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The following reflection is the result of the discussion I had with my kids this weekend for them to understand what is happening in the Middle East and why I’m sick of Hamas protest rallies right across from the Israeli Consulate in Downtown Miami (as well as other U.S. cities) and why I am horrified with the very disturbing spray-painted swastikas in a North Miami synagogue. This is my reflection on why I stand for Israel.
What we are seeing is the clash between civilization and barbarism, between the rational and the primitive, between progress and backwardness, between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship, between human rights and those who violate them systematically as a way of life, among those who treat women as human beings and those who treat them like beasts, among those who build and those who destroy.
The Jewish people survived the Holocaust and forced the world to respect them with their knowledge, their hard work, not with cries and lamentations. The Jews, who represent less than 0.2% of the world population, have been the recipients of more than 23% of Nobel prizes awarded by the Swedish Academy.
Of a total of 846 Nobel prizes awarded since 1901, 194 were to honor Jewish physicists, doctors, economists, chemists, writers and thinkers, some of which survived the death camps during the Holocaust and suffered anti-Semitism during their careers.
I don’t remember seen the first Jew killing to protest, or burning churches, mosques and embassies, or using children as human shields. I’m not a particularly religious person, among other things because I was raised by an atheist mom. I am Catholic by choice and conviction. I believe in God and the Virgin Mary. But I had the good fortune of having grown up in the Caracas Jewish neighborhood and if anything I learned in those years was the value of hard work, effort, respect and tolerance.
Therefore, in this conflict I stand for Israel as I stand for civilization, knowledge, construction, resilience, human rights, democracy and freedom. Paraphrasing Prime Minister Golda Meier, I dare say that if the barbarians of Hamas would love their children more than they hate the Jewish people, we would have peace instead of war.
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