Those words are so complicated. And it’s insane that I would even be thinking about this. But I am and so is every other Jewish person around you.
Maybe you grew up in my house.
Maybe I grew up in yours.
Maybe my kid is your kid’s bestest friend since Kindergarten.
Maybe we were college roommates and our kids call us by “aunt” or “uncle”.
Or, maybe we’re just neighbors.
It doesn’t matter, really.
Because it’s not an easy answer. You hiding my family puts a target on your family’s heads. That’s so daunting. I get it. All of us Jews get it. We live like that, even without a star on our sleeves.
Let’s take a simple yard sign. Would you put one on your lawn? Would you let the world know which side you are on? Touchy, right? What if I showed up and asked, “Can you tie this blue ribbon on your tree?” I’m sure if that ribbon was yellow, pink or rainbow, you’d never think twice. But suddenly you’d think what every Jew thinks all the time. “What if?”
Of course, it’s not fair to walk up to your friend and ask if he/she would hide your family “if something happened?” It’s a question you can’t answer until that situation is upon you. But let me explain what’s happened this week. If you’re not Jewish, and you haven’t reached out to your Jewish friends, you’ve communicated something huge. Doesn’t matter the reason why. Your silence answers that question.
I have a journalism degree. I worked as an editor, copywriter, etc. I stood firm on the First Amendment for years. It gave me comfort to know that EVERY side deserved to be heard. But now, I watch the news and hear an inequality in reporting on networks I’ve been dying to work at for decades.
They preach over and over how they are “neutral”.
Except they’re not.
They report on what Hamas “thinks” happened, with no proof.
Yet Israel has to show infallible proof that they did or didn’t do something.
I don't see that as neutral.
The reality is once it’s reported in the news that Isreal is thought to have done something, the world believes it’s true. Even if Israel proves it’s not. Come on media, you know it’s 1000x harder to change the world’s mind once something “ugly” is put out there. And by the way, when did we just start just trusting the word of a terrorist?
This is not new to Jewish people. We’ve lived with it in subtle and not-so-subtle ways all our lives. This just reaffirms to each of us Jews, it could happen. I could ring your doorbell and ask you that question one day. You may think it’s not true. You may have never thought about it. You may think this whole article is overdramatic. But ask yourself, how would you answer? Inside that fear you’d have for your own family “if you said yes”, is the reason why every Jew is having trouble functioning this week.
Because it’s possible.
And the reason we know it’s possible is because no one has said it isn’t.