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October 7, 2015 / 24 Tishri, 5776
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It’s My Opinion: Truth and Fiction

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             A dreadful event occurred last month at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. Animal trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by an errant whale that pushed her off a platform and dragged her under the water.


The trainer loved her job. Working with animals had been her life’s ambition. She was quoted as saying, “All that is needed is for me to trust the whales, and for the whales to trust me.”


Brancheau’s heart had interfered with her ability to see reality. The trainer wanted to believe that her kind interactions with these (wild) animals would change their innate character. This was not the case.


It is human nature to romanticize. Good people often want to believe in idealized notions. We see this not only in dealings with animals, but in dealings with our fellow man, as well. Unfortunately, these lapses in judgment can be deadly.


In today’s climate of political correctness, all groups are assumed to share the universal goal of equality and democracy. Different cultures are believed to share homogeneous ideals. Value judgments are shunned.


The United States of America and Israel have fallen victim to this folly. Both great nations believe that if they make painful concessions, their enemies will respond with peace.


According to our present administration, there is no “war on terror.” This change of semantics has done nothing to alter the truth. America and the whole world are dealing with global Jihad.


The United States feels that it can negotiate and collaborate with the rogue leaders of countries that are bent on its destruction. The theory is more than na?ve. It is dangerous.


The Jewish nation is especially vulnerable to this experience. All their unilateral concessions and giveaways of land have only served to whet the appetite of their enemies. The Palestinians do not want Gaza or the “West Bank” or even a separate Palestinian state. They have publicly stated their desires. They want every inch of Israel. They want to throw the Jews into the sea. They want nothing but the total destruction of the Jewish people.


It is easy to mix up truth and fiction. Contemporary culture has trouble seeing a straight- forward adversary. We tend to romanticize, and why can’t we all be friends? We feel that we should have mercy. In reality, it is rachmanus tipshim, the mercy of fools.

About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.

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