid employee is harassing you and creating a hostile environment then you need to find a lawyer at ACLJ, American Center for Law and Justice.

  14. Good for you, Justin! I'm behind you, and I'm sure there are many more! And HaShem is with you too, that's the main thing!

  15. Well done, You are brave, keep up the good work!

  16. Great! I think that the Jews in the diaspora are just waking up to the bullies, bigots and apathy that has allowed the ignorant and the anti-Semites to feed the messages of hate about Jews/Israel. We have the BDS to contend with every Saturday, outside Ecostream in Brighton, UK. We have to make a lot of noise, write letters and express our outrage if we do not want a repetition of the 1930's in Europe. And we should all make Aliya!!

  17. Miki Bacsi says:

    Israeli politicians are quite negligent about everything with the exception of being re-elected again.

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