My first reaction to Dan Resnick’s op-ed (“Fantasy politics,” Sept. 20) was rage at his not-so-subtle attacks on the president, Prime Minister Netanyahu, evangelical Christians and, by association, anyone who agrees with their politics.
But then I attended Yom Kippur services and was reminded of my own failures, particularly not seeing the bad traits in myself that I see in others. That made me think of why it was possible for the professor to believe such terrible things about all those he has accused. So, I came to see my guilt in not condemning the over-the-top rhetoric coming from this president and many of his followers. As a result, I have written a strongly worded letter imploring President Trump to tone down his rhetoric. Having done that, I challenge the professor to do the same. The rhetoric coming from his side of the political divide is no less divisive and pretending that it isn’t is also a failing.
Both my failing and Professor Resnick’s could easily be corrected. We are not enemies. I am sure that Professor Resnick and I agree on far more things than we disagree. I am Jewish. I do not condone anti-Semitism. But yes, there are anti-Semites who support the same people I do. I do not believe that Professor Resnick condones BDS or any group that advocates Israel’s destruction. But yes, there are anti-Semites who support the same people Professor Resnick does. Neither of us has responsibility for the opinions of others.
Let us begin to talk about our differences with the civility that such important issues demand and let’s stop thinking the worst of each other.