How do we gain respect? By demanding it. It’s time to proudly wear the symbols of our Jewish ancestry again – especially on campus. 

I read Facebook and Canada’s two national newspapers every morning. I get acid indigestion every morning. Never a day goes by without the media-social or otherwise-attacking Israel or the Jews. If I were Christian life would be so much easier; I wouldn’t be so upset everyday about Israel and the Jewish people.

I am a savta (Hebrew for grandmother) nine times over and I don’t want this for my grandchildren. I am exhausted from all the hate and from fighting it every day. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.  How lovely it would be to get up in the morning and be happy after reading the papers, enjoying the Life and Art sections or gardening and cooking. Sports. I’d like to enjoy listening to the radio and hear news that is informative rather than infuriating. I’d like to go through Facebook and enjoy the postings-weddings, engagements, births, animal videos.

I can understand why so many Jews are Jews in name only. They want to be happy and loved and accepted and tolerated and included and accommodated-like everyone else.

How do we gain respect? By demanding it.

We need to change the dialogue. We have to stop wanting to be liked and demand respect instead. We are never going to be liked as a people. Anti-Semitism is so deeply embedded in our culture-that is Christian culture and Islamic culture- that being liked is too much to ask in the near or even distant future. But respect-that’s something else.  Our Torah does not talk about being liked or loved. Our Torah talks about mutual respect that comes from the teachings of rights, obligations and responsibilities.

Waving Israeli flag in Old City, Jerusalem

Celebration of Jerusalem Day in the Old City. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Adding insult to injury the UN Human Rights Council recently concluded its month-long session in by condemning Israel five times more than any other of the 192 UN member states. I don’t know. Is it possible to be Kafkaesque and Orwellian while falling down the rabbit hole all at the same time?

Most importantly, we have to stop this hate for Israel which is firmly rooted in the statements “Apartheid” and “occupier.” There is only one way to stop this attack on Am Yisrael (the nation of Israel). Declare the legal rights-the real legal borders of Israel under international law and then we can be in a fair fight. Let the balagan begin with truth for a change. Let’s watch the UN the EU, the BDSers  and yes, America, trip all over themselves as they try to prove that Israel’s legal borders are not from the river to the sea. Let them prove that the Arabs are not the occupiers.

The time has come for the Jewish people to stop defending our right to exist as a people and as individuals. Don’t like us? Tough.  No other people on earth have to do this. Not the Saudis, the Jordanians, the Iranians, the Chinese the North Koreans, the Canadians or the Americans. Only the Jews and the Jewish state.

It’s time to talk softly but carry a big stick. That means being proud of our peoplehood. Let us never forget the mercenaries under King David who were the best and most envied soldiers in the neighborhood. And our women! Devorah, Yael, Yehudit. The Jews were respected and feared!

It’s time to proudly wear the symbols of our ancestry – especially on campus. Kippot everywhere. The Star of David, the Mezuzah. Israeli flags on book bags. We are a proud people. Or we ought to be. We have lived through horror no other people have experienced and have not fallen victim to victimhood. We are still  here – 3500 years later – thriving in Israel, our homeland, and the Diaspora.

Let’s be proud and respected, again.

Article by Diane Weber Bederman

Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital-trained chaplain who lives in Canada, just outside Toronto. She writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog, "The Middle Ground: The Agora of the 21st Century." Bederman is the author of "Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values," published Dec. 2015 by Mantua Books (available on Amazon).